The Road Less Travelled
Arguably one of the best metal albums of the year
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!