Rosetta – Quintessential Ephemera (Self-Released)

Sunday, 14th June 2015
Rating: 8/10

In the world of post-metal, Rosetta has played along in the background for a number of years. Never really seated among the genre elite, but doing some well-respected works that blended together elements of hardcore, doom, sludge, and droning atmospheric metal in an intriguing package. The band finally found some greater success with 2013’s The Anaesthete, which saw the band moving in a darker direction. Last year the band added a fifth member, Eric Jernigan (City of Ships) to round and enhance their sound with an additional guitar and vocals. The result is another change in sound for the band, but one that most should find an enjoyable one.

Whereas The Anaesthete saw the band moving in darker directions, Quintessential Emphemera is undoubtedly the band’s ‘least heavy’ piece. A much more appropriate album for the coming summer, there is a feeling of weightlessness in some of the tracks (such as “Untitled III”), with floaty, post-metal riffing that feels more ethereal than angst-ridden. The other big change-up are the vocals. Up to this point, the band hasn’t used much in the way of clean vocals, but they are of clear significance to this album. Before you run away screaming, they are effectively implemented in a way that does enhance rather than steal the show. “Untitled V” and “Untitled VII” are good showcases for this, alternating some moments of beauty as a counterpoint to some of the heavier, sludge-y moments. It all adds up to a very reflective album that soars to shining new heights while retaining a heaviness that keeps it from going too far out of their current niche.

Combining a more uplifting approach with the aspect of clean vocals brings the band effectively to a turning point, with plenty of potential to further explore each aspect in more detail as they continue to move forward. Quintessential Ephemera is bound to turn some heads that weren’t exposed to the band previously, without isolating fans who have stuck with the band over the past few releases. The mark of a band in tune with their own evolution.

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