2010 m. rugpjūčio 30 d., pirmadienis

Tristania - Rubicon

Gothic Metal

Imagine – You sit in a cafe and order an Ice-Cream with some fruits and chocolate. You taste it and you feel that this will become your favorite dessert. But then the waiter comes and takes fruits from your Ice-cream.  You are shocked, but you try it again and after first bite you almost can`t feel the difference because some crumbs of fruits are still left, however few next bites are different and not so satisfying than first ones. After some time, you get used to it and then it becomes delicious too. But guess what? The waiter comes again and suck the whole chocolate from your Ice-Cream and replace it with some chili peppers. No you are really pissed off and you refuse to taste it. Then you stand up and start to shout over the whole Cafe that this Dessert is a piece of shit, and no one will buy it!

Tristania is in a similar situation. With first two albums they offered us a delicious Ice Cream, then after Morten`s departure World of Glass was still in a vibe of earlier releases, but Ashes and Illumination were slightly different. And then Vibeke left. Everyone started to dig a grave for Tristania (I was one of them) and as it seemed that it couldn`t be worse, then band hired some Spanish “chick” and  many fans turned into biggest enemies of the band labeling them as a traitors.

Tristania waited, they didn`t stated any official announcement regarding the case, and only after 3 years of big drama they finally did that, they let the music speak for itself  – Tristania released “Rubicon”.

My reaction after first listening was shocking. I just started to like new Tristania few years ago, when Illumination came, and thought it was amazing album, but now after 3 years of lost hope and absolutely no interest in this album I got a slap at my face. Tristania brought us the best album in female fronted metal scene this year and let me explain why?

What makes a good album for me is a song-writing, originality and vocal parts. Tristania mixed all those components very good. Songs are diverse, the mood is different in every song, atmosphere is really dark and gothy. The vast amount of different guitars and playing styles impressed me a lot, then the melodies aren`t  ripped off, and even if they are not so catchy as we are expecting from Gothic metal, it is more mature and more finished.

The next factor – Vocal parts, needs a wider attention. Tristania uses 4 different male vocals – Clean and growls, than add Mary`s vocals and you get a dream team.  This is the first time when we hear Kjetil on Tristania and last time when we hear Osten, but both of them done amazing job in vocal lines. Every song is interesting to listen because of those curvy, original and polished vocal parts.  And Mary appeared to be a very good replacement for Vibeke. She fits the album perfectly. And what I like the most, is that the songs has the vocals that they need, for example if the song doesn`t asks Mary`s vocals, then Mary is not on that song. No raping here :)

Not everything is so perfect here, for sure. For example, the return of Pete wasn`t so pleasing as I was expecting. Few lines in some songs, but nothing heart-breaking or very memorable (except Amnesia).  Then also band could worked harder on some of the songs like “The passing” and “Magical fix”, cause those are good compositions, but it lacks of some feeling and maturenes.

Talking about songs I can`t not to mention  Illumination. One of the best songs I have ever heard, and it really shines above other songs. Melody, vocals, lyrics – everything perfect. And also I am a fan of albums that are finished with the best song in it. My other favorites “Exile”, “Protection”, “Patriot games”.

Tristania brought us an unexpected gift, and yes, they have where to work, but Rubicon proves us, that Tristania`s composing skills are still at it`s best. And even if missed some more melancholic songs and maybe more catchy melodies, let me welcome Tristania to be back on the throne of Gothic Metal.

1.Year of the rat - 8,5
2.Protection  - 9
3.Patriot Games - 9
4.The Passing - 7,5
5.Exile - 9,5
6.Sirens - 9
7.Vulture - 8,5
8.Amnesia - 8
9.Magical Fix - 8,5
10. Illumination - 10

Songwriting:  8
Performance: 9,5
Lyrics: 9
Originality: 7
Quality: 9

General - 8,5/10

2010 m. rugpjūčio 20 d., penktadienis

Immediate Music - Trailerhead:Sagas

Immediate Music
Trailer Music

Track list:

Hymnus Orbis
Glory Seeker
Oratio Sanctus
Emergence Of Empire
In League With Cerberus
Darkness On The Edge Of Power
Ashes Of War
World On A String
Salvation For A Proud Nation
Fatum Plebis
Darkness On The Edge Of Power (Live)
Surrender To Hope

I wanted to start this review with a phrase – „Immediate Music – One of the leaders of trailer music“, but then I thought, „Hey, Immediate, are the leaders of trailer muisc“, so here is a review of the newest Immediate Music commercial release – Trailerhead:Saga.

Last year Immediate brought us their first official commercial album „Trailerhead“ (if we don`t count Globus project). It contained rearranged Immediate music, that was used in various movie trailers. By following the success of it`s predecessor, Immediate releases a sequel – Trailerhead: Saga. So what`s the difference between them and how good Immediate did it`s job this time?

The main difference between first and second albums are arrangements. Trailerhead, was a collection of best Immediate music to date, but with small changes in arrangements and compositions. This time there are heavily rearranged songs, with much better quality than it`s parental tracks. Some compositions are mashed up like Salvation and Proud Nation („Salvation of a Proud Nation), some are left untouched in composition way, but all of them flows perfectly.

Immediate composers proves us again, that they are masters of their job, because they managed to make, generally great tracks into a masterpieces.
So what gives the songs new feeling? Guitars, new age elements, new choir verses. Everything is polished perfectly. Also we can`t forget Symphonic orchestra and Choir, which made amazing job again. Every new element was needed to remake these compositions into new ones.

Album contains a big range of songs from fast and epic, to more mid tempo hymns, and even to ballad style compositions. It would be hard to pick some best tracks from Trailerhead:Saga, but „Glory Seeker“ , „Invictus“, „Darkness at the Edge of Power“ and „Salvation of a Proud Nation“ really stands on the top of whole trailer music.

If you are new in this genre, this album is a perfect way to start. If you a an experienced listener of trailer music, that you already know how good is Immediate Music, and you can just agree, that this is by far the best Trailer Music album this year.

Composition – 9
Arrangements – 9
Performance – 9
Quality – 9