|Review: Triosphere - The Road Less Travelled|
|The Road Less Travelled|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: July 15, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
for:The Road Less Travelled
Rated 4.5/5 (90%) (28 Votes)
Female-fronted power metal that doesn't sound a thing like Nightwish. What a joy! So many female metal vocalists are forced into the weak and overdone majestic sound created by Tarja Turunen. It strikes me as a bit sexist that the only clean vocal style female singers can achieve in metal is one focused on elegance and beauty -- standards of female constraining gender roles. Finding success and recognition as fierce, powerful vocalist is difficult for women, almost unheard of. That's why a band like Triosphere, led by the bellowing vocals of iconoclast Ida Haukland, is such a breath of fresh air. Their power metal tinged with prog might not be a new sound, but Haukland's vocals propel the band above the rest, simply by being more striking and powerful than so many other bands.
Backing up Haukland is a very strong group of musicians on The Road Less Traveled. The guitar playing is melodic and occasionally even soaring, with great harmonies and well executed transitions from Marius Bergesen. These songs are progressive, but don't have any awkward parts where the song lacks flowing cohesion. What's very unique about this is album is the stellar drumming from Ørjan Aare Jørgensen. His style is fast-paced and unique, with excellent and tasteful use of the cymbals. Jørgensen doesn't overdo it with pretension, however. Opting not to simply play faster than anyone else, he stands out with more accomplished songwriting. His style is different, and he lets that show. He yields to the band when he needs to, and doesn't overpower the music, like so many other heralded drummers do.
Above all else is Haukland's voice. Like most power metal bands, Triosphere focus and lead up to their choruses. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn't. While on some songs, Haukland carries simply crafted enigmatic choruses above otherwise simple music, other songs fall flat due to their similarity. Apart from a few ballads, The Road Less Traveled runs together through the middle with undistinguished songs. Fortunately though, these quibbles do not restrain the album into mediocrity.
Despite a few flaws, Triosphere's The Road Less Traveled is a refreshing take on female-fronted power metal. In fact, it really shouldn't be looked at that way. This doesn't have the calm majesty that has become such a clichéd component of the genre. For the most part, Triosphere go their own way and eschew such overly frequent commonalities.
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