Rosetta - _A Determinism of Morality_
(Translation Loss Records, 2010)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (6.5 out of 10)
Rosetta seems to have a problem with the term "post-metal", which is usually associated with the likes of Neurosis, Isis and Cult of Luna. Since I happen to revel in their brilliance, I don't care much about calling them post-metal bands or whatever Wikipedia calls them, but apparently Rosetta cares. In a blog post on their MySpace page, Rosetta revolted against the "post-metal" moniker and gave us a few hints as to how their new album will sound like. These hints include raising the tempo from 105 to 150 bpm; something that "Blue Day for Croatoa" hardly achieves. Now if you're unfamiliar with Rosetta's work then you definitely need to do your homework. I'm not a listener who believes that absolute values should be used in criticizing music, but those guys were included in the "Top 50 most influential artists of the decade" on The Silent Ballet, and seeing how un-metallic this website is, that has to be something of some value.

Anyway, studio album number three goes by the name _A Determinism of Morality_, and as opposed to what one might expect from the aforementioned blog post, it doesn't deter much from previous efforts in any surprising way. The vocals sound almost the same as they did on 2007's _Wake / Lift_. The drumming is expansive and versatile and the bass guitar aptly supports it, creating a very solid rhythm section. One very good example of that is opening piece "Ayil" which fires off with a very memorable riff and just keeps evolving as long as it runs. Another engrossing listen is "Je N'en Connais Pas la Fin" (French for "I don't know the end of this"). The bass acts for the most part as the sturdy support, while the drums are on an adventure that sounds like something you really wouldn't know the end of, but the dazzling moments don't happen again on the album until it's too late.

The most mature track for me has to be the ending piece "A Determinism of Morality", for it is the track that flows with most grace by comparison to its six peers. Now if you're a little attentive to this album, you'll realize another three part composition: "Release", "Revolve" and "Renew" -- but unfortunately they're not biting at the heels of the three parts of "Lift" from the previous effort. They tend to blend into each other and form a dragging piece with pale aesthetics. The clean vocals introduced on "Release" were a bit of a surprise that reminds us that post-hardcore is an obvious influence for Rosetta. How they're going to retaliate in a blog post to my use of such a term is of course a different issue.

_A Determinism of Morality_ sees Rosetta pressing on the accelerator pedal while still maintaining their original sound. Yet somewhere amidst that speed, something feels missing. It could be the fact that the entire album -- which spans 47 minutes -- was written in an hour, or it could be the five hours it was recorded in. Of course no one can judge a band like Tool when they take up to five years to put out a new album, while seeing on the other side of the ocean a band like Rosetta take the microwave approach to their album, because that's just how life goes. Different people operate differently, but inasmuch as I know about music production, finishing up an album by a group that once gave us _The Galilean Satellites_ must take longer than that.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/rosetta

(article published 7/28/2010)


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