Rosetta - A Determinism of Morality

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RIYL

Daïtro
ISIS
Gospel
Celeste

Release Date

05/25/2010

Tracklist

1. Ayil
2. Je N'en Connais Pas la Fin
3. Blue Day for Croatoa
4. Release
5. Revolve
6. Renew
7. A Determinism of Morality

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tim
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Rumbling thunder on a clear, starry night, a reverberating, incomprehensible growl that prowls the landscape for miles. A crack of blinding purple-white lightning that splits the midnight sky, echoing, echoing. Placid, soporific patter of a gentle drizzle and the thick, heavy raindrops slapping against concrete in the midst of a violent downpour. The sensation of losing yourself, falling through your mattress into an empty, black abyss as you give in to a fitful slumber. A frenzied, frenetic fever dream: incomprehensible flashes of objects, synaesthetic sensations, unfettered emotions. An inescapable density and heaviness coupled with an ambient, weightless atmosphere—

Others prefer the simplicity of “Metal for astronauts.”

In A Determinism of Reality, Rosetta have conjured a sound that is intangibly immense, like reaching out a hand to touch a star in the depths of space. The pounding bass, expert drumming and assaulting, arresting vocals are immediate and heavy, obviously very much influenced by the towering sounds of post-metal, yet you can lose yourself in the band’s use of subtle, droning ambience and billowing tremolo. In fact, guitarist J. Matthew Weed cites the prolific shoegaze band, Stars of the Lid, as a huge influence. Pulling such disparate influences together, A Determinism of Morality can feel at once angular and aggressive, yet impossibly deep and all-encompassing.

Rosetta don’t stop the genre-bending at post-metal and shoegaze, however. The album’s first track, “Ayil,” is reminiscent of both European screamo and post-rock. High-pitched guitar lines reverberate in the back of the mix, while the foreground is dominated crushing bass, unremitting growls and an exceptional backbeat provided by drummer Bruce McMurtrie Jr.—a sound very similar to Daïtro’s 2006 release, Laisser Vivre Les Squelettes. The track then builds to an intense crescendo, in classic post-rock form, which takes the form of a kidney-dislocating, larynx-stripping breakdown.

Totally lacking Michael Armine’s distinctive vocals, “Blue Day for Croatoa” is a six minute master class in how to write an engaging, beautiful, and heavy post-rock track. Weed’s effect-laden guitar work tiptoes hauntingly under a bass and drum interplay. In the closing minutes, bassist David Grossman’s notes rumble like a guitar in drop G.

The “Re-“ trilogy of songs, “Release,” “Revolve,” and “Renew,” showcase the countless facets of Rosetta’s sound, undulating between tempered placidity and primal expostulation. The dynamics of quiet and loud that continuously permeate A Determinism of Morality are striking and powerful and confer upon the album a great deal of emotional force.

Despite the seemingly piecemeal inclusion of such different genres, A Determinism of Morality isn’t diverse in the typical sense of the word; each of the album’s seven tracks are roughly analogous—“samey,” if you will. There aren’t any marked tempo changes, the band doesn’t introduce new instruments—there are certainly no Between the Buried and Me-esque non-sequitors. Part of what makes it so easy to get lost in the soundscapes of A Determinism of Morality is this unchanging quality about the music. Some may consider this thematic and sonic unity a strength, while some may find it uninspiring and redundant.

The final track, the title track, is a ten-minute, monolithic opus that is a microcosm of the entirety of A Determinism of Reality, effortlessly combining each genre explored throughout the previous tracks of the album into a cohesive whole. It is loud and quiet, heavy and soft, angular and ambient. It thrashes and bucks. It drones and lulls. The final minutes of instrumentation build and repeat as Armine shouts out mantras—the final words of the album are ones that surface in earlier tracks: “Scatter! (Scatter!) Scatter the embers!” And just like waking from a fever dream, eyes darting under closed eyelids, reality and unreality melting into semi-consciousness until they finally, slowly and tenuously, open, the music melts away during the final growled syllable, and then there is silence.

--Zach Roth

Author

Zach Roth
Last updated: 06/11/2010 10:46AM

Comments

cloudscollide
06/11/2010
11:59AM
Age: 25
Location
PA

Not just sayin' this 'cause you're one of my friends, and I love you, this band, and this cd...

But this review is fucking AWESOME.

homemadebullshit
06/11/2010
05:01PM
Age: 31
Location
Ann Arbor, MI

DETH ROK!!!!

Daitro
06/11/2010
10:01PM

you had me at RIYL: Daitro

resist sundials
06/11/2010
10:45PM
Age: 23
Location
Wisconsin
Daitro

you had me at RIYL: Daitro

love daitro.

i need this.

Spartan E7
06/12/2010
06:08PM
Age: 28
Location
Infinitely Inwards
Christopher Pandolfo

Not just sayin' this 'cause you're one of my friends, and I love you, this band, and this cd...



This is a hypocritical statement.....but you're such a fanboy, Chris. Hahahaha, if this were me raving about Periphery or BTBAM, then Rick would definitley be posting a pic for my biased opinions. But, as it stands, I got nothing. 

Good album and review, btw.

You should never be surprised when you get attacked, you'll know all the freedoms they took from you when you get em back, when in fact they were never yours to begin with, this is a prison planet, you're servin a life sentence.

tim
06/13/2010
11:02AM
Age: 31
Location
Green Brook, NJ

i hate to be THAT guy, but on what planet does rosetta sound like daitro? daitro was a french screamo band. i think that's more than a bit of a stretch. 

regardless, this album is awesome. 

Zach Roth
06/13/2010
04:17PM
Age: 26
Location
Fishers, Indiana

No, it's totally understandable. It's a stretch if you take it very literally, like how Periphery sounds like Between the Buried and Me. The similarity between Rosetta and Daitro is probably most striking on Ayil, but Rosetta (in my opinion of course) definitely take influence from European screamo, and I think Daïtro is probably the closest comparison. I said it elsewhere, but I think a sound-meld of Daitro and Celeste would probably yield something much closer to Rosetta, but en francais.

Top Albums: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 || Tumblr | Twitter

cloudscollide
06/13/2010
08:38PM
Age: 25
Location
PA

There are obvious screamo sounding parts in The Galilean Satellites as well. But yeah "Ayil" does resemble some awesome skrams.

powell.ad
06/14/2010
10:55PM
Age: 24
Location
Sunshine Coast, Australia

this review seems to have a lot of bigs words that don't really say anything. These guys kinda sound like a screamo fella using Explosions in the Sky backing tracks, which I kinda like.

"If you want something done right, get a fucking Australian band to do it" - Chris Cheney

Zach Roth
06/15/2010
01:15AM
Age: 26
Location
Fishers, Indiana
Sandy Powell

this review seems to have a lot of bigs words that don't really say anything. These guys kinda sound like a screamo fella using Explosions in the Sky backing tracks, which I kinda like.

Hahaha.

Top Albums: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 || Tumblr | Twitter

Sonnambulanaut
06/21/2010
04:29AM
Age: 30
Location
Salt Lake City, UT

This was fantastic