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Review: Tristania - Rubicon

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2010
Duration: 47:08
Tracks: 10
Genre: Gothic Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: September 16, 2010
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating

Rated 3.13/5 (62.5%) (8 Votes)

For the life of me, I cannot understand why Norway's Tristania isn't as poplar as Evanescence. They've got many of the same elements the latter band and they've absolutely nailed each one. Gothic Metal stylings, ethereal female vocals courtesy of Mariangel Demurtas and some well written songs, many of which seem to be as radio-friendly as anything Evanescence has placed on the charts.

That said, I'm not particularly enamored with Tristania's latest album, Rubicon. I have to admit, Gothic Metal has never been my favorite genre, but this band has undeniable talent. It's the tendency of Gothic bands to stray close (or in) to Nu-Metal territory, a genre I cannot tolerate. Not the whole album, mind you. Rubicon features some high energy riffing on tracks like "Year of the Rat" and "Patriot Games" that in no way sacrifice the melancholy mood so important to Gothic Metal. It's when the band slows down that the songs get bogged in the mire and just drag on. I found myself wondering when songs like "Vulture" and "Magical Fix" would end. I also don't care much for the male vocals, courtesy of Kjetil Nordhus, very much. I find him much less dynamic than Demurtas. Since he's featured on nearly half the songs, listening to Rubicon became somewhat of a chore.

Gothic Metal fans should eat up Rubicon. I cannot deny that, for the most part, the performances are excellent. Casual fans, like me, on the other hand, are likely to find little of interest here.

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