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Sometimes an album comes from out of nowhere and sideswipes you with its sheer awesomeness. Triosphere took a concept that worked wonders with their first album, and stepped up the power for its second release, "The Road Less Travelled", while still maintaining most of their progressive elements.
What makes this album so cool? After a short instrumental in "Ignition", the album comes at you with a 1-2 punch, namely "Driven" and "The Human Condition", then slows down near the middle of the album just enough that you can feel the emotion in Ida "Pico" Haukland's voice. This will catch you slightly off guard right before the second wave of massive power hits you like an 18-wheeler with "Watcher" and "Twenty-One", two songs that set this album up well for its conclusion.
Ida sounds like a modern-day version of Doro Pesch, belting out lyrics while sounding very masculine, and both the guitars and the drums support Ida's singing fantastically. Even though the bass lines aren't as distinct as I'd like them to be, it works for what it is: 51 minutes of raw emotion, intensity, power and force on 11 tracks.
Triosphere does some experimenting with progressive metal on this album with tracks like "The Road Less Travelled" and "Worlds Apart", and the result is nothing short of amazing. If you like progressive, power or traditional heavy metal, there will be something here for you. If not, then give "The Road Less Travelled" a listen anyways. You might be surprised by what you find.
In conclusion, this is one road I'll be happy to go down for years to come. The name Triosphere should be mentioned in the same light as more well known bands like Iron Maiden or Dream Theater. They're that good and this second album hopefully will pave the way for many more incredible albums to come.
Best songs: All of them!
Once in a while a metal release will come into your possession and you are smacked in the face with its pure and complete awesomeness. Most likely this particular release has had, and will continue to have the same effect on other people as well. Everyone can think of a few of these CDs while reading this, even me. It seems as though I have a case of déjà-vu, with relatively unknown power/progressive metal band, Triosphere, releasing one hell of a brilliant album called ‘The Road Less Travelled’.
Residing from a European country that has a dominant, prominent and rich black metal heritage, Norway does have its fair share of power, symphonic and prog metal bands; although they are in the minority. One of these power/prog metal bands, Triosphere, were formed in 2004 and released their debut CD in 2006 entitled ‘Onwards’. Receiving very good reviews for the debut, Triosphere have now outdone themselves completely with their latest CD, ‘The Road Less Travelled’, producing a massive slab of power, grit and good ‘ole blood, sweat and tears.
Triosphere is fronted by female vocalist Ida “Pico” Haukland, who sings with inspiring raw emotion and can definitely hold her own not only against other female vocalists in the same genre, but also against the heavy music on the CD. Quite deep and raspy in delivery for a female, I almost mistook her for a male vocalist upon my first listen of the opening track. The vocals, I have to admit are utterly fantastic and I was left awestruck with the passion, power and might in Ida’s voice. Admittedly however, Haukland’s voice may not be for everyone as it is quite masculine in sound. Haukland also plays the bass guitar on the album, and again, she does a great job with that too.
I would say the music on ‘The Road Less Travelled’ would be more modern power/traditional metal than progressive metal, however there are progressive influences sprinkled throughout the disc. I know for their debut, Triosphere had more prog metal in their sound, but have since re-vamped and finely tuned their sound into what you hear on the latest CD. I must say, the difference between the two albums is extraordinary.
Aside from the aggressive approach of the lead guitar, it is the grinding heavy bass and rhythm guitars (Tor Ole Byberg) that is the workhorse engine of the band, burning and driving each track with power and fury. The album’s song-writing (written by lead guitarist Marius Silver Bergesen) is very impressive indeed, while Bergesen’s solos sound so silky smooth and unforced it’s uncanny. In general, the axe playing of both guitarists is quite superior, creative and powerful.
Looking for untamed power, then look no further than the opening track (after the intro) called “Driven”. What a kick ass track to begin the CD. Driven is certainly the right word for this song, as the huge opening riffs explodes and the heavy track races away with blistering speed. The best track on the release, however, is the title track “The Road Less Travelled”. A melodic, yet powerful mid-paced track (with traces of prog metal), is about as perfect as a metal song can get. A catchy chorus, strong vocals, a mighty rhythm section, and a brilliant solo is what awaits you on this track. The solo too is probably the best one of the entire album. Not wanting to give too much more away with the description of each track (as this is an album that I urge you must hunt down and listen to for yourselves), the remainder of the release is exceptional; but song highlights include “The Anger And The Silent Remorse”, “Watcher”, “Marionette”, “Death Of Jane Doe” and “Worlds Apart”.
