Rosetta
A Determinism of Morality


3.5
great

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
May 24th, 2010 | 56 replies | 11,233 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With A Determinism of Morality, Rosetta come closer than they ever have to being the band that they've always claimed to be

With A Determinism of Morality, Rosetta come closer than they ever have to being the band that they've always claimed to be. Indeed, throwing off the “post-metal” tag is a hobby that this Pennsylvania quartet have specialized in since their inception in 2003, choosing to remain rather undefined, genre-wise – just go ahead and picture them being somewhere on a post-hardcore, avant-garde, post-rock satellite of sorts orbiting Neurosis to clear things up, I guess. Ironic that the band are often accredited for being one of post-metal’s leaders, though, isn’t it? They may put every effort into angering the true fans of the genre by adding self-indulgent inclusions into their take on the picture-perfect framework of their influences, but many can’t deny that the band are strikingly close to a Cult of Luna with a more immediate delivery and extended array of shoegaze aesthetics, or even The Ocean circa-Precambian condensed into an hour, now can they? I guess you could call it layman’s post-metal - I can understand why the sceptics might – but God it’s good stuff!

Rosetta dive head-first into their un-namable “metal for astronauts,” run-away-from-post-metal passion by shortening song lengths and by further bridging the gap between the loud and soft dynamics that presided over 2005’s The Galilean Satellites and 2007’s follow-up, Wake/Lift. When it comes down to it, A Determinism of Morality is the band’s easiest album to take in for listeners: the learning curve is seemingly miniscule, making for an experience that's relatively more accessible compared to the band's past works; J Matthew Weed’s guitar work is not working in and of itself anymore – meaning, it flows within the songs with finesse, syncing to and fro with the ambient sections, and is not just acting as the expected climax to a build-up or an explosion after a tame section of the music - and more attention is now placed on melody throughout the album that approaches the realm of the conventional. Make no mistake, though – this is still a Rosetta album, surely. Michael Armine is in top form as always. His tortured, anguished howls are unmistakable here, and where he first beat an astronaut’s journey and regret in space with dual-disc The Galilean Satellites into the contracting faces of listeners, and then urgently relayed the dangers of poor parenting for children in Wake/Lift, he now enters the ongoing debate of “nature vs. nurture” on A Determinism of Morality in classic form, giving the fans everything that they loved about his delivery in the first place.

Yet I’m almost positive that you will be initially disappointed with A Determinism of Morality, especially if you are a fan of Rosetta’s past work. You see, one of the joys of The Galilean Satellites, much less Wake/Lift, was that well-earned reward via the boom: the distinct and obvious polarization of the quiet and loud sections of the album that rewarded the listener greatly on each end of the spectrum. Here it’s a bit more controlled and, as stated, seamless. The center of audio gravity seems to be defined and placed more in the middle, pulling the louder and quieter sections closer to the mean where extreme instances in each are rather rare occurrences. This works in the long run, though, as A Determinsim of Morality has a much smoother flow and rate of consistency overall. However, that jaw-dropping, distorted-power-pounding of past releases is definitely missed, and it’s not likely that Rosetta will overwhelmingly floor you once again. Fortunately, though, the band members themselves refuse to give up anything with the new change in direction: in addition to the afforementioned work of Armine and Weed, David Grossman’s bass is now much more prevalent throughout, and drummer Bruce Lurtrie Jr. is an ingredient to the controversial genetic cake that is vital to the overall success of A Determinism of Morality.

Rosetta’s changes work in the long run on A Determinism of Morality, if making for an initially underwhelming album. This is still the Jeff Buckley and Stars of the Lid-loving band that first destroyed our senses with The Galilean Satellites in 2005, and this is still “metal for astronauts,” so to speak; it’s just that the band are finding their own, wholly unique sound now, finally succeeding in further distancing themselves from that dreaded genre tag. I guess I will wait to say whether I think the changes will pay off well in the long run for Rosetta, though. Just turn up that distortion peddle a little higher next time around, please, and we’ll get along just fine, thank you.



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user ratings (656)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Apollo (5)
Moving past the 'post-metal' moniker, Rosetta craft an album full of brooding intensity and superb m...

Fosster3567 (4.5)
...

Andrew H. EMERITUS (4.5)
Rosetta combine their spacey metal aesthetic with punch-in-the-face hardcore dynamics....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
May 24th 2010



5784 Comments


Just a different opinion

now out in many countries

Romulus
May 24th 2010



8411 Comments


Awesome review. This is on my to-listen list but no idea when I'll get around to it. I like your new italicized-heavy style too.

Photon
May 24th 2010



1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good Review but obviously i disagree..this is as good as TGS and better than wake/lift ..Je N'en Connais Pas la Fin is one of the best songs they have ever done

Ponton
Emeritus
May 24th 2010



5784 Comments


Thanks rom, btw I saw that you have that 5 review out, and I will head over to it soon. This is definitely worth checking out, though I prefer their past stuff personally.


Thanks photon, and I can see where you're coming from.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2010



8318 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Sexy review. I am yet to check this out but I most certainly will. This one sounds pretty terrific.

Klekticist
May 24th 2010



1258 Comments


phenomenal review. pos'd for sure.
been meaning to check this out forever.

Digging: Nils Frahm - Wintermusik

Ponton
Emeritus
May 24th 2010



5784 Comments


Cheers guys

Btw, I think contributors are factored into the best new music equation thing. Before I rated, this wasn't in the section.

Photon
May 24th 2010



1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

always wondered how the best new music thing worked ..good to know

Ponton
Emeritus
May 24th 2010



5784 Comments


yeah, i had originally thought it was only a staff thing

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2010



8318 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Btw, I think contributors are factored into the best new music equation thing. Before I rated, this wasn't in the section.
Well that is cool to know, even though my tastes don't usually mesh with most of staff's

JAV
May 24th 2010



1921 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I still haven't really been able to get into this. There's good stuff on it for sure but it's just not as interesting as their previous work so far.

Ponton
Emeritus
May 24th 2010



5784 Comments


Thanks Mj, though its not so much a matter of the album they want to make but the band they've always said that they were. Critics like to tag them as post metal, but this album is them trying to move farther and farther away from that. They've always hated that genre tag. Any sugestions how I could improve that sentence though, while keeping what I'm getting at?

Inveigh
May 24th 2010



24793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think it's pretty ok how it is, but maybe something like:

"With A Determinism of Morality, Rosetta come closer than they ever have to being the band they always claimed to be."

or something like that.. make the sentence more active, less passive.

Ponton
Emeritus
May 24th 2010



5784 Comments


Thanks Inviegh, that works a lot better

Inveigh
May 24th 2010



24793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh, and really good review too (I always enjoy reading your stuff), I forgot to pos.

Ponton
Emeritus
May 24th 2010



5784 Comments


I always appreciate the crit or suggestions, I really like your stuff as well Inveigh

AggravatedYeti
May 24th 2010



7684 Comments


Dear Jared;
please stop writing really good reviews, I'm spending far too much time reading them.
thanks in advance.
yours,
Yeti.


....lol NOPE

YouAreMySilence
May 24th 2010



3727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

solid review but yeah I disagree.

Powerban
May 24th 2010



2380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

finally in best new music. took its time.

Inveigh
May 24th 2010



24793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Observer: thanks man!

Powerban: yeah it did, considering this is maybe album of the year (at least so far)



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