Three years after their last full length album and TRISTANIA are back with their seventh […]
By Harry Papadopoulos
September 1, 2010
Tristania - Rubicon album cover

Three years after their last full length album and TRISTANIA are back with their seventh CD and the first one with Mary behind the microphone. So I'm sure that the fans of the band are waiting with anticipation this release to see if Mary can fit in Stene's shoes.

I don't think that a history lesson for this band is necessary, but there were a lot of lineup changes during the last ears, that probably many of us got confused. The beginning was just after the release of "Illumination". Then Ole Vistnes joined the band as the new permanent bass player, since he was in the band as a session member. In 2009 Gyri S. Losnegaard became one of the two guitar players and Tarald Lie filled the gap of Kenneth Olsson behind the drum kit. Finally Østen Bergøy left the band, since he became a father, and Kjetil Nordhus (TRAIL OF TEARS, GREEN CARNATION) became a full member of TRISTANIA.

Now as for the album, well things are quite better than I expected from all those changes. They have some strong riffing in the album, alongside the slower tempo moments, like in "The Passing". The first track, which is the first video from the album too, is a catchy one and already known since it was one of the songs that were in the Internet for the fans to listen. "Protection" is starting with a riff that did surprise me with its heaviness, bur the main structure of the song is a slow tempo classic female vocal "Metal" song."Patriot Games" is one of my favorite songs. The riffing is great and Kjetil Nordhus is all that the song needs, not that the powerful chorus is not worthwhile mentioning it. The problem is that the rest of the album is a typical one like all the female- fronted bands are releasing. Slow tempos, with some heavy guitars and clean/harsh male vocals. I'm sure that fans of that kind of Metal will love it, but I expect more from some bands that are in the music industry for more than ten years. The production from Anders Hidle and Ole Vistnes, having Waldemar Sorychta as co-producer, is powerful and clean, but I think that the voice of Mary in some parts is in front more than it should be.

"Rubicon" s not a bad album for fans of TRISTANIA, LACUNA COIL, late THEATRE OF TRAGEDY or SIRENIA, and if you are bored with this kind of sound this album won't make you change your mind. But if you are a fan you will surely enjoy this CD. If you are not a fan, though, you probably didn't even read this review.

PS: I can think of one or two reasons for having the front-woman artwork on the cover, but I think that the best thing is either having a proper cover or put a photo with the whole band. Oh, and please don't baptize "gothic Metal" anything that has female vocals.

6 / 10

Had Potential

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"Rubicon" Track-listing:
  1. Year Of The Rat
  2. Protection
  3. Patriot Games
  4. The Passing
  5. Exile
  6. Sirens
  7. Vulture
  8. Amnesia
  9. Magical Fix
  10. Illumination
Tristania Lineup:

Mariangela "Mary" Demurtas - Lead Vocals
Kjetil Nordhus - Clean Vocals
Anders Hoyvik Hidle - Guitars, Harsh Vocals
Gyri S. Losnegaard - Guitars
Ole Vistnes - Bass, Backing Vocals
Einar Moen - Keyboards, Programming
Tarald Lie - Drums

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