Album Title: The Heart Of The Matter
Label: AFM Records
Year of Release: 2014
Isn’t it nice to discover new bands? Blimey, that’s what I enjoy most, what I do the most and why this blog exists in the first place. What’s particularly nice about my latest discovery, Triosphere, is the way in which my discovery has happened so quickly and the amount that I like this band. I wasn’t expecting such a high quality band to emerge from my latest search but it’s a pleasant surprise nonetheless.
Norwegian quartet Triosphere have released two albums to date (‘Onwards’ (2006) and ‘A Road Less Travelled’ (2010)) and yet, had it not been for a few acquaintances on social media professing a ‘like’ for them, I’d probably not have thought about trying them out. In fact, despite plowing a personal favourite melodic power metal furrow with hints of prog and hard rock, I may never have even heard of them in the first place. Shame on me.
But it’s all water under the bridge now I’m sure and here I am, reviewing album number three, ‘The Heart Of The Matter’. And a happy and enjoyable exploit it is too.
Hailing from Trondheim in the very heart of Norway, Triosphere are comprised of vocalist/bassist Ida Haukland, guitarists Marius Silver Bergesen and Tor Ole Byberg as well as drummer Orjan Jorgensen (who has since been replaced by Kenneth Tarneby)
What I particularly like about this album is the way that the music is catchy and memorable without ever veering into cheese territory or sounding derivative. The choruses are strong without being too overly saccharine and the vast majority of the compositions tend to grow on the listener rather subtly. That said, tracks like the opener ‘My Fortress’ or the fast-paced galloping power metal work-out ‘As I Call’ are instant hits of gratification and are immediate favourites. The latter features one of the strongest choruses on the entire disc, battling with the likes of ‘The Sphere’ for that particular honour.
However, others, like the more multi-layered and altogether more intense ‘Departure’ or ‘Breathless’ with it’s really interesting and unexpected soft bluesy guitar lead, take their time to deliver the goods, creeping up on you by stealth. I personally really like it when this happens because it’s a sign that the album won’t just deliver a big bang that will fade quickly; I’m confident that here we have an album that will provide longevity for the listener and will keep on giving way beyond its initial release. In fact, the more I listen the more I like it.
Fundamentally though, throughout this album there are some very welcome constants that, thanks to their stubborn presence really enhance this album, transforming it from being a good disc into a great disc. The guitar riffs are satisfyingly heavy, suitably urgent and edgy and deliver more than enough by way of chops and moments of strong headbanging material. The rhythm section is one of the strongest within the melodic metal genre too. Never overstated, the drums and bass refuse to miss a beat and provide a very solid foundation upon which the rest of the music sits proudly. Then there are the vocals courtesy of Ida Haukland. Reminiscent of Krissie Kirby from Triaxis or occasionally even Doro in terms of her timbre,delivery and no-nonsense attitude, Ida has an impressive set of lungs and belts out the lyrics with confidence and conviction. Haukland’s vocals are also a big and relatively unique selling point for those who are searching for something just a little bit different.
To add the icing on the cake, the production is very strong and the artwork is particularly striking. Whilst the music itself will always, naturally, be the most fundamental and important ingredient, really striking artwork demonstrates attention to detail and a sense of pride in the final product. And, if you’re anything like me, it will often sway you into giving a band a chance ahead of another who may not have made the same effort.
Overall, I would have to say that this is one of the best pure melodic metal albums released this year. The fact that Triosphere are also a brand new discovery for me, makes it all the more exciting and gratifying to be able to say this. Bravo Triosphere, but now that I’ve finally discovered you, let’s not make it another four years before your next album eh?!
The Score Of Much Metal: 8.0
If you’ve enjoyed this review, please feel free to check out my other album reviews here:
Neonfly – Strangers In Paradise
Knight Area – Hyperdrive
Haken – Restoration
James LaBrie – Impermanent Resonance
Mercenary – Through Our Darkest Days
A.C.T. – Circus Pandemonium
Xerath – III
Big Big Train – English Electric (Part 1)
Thought Chamber – Psykerion
Marcus Jidell – Pictures From A Time Traveller
H.E.A.T – Tearing Down The Walls
Vanden Plas – Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld