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On disc: Tristania

Rubicon - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars


(Napalm Records - 2010)

With Rubicon a new Tristania era starts as it's the first album with Mariangela Demurtas and the new line-up. The band have been through some changes - and usually this effects the music, even if 2 original members are still in the band. On the other hand gothic metal seems to stagnate...
They kick off with Year Of The Rat, a quite typical gothic metal tune. Mariangela Demurtas don't have such a unique voice / style as her predecessor Vibeke Stene and so the opener sounds like so many other gothic metal tracks. At Protection Miss Demurtas gets the chance to show a different facet and it works a bit better, especially the slow passages are more emotional. The fast part with Anders H°yvik Hidle growls gives the song a black-ish touch and adds a counter part to Demurtas' vocals. At Patriot Games Kjetil Nordhus kicks off vocally and that part is really interesting and even touching, but when they speed up and Mary joins in the special something gets lost... Somehow it seems that they want to try something different, but half way through it they loose the courage to do it. Actually that's the main problem with Rubicon, the songs are based on the same old scheme and every time it gets interesting and you think 'this is it', they get back to the basic formula... So the heavy riffs at The Passing are a counterpart to the angelic vocals, but then they return to the bittersweet sounds. Same with Pete Johansen violin, they don't give this sound element enough space to shine.
I'm not sure, if Rubicon can satisfy the fans... I can just recommend to check out songs like Exile, Sirens, Amnesia and The Passing. Perhaps they should have used the chance for a re-start and try something new... They might find their own identity while being on tour... Time will tell.

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


           ©2008-2014 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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