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Author Topic: Well, let's hear your opinions.  (Read 6684 times)

Retsu

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Well, let's hear your opinions.
« on: 24 August 2010, 17:43:16 »

What do you think of Rubicon after listening to it?

I'm just finishing up my first listen, and so far I'm finding myself a bit underwhelmed. I do enjoy Mary's voice, Einar's keyboards, and the newfound energy the band has. Unfortunately, many of the tracks feel a bit too generic, and to say I dislike Kjetil's voice is an understatement.

Favorite tracks so far: "Protection," "Patriot Games," "Sirens," and "The Emerald Piper."
Least favorite tracks: I don't mind "Year of the Rat" or "Illumination" much, but I didn't find myself enjoying anything else.
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pellevin

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #1 on: 24 August 2010, 18:38:39 »

We'll have to agree to disagree, I guess - I'm loving Rubicon, appreciating every single track! Granted, I might still be somewhat blinded by the novelty of finally having a new Tristania disc again. But in this moment I feel that Rubicon, to me, is the strongest of all their efforts. The newfound energy, as you so aptly put it, combines with Mary's voice to raise it all to a new level. I really liked Illumination (the album) too, but Vibeke's voice, angelic as it is, left many of the tracks feeling rather weak. Not bad, but weak, as in opposed to strong and energetic.

As for Kjetil's voice, I don't have a problem with it. I'm a huge Osten fan though, and there are definitely moments with Kjetil where I find myself wishing that they had let Osten sing that part (especially those with a darker mood, as Osten's voice has a stronger bass range). Overall, though, I think they complement each other rather well, and am very happy to have them both singing on the album. To mention a counter-example; Illumination (the track) profits greatly on the rawer edge in Kjetil's voice, and I don't think Osten could've lent the song that desperate and cataclysmic vibe it now has.

I hope the album grows on you! To each his own, of course, but I'm getting so much out of Rubicon already, I feel you are missing out!  :)
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Archanoth

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #2 on: 24 August 2010, 18:55:19 »

What do you think of Rubicon after listening to it?

I'm just finishing up my first listen, and so far I'm finding myself a bit underwhelmed. I do enjoy Mary's voice, Einar's keyboards, and the newfound energy the band has. Unfortunately, many of the tracks feel a bit too generic, and to say I dislike Kjetil's voice is an understatement.

Favorite tracks so far: "Protection," "Patriot Games," "Sirens," and "The Emerald Piper."
Least favorite tracks: I don't mind "Year of the Rat" or "Illumination" much, but I didn't find myself enjoying anything else.

I'm on my 7th listen right now, and so far I like it a lot. The songs are very diverse and dynamic compared to their previous albums, which is really good, but, just like you, I feel a bit underwhelmed too.
The songs are generally too short, somewhat repetitive and "simple".

Also, I expected more from Illumination. It feels somewhat uninspired and too long for what it is. Nonetheless, it's still a great song.
I think the vocals are kind of weak compared to Illumination. Osten appears in very few songs, although Kjetil is also a great vocalist, and they rely too much on "unison" vocals instead of duets with a good contrast.

So, far, in my opinion, from best to worst:
1 - Patriot Games (I'm very impressed by this song: really heavy, catchy, has an awesome rhythm. It's easily the best Rubicon track, IMO)
2 - The Passing (an awesome and very melodic song, with a strong Tristania vibe)
3 - Exile (probably the best song on the album vocal-wise, and also very atmospheric)
4 - Year of the Rat (really awesome and catchy song, a very good choice for a single)
5 - Illumination (great song, but could be better)
6 - Vulture (another great song, I like the vocals a lot, though I expected it to be heavier)
7 - Protection (heavy, melodic and intense, also has a strong Tristania vibe)
8 - Sirens (cool song with a dark vibe, but somewhat weak)
9 - The Emerald Piper (though I'm not a big fan of this one, since it's completely different from Tristania, I was impressed by the studio version, much better than the live one)
10 - Magical Fix (the strangest Tristania song ever, sounds kind of weird, but good nonetheless)
11 - Amnesia (not bad, but not great either; could be much better, I find it dull)

