Rosetta
The Anaesthete


2.5
average

Review

by Ryan Kroner USER (29 Reviews)
August 23rd, 2013 | 64 replies | 11,193 views


Release Date: 08/08/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A passionless and monotonously-structured affair, The Anaesthete is a largely feeble imitation of past successes.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Rosetta's fourth full-length is a clear mark of the dreaded musical holding pattern: a disease that affects exceptionally talented bands just as much as it does subpar groups. It adheres to the same formula that their previous two albums, A Determinism of Morality especially, perfected: a mix of devastating sludge sections and delay-laden post-rock noodling, with vocalist Mike Armine's impeccably passionate shouts occupying a space somewhere between the background and the foreground of the music. This is all accentuated by an absolutely stellar performance from drummer Bruce McMurtrie Jr - in fact, his incredibly dynamic work behind the kit is one of The Anaesthete's greatest strengths. Really, everything seems like it should work like it has in the past, so why is the music on The Anaesthete so uncharacteristically forgettable?

We need to look no farther than the album's opening track, 'Ryu/Tradition', for an answer. Beginning with those aforementioned delayed-to-hell cleans, it gradually builds into a massive climax that would easily stand alongside anything from their previous albums if it weren't for what follows. The funny thing is that this subsequent passage is not some kind of musical abomination, rather, it is a repeat of the exact same structure in the same song, with the first climax giving way to a clean section and this second clean section building into another maelstrom of power chords and hoarse shouts. On its own it might be a perfectly acceptable Rosetta track, but when one considers that nearly every single one of the album's other eight tracks follow the same formula - take a four note progression or two and stretch them out over increasingly predictable peaks and valleys - the album as a whole fails in a way that a track taken on its own does not. Rosetta occasionally ventures into hitherto uncharted territory - such as the skull-crushing, hardcore-infused 'Myo/The Miraculous', the earth-shattering instrumental 'Ku/Emptiness', or the gorgeous 'Hodoku/Compassion' (this song marks only their third use of clean vocals) - and it is in these brief moments of deviation that The Anaesthete shines. However, so much of the album is built from an inexcusably bare-bones, watered-down structure, that it reads more as a feeble imitation than a worthy continuation of its predecessors. These brief moments of creativity are buried under the weight of the rest of the album's structural monotony.

A strict adherence to formula is one thing: however, the most glaring weakness of The Anaesthete lies not in its mechanics, but in its lack of the emotional staying power that earned their previous work much praise. Wake/Lift's 'Red in Tooth and Claw' was such a memorable track not because of its structure - Rosetta did not deviate significantly from the standard post-metal structure until their third album - but because of how much of an emotional chord its progressions struck in a listener. Every peaceful build, thundering climax, distant shout, and pummeling riff in this and songs like it proclaimed the passion that its creators poured into it, and this fervor is inexplicably lacking in The Anaesthete. Here, they don't sound passionate - rather, they sound bored. It's as if it was created out of obligation rather than inspiration; an amalgamation of the strengths of Rosetta's previous work without the beautiful fury and fervor that previously marked them as worthy peers of such legendary acts as Neurosis, Isis, and Cult of Luna. It is abundantly clear here, on this aesthetically appealing but emotionally lacking effort, that Rosetta are tired of this formula. They always have been vehemently against labels like "post-metal", and with their previous couple albums they successfully moved themselves some distance from it by keeping a large amount of their emotional power intact while playing with song structures in unexpected ways. However, with The Anaesthete they seem to have done the opposite. Maybe this was just a bump in the road. Maybe their next effort will be a logical continuation of their sound that this should have been, imbibing genre-defying structures with emotional bombast rather than repetitive progressions with passionless sterility. Given the undeniable brilliance that Rosetta have displayed in the past, one has reason to be optimistic. Until then we're stuck with a passionless imitation of their past successes; an incredibly disappointing album that highlights the weaknesses of their best work and retains few of its strengths.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Ignimbrite
August 23rd 2013



5295 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Originally written for: http://mediasnobs.com/music-review/rosetta-the-anaesthete/

Biggest disappointment of the year. I hate agreeing with Noctus about things like this.


Ignimbrite
August 23rd 2013



5295 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

wut

RogueNine
August 23rd 2013



1146 Comments


Oh, it's that guy again.
Anyway, excellent write-up, Ignim. I suppose I'll pass on this, which I hate to do.

Ignimbrite
August 23rd 2013



5295 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

A lot of people liked this way more than I did, so if you have the time or motivation I'd say it couldn't hurt to give it a shot. Also, glad you liked the review!

Tyrael
August 23rd 2013



20738 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

*mumbles reaction fueled by repressed rage*

kingsoby1
Emeritus
August 23rd 2013



4940 Comments


i dont think im digging this

Myrkur
August 23rd 2013



164 Comments


That's deep

kingsoby1
Emeritus
August 23rd 2013



4940 Comments


okay.

BetaAquilae
August 23rd 2013



248 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is gonna be weird given how i rated this, but i somehow agree with the whole review (very well written btw). I'm going to 3.5 this eventually (and deep inside me, buried somewhere, i know it even deserves a bit less), but i need time. This is my favorite band, for fucks sake.

Gwyn.
August 23rd 2013



14896 Comments


nvr heard anything by this band, but I think I have TGS somewhere down here hmmm

Good review

Digging: Grief - Come to Grief

BetaAquilae
August 23rd 2013



248 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Listen to the combined version. In a lossless format. With comfy, expensive and noise-cancelling headphones. Seriously.

Gwyn.
August 23rd 2013



14896 Comments


Well since I've been in a Doom/Sludge kick as of late I'm inclined to comply!

sadly I don't have it on lossless format nor are my headphones very good tho, I'll just remember that when I get 'em

SgtShock
August 23rd 2013



86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You kept criticizing the "passion" and "emotion" over and over again in this review. I guess that just shows you how subjective music can really be, because I always considered those two aspects of Rosetta's music as phenomenal (this album included)

MeatSalad
August 23rd 2013



14193 Comments


This doesn't really read like a 2.5

Digging: Love - Forever Changes

Gwyn.
August 23rd 2013



14896 Comments


I think it's more like a 2.2

johnnydeking29
August 23rd 2013



8987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Solid review bro, I agree with pretty much all of it

Digging: Naked City - Radio

Wizard
August 23rd 2013



19223 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Album sucks so hard. Love the review dude. I've only ever liked The Galilean Satellites because of "Absent" and that's it.

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

CaptainDooRight
August 23rd 2013



28340 Comments


Nice rev.

Digging: IQ - The Road of Bones

Wizard
August 23rd 2013



19223 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Ignimbrite reviews are boss.

TheNexus100
August 23rd 2013



2499 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

theyve gone downhill with every release



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