Philadelphia based progressive metal/post-rock stalwarts Rosetta have a brand new album for your ears and minds; ‘Quintessential Ephemera’ scheduled for a July 3rd release is available now via Golden Antenna Records. Beginning with the beautifully measured opening track ‘After The Funeral’; ‘Quintessential Ephemera’ builds into the first of seven untitled tracks, moving through stunning temporal soundscapes and culminating with outstanding final track; ‘Nothing In The Guise Of Something’.
‘Quintessential Ephemera’ ultimately feels like an album of two movements, which might be why there are only two song titles. The floating ‘Untitled IV’ serves as a halfway point, effectively easing the experience into two distinct sections; both beginning softly, exploding suddenly and morphing through a progression of crescendos to climax. The album title might allude to the transition between these two halves but I think it’s much more than that; Quintessential Ephemera is far more rewarding than the title might suggest. Lead guitarist Matt Wood talks about the concept.
“The album has a very definite core concept – dealing with the way we live disembodied through technology, hyper-focused on pointless minutiae while the world is sinking around us” (1)
It is for this statement alone that ‘Quintessential Ephemera’ is best absorbed in its entirety; the album flows expertly to embody a single, significant, work of art. The elaborate nuance with which Rosetta have detailed their songs forms a greater whole, that is inherently gratifying to the listener. Rosetta have carefully constructed an album that commands you to pay attention and coerces you to consider something deeper than your day to day excuses.
While the musicianship is very good overall, it’s the vocals that make this album stand out from a lot of other good post-rock records; providing not only some memorable hooks but some full scale release in the heavier parts. Throughout the album Rosetta present a few different styles of vocal; bellowing metal, heartfelt indie and even what sounds to me like some pop-rock influenced moments. While they are more convincing in the heavier parts than in their softer more melodic moments, the different styles work well together, keeping songs interesting and changes un-expected.
The vocal delivery is so important because it enables us to hear the passion, intention and human emotion in every song. I’m convinced that Rosetta mean what they are saying, I’m totally convinced that they have toiled long and hard over their ideas and the best way to present them. Listening to this album leaves you with no doubt that Rosetta are the real deal.
For me, ‘Quintessential Ephemera’ emphasises the moments between aggression and peace; skilfully manipulating the listener to realise the full potential of each section. Classic progressions paired with some inventive movements, with just enough experimentation and heart to stand out from the crowd. Rosetta remain close enough to their genre to ensure everyone who liked them before will love them now, but with ‘Quintessential Ephemera’ they have strayed just far enough out of their comfort zones to create something truly great.
(9/10 Kane Power)