So far, I rate Rubicon as 8.5/10.
It's probably the album of the year for me, but despite the new and strong line-up, as well as their new energy, right now it's just "great", not "excellent", which is what I expected it to be.
« Last Edit: 24 August 2010, 19:18:34 by Archanoth »
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Siren

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #3 on: 25 August 2010, 00:49:54 »

I feel its too early to go into details about the album, since I've only listened to it 2-3 times and this album definitely needs several more spins to get an overall feel of it. I was a bit disappointed after the first hearing though, I feared that maybe I'd already heard the best the album had to offer after already having become familiar with Year of the Rat, Exile and what immediately seemed to be the best parts from each song from the samples on Amazon. Luckily I realised that the album has much more to offer, and Im certain Tristania has made their most intriguing album since BtV. Rubicon is so much more metal and rawness than Tristania has ever been in the past, something that is really becoming to the dark and melancholic atmosphere that still is prominent in the music. It adds diversity. Now they have grown more range as musicians.

I truly appreciate Marys vocal lines; they aren't made just to sound pretty, but also to hit a nerve.  Mary and Kjetils voices are an excellent match. I'd hoped that Mary would've sung more on the album, though. She has a big voice and I'd hoped to hear her dominate more in the songs and experiment more with her voice. But still, her parts are all wonderful. Kjetils voice is also a blessing for Tristania. Ostens voice was good, but too dramatic to complement the music. With Osten, it was almost either listening to Ostens voice _or_ listening to the music. With Kjetils voice Im able to do both.  Kjetils voice is smoother, more diverse, more melodic.

 My immediate impression is that most of the songs have strong qualities but not utilizing the potential to the fullest. Like one person said, its good/great but perhaps not excellent all the way. The only song I feel is really 100% perfection is probably Exile. Its well composed and "together" from start 'til finish. Im so familiar with that song now, must have heard it 50-ish times, but I was really moved by it the first times I listened to it. It has a special quality. Speaking in percentages, when the rest of the songs are 80-90% I really cant complain!  :) Its hard to make good music, and its rare to come across good, new music these days. Rubicon is certainly a good album, but just how good is it? I'll have to keep listening to it for a while to decide.
« Last Edit: 25 August 2010, 00:55:35 by Siren »
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Funeralord

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #4 on: 28 August 2010, 21:36:04 »

OK, I'm officially very happy with Rubicon! Just after the first listen it immediately became a favorite album, right beside Ashes and World Of Glass! With time and more listens I will be able to decide which one do I end up liking the most ::)
THANK YOU TRISTANIA!!! :D
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Darth-Angina

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #5 on: 29 August 2010, 09:21:52 »

Well, this album is quite bittersweet to me. After hearing the samples I expected something explosive, bombastic, fresh and original, but none of that seemed to hit me after listening to the album. The intro is simply amazing, ''Year of The Rat'' and ''Protection'' are actually the only two songs I completely, absolutely adore and love, therefore it was an unpleasant surprise to discover that the rest of the album is headin a completely other direcion. The famous ''The Patriot Games'' is completely ruined by the overall noisy chorus, ''The Passing'' then gets some of mine attention, but is overall too mediocre to get stuck in my head, ''Exile'' and ''Sirens'' are somewhat what would fit on Ashes, ''The Emerald Piper'' then is the song I found quite bad when I first heard the live version, and unfortunately the studio version is no better, it hits me the same way as ''The Patriot Gates'' did, ''Vulture'' then hypes the whole odyssey a bit, but not very high, ''Magical Fix'' is without doubt the most boring song on the album, and ''Amnesia'' and ''Illumination'' are fairly enjoyable, especially ''Illumination''.

The pluses? Well, Mariangela sure does sound great, especially on my beloved ''Protection'' and ''Illumination'', I like the mixture of her vocals and growls, the violin is pleasant to hear again.

Minuses? Not enough growls; when all the voices sing together it sounds like a mess, the violin (which is pleasant tho) doesn't seem to fit the songs very well, the music is overall too light, too produced and it lacks harshness and mindfu*king guitar riffs, the lyrics are quite boring and follow a repetitive sample.