Never hearing the band before listening to this album, and knowing nothing about them, I was completely taken off guard and totally by surprise by the brilliance of this CD. The musicianship is second to none, while each track is performed in a clinical, yet free flowing heavy style. No fillers, no down points, the entire album is consistently great and a wonder to listen to.
In the same vein as Orden Ogan and their breakthrough release, Triosphere’s ‘The Road Less Travelled’ is a shot out of the blue and should rock the metal world once the album begins its travels around the globe. Fans covering metal genres such as power metal, traditional heavy metal, melodic heavy metal and progressive heavy metal should instantly take a liking to this CD.
Triosphere have arrived and have grabbed the metal world by its balls. ‘The Road Less Travelled’ is their opus and (in my opinion), this release is definitely one of the best for 2010 and I shouldn’t be alone with that assumption. Everyone remember this name: Triosphere!
written for: www.themetalforge.com and www.metalcdratings.com
I must confess that I do not often hear female-fronted power or progressive metal that is anything more than laughable, at least not in this century. Not because I'm some misogynist, but because so much of it tries to sell itself on seductive novelty rather than actual, credible songcraft. The UK's To-Mera comes to mind as an acceptable solution, but along now comes Triosphere of Norway with their second album, a delicious offering of accessible, effective writing that will soon cast a shadow on all the lame Evanescence and Nightwish hacks that choke the radio waves, catering to all the nu-goth broads and the self-handjob vampyre hunks that are trying to step to them with varying degrees of success (guyliner and Lacuna Coil CDs seem to help...)
Yes, Triosphere can play, and Ida Haukland can both sing and manage the four strings like few of her generation. Her voice reminds me ever so slightly of a Doro Pesch or Leather Leone (from the prime of Chastain's career), and it gives the riffing of Marius Silver Bergesen a run for its money as to what I found most captivating on this record. That is not to take away from the rock solid rhythm section, but seriously, this is the stuff a legend is made of, at least for much of the disc.... Bold, bright riffs that are as complex as they are catchy, with quality leads running amok wherever they see fit, never dragging down the big picture. It should appeal equally to fans of modern or traditional power and progressive metal ranging from Stratovarius to Kamelot to HammerFall and Warlock to Sonata Arctica.
That is not to say that this Road Less Travelled is by any means a perfect path, because I felt that a few of the tracks were lagging behind the rest, but it front loads most of its gems so that you become hopelessly addicted anyways. "Driven" is essentially a wall to wall carpeting of killer hooks, and it becomes pretty hard to top, especially when some of the following tracks are more hard rock oriented in places. Yet, all the same, a "Marionette" or "Human Condition" still delivers a huge chorus, Ida's soaring and piercing vocals exploring each line with an expert grasp of melody, and suitably moody, glossy riffing that reminds one of Michael Wilton and Chris DeGarmo in their heyday. A little later on the album, "Watcher" and "Twenty One" also explode at you, as does "Worlds Apart". The power ballad "The Anger and the Silent Remorse" is acceptable once it picks up to its glorious crescendo, but a little tedious in arriving. The intro "Ignition" is quite nice, at one point spitting out the fastest licks on the entire CD, but the outro piece "The Last Haven" is forgettable. Other tracks like "Death of Jane Doe" are alright, but not nearly as inspiring as the finer moments.
I have very few complaints. Most notably, the bass could be a little bolder and perhaps stand out from the guitars more than what I'm hearing. Granted, she's also the singer, so in a live setting she's got to balance what she is comfortable playing. Triosphere is genuine and infectious, like a brighter, better written female fronted counterpart to Sweden's Evergrey, but they've still got a little room to grow. Their debut Onwards was a moderately interesting affair, but The Road Less Travelled simply clobbers it, and I would be quite surprised if the band did not garner a raving international success based off its many merits. It you're not the type to shy away from modern power metal sounds with a dash of the progressive, then you should absolutely check it out!