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Tristania - 'Rubicon' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/89/01/bc/836_tristaniarubicon_1290717313.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 25, 2010    
 
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There’s nothing really bad about the album, but precious little to leap in the air about.

Out of the same Stavanger stable as genre leaders Theatre Of Tragedy, Tristania have never really received the acclaim they’ve worked hard for. After coming together in 1996 and releasing ‘Widow’s Weeds’ in 1998, ‘Beyond The Veil’ the following year and ‘World Of Glass’ in 2001, things began to unravel for the Norwegians; a start-stop career and a number of crippling line-up changes have hampered their development and resulted in a total of just six albums in 14 years. Blimey, even ‘new’ singer Mariangela Demutas has been with them since October 2007 (yet ‘Rubicon’ is her first outing on plastic with the band), and behind the male microphone now stands Kjetil Nordhus, a veteran of Trail Of Tears and the much beloved Green Carnation. The final twist in the tail is that twelve years after their debut release, Tristania are back where it all began at Napalm Records. What goes around does truly come around…

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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‘Rubicon’ is a strong offering in its own right, although repeated plays show it to be the work of a band struggling to find its own identity. And it’s not an album I found it easy to get into, but sticking with it will reveal a number of buried treasures that are worth hunting for. Far from being bleak and gothic, opener ‘Year Of The Rat’ is pleasant and poppy, overlaid with a jaunty piano riff from Einar Moen’s keyboards. At the other end of things, closer ‘Illumination’ at eight-plus minutes is the album’s tour-de-force, a dark and downbeat piece, redolent of a Parisian café piece from the Thirties, which draws to mind some of the more muted material on Garbage’s debut album. It’s very clever and works extremely well. Between these two bookends lie eight tracks ranging from the great to the OK; there’s nothing really bad about the album, but precious little to leap in the air about. ‘The Passing’ with its almost desperate vocals is a definite high-spot though, as is the heavier ‘Sirens’. Throughout the album the dual vocals of the Sardinian born Demurtas and Nordhus are used to great effect, and when guitarists Anders Høyvik Hidle and Gyri Smørdal Losnegaard are allowed to cut loose they do so with great aplomb; unfortunately it doesn’t happen that often.

It’ll be interesting to see where Tristania go from here because, of course, once you cross the Rubicon there’s no going back.

John Tucker

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