This album could have been kickass if the songs were more organic in the first place, now I find this album to be a mere rock album with a bunch of different vocals and sometimes spiced up with piano and/or violins. There is nothing gothic on it, and in most of the song, nothing metal also.

pellevin

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #6 on: 29 August 2010, 18:12:15 »

Well, this album is quite bittersweet to me.
Must say, sorry you feel that way, Darth! We've both been here for a very long time, and from what you've previously written over the years I thought we've had pretty much the same take on things. So, sad to hear Rubicon didn't do it for you, as it did for me and so many others.

It's weird - reading through your post, I find myself having the exact diametral opposite opinion on many of the things that you find unsatisfactory!

After hearing the samples I expected something explosive, bombastic, fresh and original, but none of that seemed to hit me after listening to the album.
"Fresh" was one of the first adjectives I used when I phoned my friend and fellow Tristania fan after my first listening .

The intro is simply amazing, ''Year of The Rat'' and ''Protection'' are actually the only two songs I completely, absolutely adore and love, therefore it was an unpleasant surprise to discover that the rest of the album is headin a completely other direcion.
Although I like both those tracks, for me the album holds more magic the later into it I come.

The famous ''The Patriot Games'' is completely ruined by the overall noisy chorus
Disagree completely! Like with Sacrilege, I thought it fit the desperate, extreme theme of the song very well, both musically and lyrics-wise. The noisiness I think is very much deliberate in the composing.

''The Emerald Piper'' then is the song I found quite bad when I first heard the live version, and unfortunately the studio version is no better
I didn't care much for the recorded live version of Piper either (and was therefore full of trepidation regarding Rubicon, as that was the first new song we were exposed to), but I thought the studio version was much better! The layered vocal harmonies in the chorus were the missing parts for me.

''Magical Fix'' is without doubt the most boring song on the album
My favourite track.  ;D

Not enough growls
You realise we haven't had this much growls since WoG?

when all the voices sing together it sounds like a mess
Disagree, but I recognise that this is very much up to personal taste. Since I'm a choir guy, I'm probably extra susceptible to layered vocal harmonies, as noted on The Emerald Piper.

the violin (which is pleasant tho) doesn't seem to fit the songs very well
I really enjoyed how The Passing especially seemed to be moulded around the violin bridge!

the music is overall too light
There's no Shining Path or Libre, but, again - more growls than we've had since 2001! And Ole's not afraid to carve space for his bass, giving the music a groove that I didn't find on Illumination.

the lyrics are quite boring and follow a repetitive sample.
Disagree violently. I'm probably a snob when it comes to these matters (it comes with the territory when being a teacher of languages), but I loved the efforts on Rubicon! Morten's gothic ThouThyThee-longwords-oldenglishtype poetry never did it for me, and the anti religious theme on WoG I thought was rather forced and boring (but rather well written, I'll give them that). It's gotten much better from there, Illumination had several lyrically very inspiring moments, but I found Rubicon to be absolutely full of them! Osten has a very sharp pen, and Tarald's gymnastics are really intricate. The lyrical highlight for me is, I think, Illumination (the track) - it's not the best writing from a mechanical point of view, but the uneasy atmosphere it lends to the music as the masses are drawn to the despot really made the song shine for me.

This album could have been kickass if the songs were more organic in the first place, now I find this album to be a mere rock album with a bunch of different vocals and sometimes spiced up with piano and/or violins. There is nothing gothic on it, and in most of the song, nothing metal also.
Nothing gothic, maybe not, if we define gothic as Beyond the Veil bombastic atmosphere (although I think there are subcurrents from there on a few tracks). But nothing metal? Not even compared to Ashes and Illumination? Over the last decade, I've loved every Tristania album, but mourned their reduced heaviness and lost "metal". I feared Rubicon would continue that tradition, but I found plenty heavy moments there to tickle my otherwise black-metal-eating nerve!

We have a saying in Sweden; "Smaken šr som baken - delad", which roughly translates to: "Taste is like the arse - divided".  :D

Please note I in no way mean to bash you or disrespect your opinion, Darth-Angina! I just thought it was rather remarkable that we listened to the same album and drew so fundamentally different conclusions, even when looking at the same details. Kind of makes you realise how difficult it must be for those poor musician bastards to please their fans...
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Darth-Angina

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #7 on: 29 August 2010, 20:12:17 »

None offense taken whatsoever; basically there is no need for it. We all have our opinions about it, and as long as it is presented respectfully, I have no trouble embracing it.

