Metal for astronauts
12 years ago a couple of high school friends decided to play a gig together. They didn’t have any songs recorded before, the show was all about improvisation. But the crowd loved the performance nevertheless and so an idea was born, idea that gave birth to one of the best post-metal bands, a band that expanded boundaries of the genre and gave post-metal a breath of fresh air. That band was (and still is) Rosetta.
Shortly after that first improvisation show the band decided to record some actual songs and so their first demo was born. It piqued the interest of Translation Lost records which eventually gave the band contract for recording a full-length album. And they didn’t disappoint, because The Galilean Satellites was one of the best post-metal albums to date and its release was only a year after the acclaimed Salvation from Swedish masters, Cult of Luna, and these two albums showed the world that post-metal has so much more to give to the world. The album itself was imagined as a two-disc record; on the first disc is the classic post-metal magnificence while the second disc is filled with atmospheric ambient noise, the two discs have the same length because they are meant to be played together, synchronized, and only that you realize how ethereal this album really is, the perfect combination of guitar sound and sample noise that wake up that ancient need to find out what is out there among the stars, the vocals that make the hair of the back of your neck stand up, and the overall feeling of emptiness in the blackness of space is a magnificent achievement for the band that just recorded their first album. If you feel the urge to listen to this record, do that with the disks synchronized because then and only then will you hear the album in its full splendor.
After the fantastic Galilean Satellites sophomore Wake/Lift came, an album that was more on the atmospheric side of the post-metal genre, with less grandeur and more variations inside and between the songs. The three part behemoth Lift has all of the ingredients needed for a perfect atmo-post metal journey, the opening track, Red in Tooth and Claw, is like a hit in the head on the first listen, and the surreal feeling that wakes up during the Wake make this album an masterpiece that every post-metal fan should check out.
The band was growing its fan base, they started to tour all over the world and to bring their music to the masses, although still staying in the underground scene. And when their third effort A Determinism of Morality came out the band has already established themselves as one of the finest acts in the post-metal scene. The album was great for itself but was lacking that grandeur of the first two records, and the adding of clean vocals made their music more atmospheric, ‘’easier’’ to listen to than the first two. Yes it was an excellent piece of music, yes it was evident that the band was evolving and lifting their sound to something that truly was art, but it was evident that the quality that existed on the first two was just too high to be topped by the third effort. It’s nevertheless one of the best post-metal records thru date and should be listened more than once.
After the release of the Determinism of Morality, the band decided to part ways with their record label and to self-release the next album.
The Anaesthete was independent album funded via the Bandcamp and its pay what you want system. It was much more sludgy that the previous ones, the most direct and in your face record of Rosetta. The guitars were heavy, the samples were less prominent, and the clean vocals were used much more than before. The album itself wasn’t bad, far from it, but when placed in the context of their previous albums, it was their weakest effort to date, and unlike the others, was easily forgettable which wasn’t the case with any of their previous stuff.
After the Anaesthete, the band saw the release of a documentary about their efforts to make music without ties to a record labels. Rosetta: Audio-Visual is a movie about the band, about the people that make the band, and about their fight to make music wide available, unrestricted with copyright contracts, something that more artists should try to do in today’s world where music is just another way to make loads of money. An original score by the band was accompanied the movie, making the band’s background elements come in the front for the first time. Audio/Visual Original Score is a high-quality ambient piece of music. Without the guitar sound, completely instrumental, and containing only sample noise that was prominent as a background element on their preceding records this piece of music is removing the post-metal tagging that was evident in the band’s music before.
With their latest effort Quintessential Ephemera, Rosetta is back with the incredible mixture of post-metal and atmo-ambient elements, the album feels like a single song that is almost an hour long. It’s a great accomplishment that will only strengthen their reputation of being one of the best post-metal acts till date.
Rosetta had its ups and downs, but this is the band that don’t have not a single one bad album, they’re evolving on every single one of their records, and while there is a small chance that they will top their first two phenomenal albums, this band deserves your attention for being one of the most original, unique and extraordinary bands in today’s metal scene. Give them a chance, you will not regret it.