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Twelve years after their acclaimed debut and three years following their previous release, Norwegian gothic metal pioneers Tristania are back with their long awaited sixth studio album “Rubicon”.
True to tradition, progress and diversity have been paramount in the creative process. With “Rubicon”, Tristania once again explore musical boundaries, playing with new and familiar elements and trifling with genres. The album consolidates an array of grand arrangements, sombre moods, and elaborate harmonies blended with upbeat ear-candy and outstanding vocal performances. While pushing forward, “Rubicon” is still permeated by the gothic sound that has always served as the foundation to Tristania’s music, and is the trademark of all their releases.
The Tristania of the present is a slightly different beast. Since 2007’s “Illumination”, the band has undergone various changes in line-up. In October 2007, the band proudly announced their newly recruited singer, hailing from Sardinia, Mariangela Demurtas (Reel Fiction). Demurtas’ great vocal abilities added more power to the Tristania sound, making it possible to take the music in new directions—as emphatically manifested on the new album.
As other commitments gradually put a strain on former members’ dedication to the band, Tristania recognized the benefits associated with renewing the lineup with members who could commit on a more permanent basis. A second strong addition came with bass player Ole Vistnes (Zerozonic), who went from partaking as a session musician to becoming a permanent member in early 2008. Vistnes has proven to be a considerable creative force in the band and is now one of the main songwriters.
In 2009, Gyri S. Losnegaard (Octavia Sperati) took on the role of second guitarist. It soon became evident that session drummer Tarald Lie (Diabla) would follow Vistnes’ example. Finally, after lead singer Østens Bergøy’s parental responsibilities became incompatible with future musical endeavors, the band decided to ask long-time friend and vocalist Kjetil Nordhus (Trail of Tears, Green Carnation) to join the ranks permanently. Nordhus is a worthy choice able to match Bergøy’s characteristic vocal style.
In their present form, Tristania still makes use of the distinct male/female vocal duels with Demurtas and Nordhus. The band has always taken pride in elaborated vocal harmonies, and the shared vocal competence among singers, both lead and back-up, is one of the band’s most prominent features.
“Rubicon” was recorded during the first months of 2010 in different studios in Norway. This time around, the band was heavily involved in all aspects of the process, as the main part of the production rested in the hands of band members Anders Hidle and Ole Vistnes. Waldemar Sorychta, who produced “Illumination” and also contributed on the pre-production of “Rubicon” continues to play an important role as co-producer. Sorychta is also responsible for mixing the record together with Dennis Koehne in Flying Pigs Studio.
Like the earlier releases, “Rubicon” welcomes a range of guest musicians; the most notable contributions coming from Østen Bergøy on vocals and a re-encounter with the fantastic violin performances of Pete Johansen. With the new record, Tristania has also revived another past collaboration by reuniting with their former record label Napalm Records.
With a solid product on hand and a strong line-up, Tristania re-emerges with new confidence and vitality. Following the album’s release, the band plans to promote the new record extensively—beginning with the “Rubicon Tour 2010” in October that will take them to 9 European countries in 16 days.
Mariangela Demurtas – Vocals
Kjetil Nordhus – Vocals
Anders Høyvik Hidle – Guitar/ Vocals
Gyri Smørdal Losnegaard – Guitar
Einar Moen – Synthesizer
Tarald Lie – Drums
Ole Vistnes - Bass/Vocals
Official Web Site: http://www.tristania.com/