Someone please tell me how the HELL I’ve managed to sleep on Norway’s TRIOSPHERE all this time. They’ve been around for a minute and I was completely unaware. So much so that when their third full-length album The Heart of the Matter hit my inbox I was like, “Yeah, I’ll get to it” instead of rushing to press PLAY. That is certainly a mistake that won’t be repeated, you bet your fur! Emotional lyrics and vocal deliveries courtesy of vocalist/bassist Ida Haukland, searing guitar riffs thanks to Marius Silver Bergesen and T.O. Byberg, coupled with Ørjan Aare Jørgensen’s drums make for a powerful album that is equal parts melody and balls. These songs will stick with you long after the last chord rings out into the night.
“My Fortress” is a fast-paced way to kickstart the record, Haukland’s voice soaring above the fray effortlessly, and “Steal Away the Night” showcases the guitars going full throttle like they’re headed for Beggar’s Canyon. The chorus on this is one of my absolute favorites and will probably be one of yours too. And if it’s a tasty, meaty riff sandwich you’re hungry for, then order “The Sentinel” from the TRIOSPHERE menu; it is guaranteed to satisfy and then some. There is a push and pull, darkness and light transition during “Breathless” that calls to mind both DREAM THEATER and FATES WARNING, combining the best of both. “Departure” is another one that I gravitated to right away. There’s such a majestic feel to this song that I couldn’t get enough of it.
Symphonic elements are found in “The Heart’s Dominion” and Haukland’s raspy vocal is intensified here. This combined with the chugging guitars help to steer it in a Power Metal direction. Tårneby opens up “As I Call” with a vengeance before the whole band follows suit, bringing yet another strong track. 30 seconds of slow, clean intro are quickly melted away by the sheer fury of the guitars on “Relentless” arguably my favorite song besides “Steal Away”. Bergesen and Byberg are a six-string duo to be reckoned with, as is clearly evidenced by “The Sphere” and “Storyteller”. At the end of the day this band has a guitar team that the world needs to sit up and take notice of, if they haven’t already. “Remedy” is a series of blows to the head and neck area, but peppered with lush harmonies and a glaze of melody.
The album closes with acoustic number “Virgin Ground”, another one I absolutely loved. Haukland sounds angelic, and it is a wonderful way to end my first TRIOSPHERE experience. This is a band that traditional metal, power metal, ALL metal fans should be flocking to in droves. The Heart of the Matter is out now via AFM Records, so run don’t walk to pick up your copy.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Steal Away the Night”, “Departure”, “Relentless”, “Virgin Ground”, “The Sphere”, “The Sentinel”, “Breathless”