I forgot to add also that even if this is not my piece of candy, I'm definitely not giving Rubicon up. I'll give it a fair share of listens -  I'm just a bit slower about getting into it maybe - and hopefully in time it will grow on me; it has happened before.

I just hope I won't get the ''old Tristania fan'' label over and over again, I think I have the right to share my opinion and I embraced all the changes in this band and the new direction they're going. Basically, ''Protection'' is the only song that has been playing from my Winamp for the past three days  ;D I love that song so much.

9999

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #8 on: 29 August 2010, 20:39:05 »

You realise we haven't had this much growls since WoG?

I have not yet listened to the album (I'll be getting it on its US release Tuesday), but is that true? I thought Ashes had a good amount of growls. From the various samples and myspace songs there seemed to be a greater amount of growls than on Illumination, but they sounded like they were just here and there.
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Tjeerd

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #9 on: 29 August 2010, 21:51:12 »

Most growls are usually layered within a mix of regular singing.
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Mr. tobEND

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #10 on: 29 August 2010, 23:12:37 »

I thought Growls were only on "Patriot Games", "Protection", "Vulture" and "Magical Fix"?? ::)
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Zantar

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #11 on: 30 August 2010, 07:45:22 »

I'm really loving Protection right now, but I also have to say that Amnesia and Patriot Games are getting a lot of my attention.
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DarkOwl

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #12 on: 31 August 2010, 01:27:52 »

The album is awesome! Itís not yet available in Brazil, but as soon as it gets to the stores, Iíll take one for me.

Illumination, Emerald Piper, Vultures, Protection and Exile are the best songs for me. Illumination is epic! What a wonderful song! Itís a crime that Emerald Piper is only a bonus track!  The combination of Maryís and Kjetilís voices fits really well.

I just hope Osten still make some vocals on next albuns! I will miss his voice on the songs.

But there are some things I have to complain about this album. I think Year Of The Rat is not bombastic enough to open the album (like Mercyside or Libre). I think none of the songs have such a bombastic intro to open the album. I missed this.  I also would like that the songs have had explored more Maryís aggressive vocals, like at the end of Illumination! Her voice was great in this song! 

BTW, does anyone knows who sing after Kjetilís first part on Illumination?  Does anyone have Caprice lyric?
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Deadlocked

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #13 on: 31 August 2010, 05:38:14 »

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DarkOwl

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #14 on: 31 August 2010, 09:49:12 »

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Mr. Jack

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #15 on: 31 August 2010, 15:23:46 »

well, as many of you know, i don't like the new Tristania
but i have to confess that i fell in love with Year Of The Rat, and some parts in other songs, like in Magical Fix, that part with growls and fast drums
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Darth-Angina

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #16 on: 31 August 2010, 18:04:26 »

Yea, you see, even he likes Year Of The Rat :P

Btw, as many of you, I'm completely enchanted by Illumination at the moment. Man, what a great song that is.

9999

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #17 on: 31 August 2010, 19:25:58 »

Finally got mine. I'm currently in the middle of the second listening, so this is a very early opinion. The song structure is indeed more (too?) simplified; they don't seem to stray too much into new territory. However, I appreciate Rubicon for what it is, and won't bother comparing it to anything pre-Illumination. I really do like the album, I just think many of the songs lack an identity that separates them from the others. Though, I guess that's what makes this album less 'hit and miss' for me, as Illumination (album) was. Overall, good.

Favourite songs (subject to change): Year Of The Rat, Exile, Sirens, Magical Fix. I did not care for Illumination (song) that much.
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Mr. Jack

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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #18 on: 01 September 2010, 00:52:49 »

Yea, you see, even he likes Year Of The Rat :P
sdjglkhsdgh
yes, she's right
even i like that song
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Re: Well, let's hear your opinions.
« Reply #19 on: 01 September 2010, 01:56:33 »

After repeated listens, I have to say that Rubicon is my favourite of the ''new Tristania'' (Ashes/Illumination/Rubicon).
The vocals were a bit of a mess most of the time, but where they are good they really shine!
I can't compare it to the first three, because the genre is completely different.
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