Rosetta
The Galilean Satellites


4.5
superb

Review

by FourSquare20 USER (11 Reviews)
December 30th, 2010 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A celestial journey of an album full of unrelenting heaviness and sheer beauty.

Space. The very mention of the word brings to mind images of a place enshrouded in mysterious and terrifying beauty. Many bands have tried to capture the essence of this area in their recordings, allowing lilting, peaceful recordings to represent their idea of space travel. However, what they fail to see are the aspects of loneliness and danger that can be found in the outer reaches of our universe. Rosetta incorporates all of these feelings into their music on their debut two disc album The Galilean Satellites. Telling the story of a man who, to escape his earthly troubles, decides to travel to the icy landscape of Europa, Rosetta has put together a superb concept album that launches you into space right alongside the character they present.

Opener "Departe" is a stunning post metal epic, encapsulating perfectly the feeling of ascending to the upper reaches of the earth's atmosphere and then finally breaking free into the chasm of space. Guitarist Matt Weed's use of gauzy, processed tones results in a floating sound not dissimilar from, say, Slowdive's "Souvlaki Space Station". This comparison quickly ends when Weed steps on his distortion pedal. Vocalist Mike Armine enters with an anguished yell that, along with some nimble drumwork, accelerates the track into heavier territory. From here Rosetta carry on in typical post metal fashion, building up to huge climaxes that dwindle into slower, more atmospheric sections. Dynamically, Rosetta resembles many post metal bands. However, the ways in which they create their dynamics are quite different. Rosetta is, for the most part, much airier than contemporaries such as Isis or Cult Of Luna. Their sound is rooted in ambient washes of guitar rather than sludgy slabs of heavy riffing. This can be seen in the serene "Itinerant", a song that, even in its harshest moments, doesn't feel heavy. While there are indeed moments of brooding heaviness, such as the swirling crescendoes of "Europa" or the speedy riffing on "Absent", Rosetta seems much more atmospherically inclined than their peers.

In fact, Rosetta's atmospheric proclivity is made quite obvious by their inclusion of a second disc comprised entirely of ambient tracks. While each disc can be listened to as a standalone album, the real trick is to play these discs simultaneously. The tracks sync up perfectly, forming an entirely new listening experience. This is the true format in which The Galilean Satellites was meant to be listened to, as the celestial feeling put forth by Rosetta on disc 1 is greatly increased by the inclusion of the multiple layers of reverberating ambience found on disc 2.

However, by heading into this heavily atmospheric territory, Rosetta do at times stray into some self-indulgence. This results in segments here and there that seem to drag a bit, especially when the second disc is played by its self. These little bits and pieces don't drag down the overall experience of The Galilean Satellites, but merely show that Rosetta has room to improve. By learning when and where to reign in their atmospheric leanings, Rosetta could possibly produce an album that surpasses the greatness found on their debut.

Not to be forgotten is the overarching concept that ties The Galilean Satellites together. Vocalist Mike Armine's tale of a lone spaceman seeking solace in the realm of outer space is poetically tragic, a captivating bit of storytelling that enriches the entire Galilean Satellites experience. The recurring themes of isolation and regret as well as the imagery of Europa's frozen surface gives each track a sense of place within the story line of The Galilean Satellites, making for a record that plays like a voyage into the vast reaches of the galaxy and into the psyche of the doomed spaceman.

All in all, The Galilean Satellites is an essential post metal release. Rosetta's spaced out concept album is one that should be noted for both its bold ambition and its high quality, especially when the fact that it's a debut is taken into consideration. The maturity shown on The Galilean Satellites is indicative of good things to come, and one can only ponder as to how Rosetta plans to top this achievement. Recommended listening? Oh, yes. Yes indeed.



Recent reviews by this author
CSTVT The Echo and the LightStars of the Lid The Ballasted Orchestra
Tim Hecker An Imaginary CountryMono Hymn To The Immortal Wind
Damiera M(US)ICMeursault All Creatures Will Make Merry
user ratings (557)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
Nathaniel (4.5)
In the shadows of post metal giants, Rosetta exemplifies all that the genre is and should be. This i...


Comments:Add a Comment 
ButcheredChildren
December 30th 2010


5591 Comments


such a good album

FourSquare20
December 30th 2010


320 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I know. My favorite Rosetta album for sure.

wyankeif1337
December 30th 2010


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fuck yes this album

but ADOM is still better. good review.

LG
December 30th 2010


3049 Comments


I still need to hear this.

North0House
December 30th 2010


1764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I prefer Wake/Lift, but this one is still incredible.
Absent is one of the coolest instrumental songs ever.

eternium
December 30th 2010


16338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Rosetta sort of loses it a little with each release.

North0House
December 30th 2010


1764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You think so? I think they're getting a little better... Maybe it's just me.

Maniac!
December 30th 2010


26250 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

awesome review. pos.

FourSquare20
December 30th 2010


320 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks bro. And eternium, I agree. I don't think they'll surpass TGS.

Rev
December 31st 2010


9423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album rules, band rules, 'nuff said


have a pos

Yazz_Flute
December 31st 2010


18783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That riff in Absent is so crushing (you know the one).

Digging: Battles - Mirrored

wyankeif1337
December 31st 2010


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

that one riff

kangaroopoo
December 31st 2010


3175 Comments


great review, like TGS best, the atmosphere is immense.

love those screams that appear mid-way through Sol on disc 2.

Yazz_Flute
December 31st 2010


18783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The whole album but that riff especially.

Boyaawitcheese
January 1st 2011


227 Comments


Wake/Lift is my personal favorite of theirs. Red In Tooth And Claw is one of my favorite songs of all time.

FourSquare20
January 1st 2011


320 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love Wake/Lift, I just think this album is a bit better. Plus I like the production on this album more.

Pyosisified
January 1st 2011


2450 Comments


this is def better than Wake/Lift

wyankeif1337
January 1st 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this has Au Pays Natal, Wake/Lift has Red In Tooth and Claw, ADOM has the title track... it's hard.

FourSquare20
January 1st 2011


320 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Au Pays Natal is immense. One of the best closers I've ever heard.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy