Review Summary: It doesn't bring much new to the table, but the split still remains a more than worthy listen.
A split is almost never considered a game changer: while they can be fun, and can give people a little extra taste of the artists involved that they would never have gotten from their full-lengths alone, there honestly aren't many splits that define an artist or a genre. You can never expect too much with one, seeing as how they are more often than not made with b-sides: in other words, songs that the artists did not consider good enough to put on their full lengths. Sadly, but not surprisingly, this split between well-know post-metal act Rosetta and underground sludge-ish band Restorations does not break this pattern of unexceptional splits. It's not even Rosetta's best split: 2007's Project Mercury
with hardcore band Balboa was one of those rare splits that transcended the deep, dark realms of filler and managed to be an intergral part of both band's discography. But this, however, does not mean that this 2-song split bad by any means.
Rosetta's side of the record is a song called So Warm A Solitude
, and was recorded during the Wake/Lift sessions. The time in which it was written really does show in its sound, as this 12-minute post-metal epic would have easily fit in with the songs from Rosetta's 2nd studio album. It isn't the heaviest thing that the band's ever written by far, and relies more on various reverb-heavy clean passages such as those found on (Temet Nosce), an instrumental from Wake/Lift. That's not to say that it doesn't have its skull-crushing moments: Armine's vocals are still as intense as ever, if not pushed back in the mix (another characteristic of Wake/Lift), and the last half-minute of the track is pretty damn heavy. The song is not exceptional by this exceptional band's standards, but remains a worthy listen, and a must-have if you're a die-hard fan of the band.
The second track on the album is called F#
, and is by Rosetta's fellow Philly natives Restorations. The track length is a whopping 9-and-a-half minutes (not as much as the Rosetta track, but still pretty damn long), but, like has been seen many times before, a good part of the song (the last 5 minutes) is all ambient noise. It's not bad by any means, but when considering how good the actual song was, it's disappointing that Restorations couldn't extend the track a bit, and makes it feel like the latter half was added just for the sake of some extra length. For the track itself really is a good listen. It's heavy and sludgy, but all the vocals are clean, if not a bit rough and raw (this is by no means a bad thing). It follows a basic structure and riff throughout, and has an extremely positive, almost happy vibe: you could dance to this track. The guitars are big and not overproduced, with the perfect amount of raw distortion added. The whole thing is, dare I say it, really damn catchy. It will
get stuck in your head for a good few hours after you give it a listen.
So I stand by what I said earlier: this split is not a game changer by any means, and has a long way to go before it could be considered exceptional. That being said, it really is a worthy listen especially if you're a die-hard Rosetta fan who needs a Rosetta fix, even if it isn't their best. Also, if you're just someone looking for some new music, or a new band to follow, Restoration's side of the split showcases this little band's talent and potential, and makes them some dudes to look out for in the future. So give it a listen: it can't hurt.