Rosetta appropriately split the dense and intense The Galilean Satellites (Translation Loss, 2005) between a disc of crushing doom-metal songs and a disc of atmospheric and convoluted abstractions, and made it sound like they were two sides of the same coin.
Each song is a complex construction, and in fact the shortest lasts eight minutes.
Departe begins with an electronic hiss and atmosheric guitar twang,
then a not-so-harsh and rather melodic growl introduces the main theme over a
hypnotic (not blasting) drumbeat and melodic shoegazing guitar distortion, and
there's even room for an instrumental intermezzo with cosmic-raga flourishes.
Even more melodic is Europa, with a cyclical guitar riff and martial
The 16-minute Itinerant exudes a sense of
melodrama that belongs more to prog-rock suites of the 1970s than to
doom-metal. It is also a display of technical skills, from
U2-esque guitar work to
oddly syncopated drumming (the last five minutes are a ghoulish wind of
whispers and buzzing electronics).
The 13-minute Au Pays Natal takes four minutes of psychological doodling
before launching its shoegaze/doom hurricane.
Best is actually the instrumental Absent,
a lively post-metal romp with neoclassical and jazzy overtones.
At the other end of the spectrum
Deneb sits somewhere between musique concrete and acid rock, an abstract
soundscape of electronic effects with psychedelic overtones;
Capella sounds like the slow-motion remix of a doom riff,
a pulverizing second of music stretched out to become a ten minute agony with
an eternal droning coda;
Beta Aquilae is pure psychological torture, a liquid mass of tones that
hatches a warped incantation and then buries it under sheets of distortion
and cosmic explosions; its cosmic apocalypse segues smoothly into the
16-minute Ross 128, whose core pits the foreboding noise of a black hole
against a repetitive guitar melody before everything implodes in celestial
drones that evoke infinite distances;
and Sol paints a sort of post-nuclear wasteland via miasmatic guitar,
desperate subhuman screams and reverbed tones.
These five pieces are basically five movements of a post-doom symphony
overflowing with terminal pathos.
Wake/ Lift (Translation Loss, 2007) wed the fury of metalcore and the
brain of industrial-metal to churn out five brutal, frantic, sprawling and huge
musical monoliths of apocalyptic doom:
the pounding twelve-minute Red In Tooth And Claw (with artful detours and
the three-movement Lift (reminiscent of the abstract pieces of the
the 15-minute Temet Nosce (an anemic plodding instrumental with another
and the 13-minute Monument (that alternates between solemn chanting
and gentle psychedelic/progressive jamming).
The majestic and magniloquent Wake (the shortest piece at "only"
nine minutes) is probably the melodic peak of the album.
Rosetta's exhilarating ten-minute TMA-3 appeared on the split EP
Junius + Rosetta (Translation Loss, 2011). It set the
standard for their seamless slow/fast mellow/aggressive transitions.
A Determinism Of Mortality (Translation Loss, 2010) contains the
eleven-minutes A Determinism of Morality, that follows the format
of the post-rock instrumental and, when it explodes along the way, it does so
with some kind of aplomb that sets it apart from black metal, and then sounds
like a tribal gothic dance before the final apotheosis. The sleek production
makes it much more user-friendly.
The Anaesthete (2013) still contains
the ten-minute Ryu/ Tradition, another dynamic piece that excels more
in the atmospheric intermezzo than in black-metal magniloquence;
but the visceral inspiration of the first two albums was a fading memory.
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