Review Summary: I shed a tear for what Rosetta might have become but is slowly dying in the shadows of mediocrity as an unwanted child with a beautiful mind not even its mother is able to understand let alone appreciate.
Rosetta have always been a hit and miss band. They describe themselves as a band for the astronaut lost in space and while they always have had amazing and epic soundscapes that forecast doom, despair, the end of existence, and generally force you to rethink your entire life, there is a different side to them. They have a very distortion heavy hard core (or call it what you will) trait that sucks more than the black hole the drifting astronaut will end up in. It fascinates me how they're able to completely ruin perfection with utter trash and are willing to do so.
On their last effort things were improving however, especially on compositions like Renew, Release (at least the first half), Je n'en connais pas la fin, and even Blue Day for Croatoa and A Determinism of Morality though to a lesser extent. Nevertheless Renew and Je n'en connais pas la fin were complete philosophies, they were worlds of their own, they had such epic and melancholic melodies I could actually visualise Gabriel blowing his horn and existence coming to an end.
All of that changes with The Anaesthete. The cover "art," "artistic" portrayel of the band name on the cover and the name of the album itself were ominous signs. It was something I'd except from a black metal band who can't stop painting their eyeballs black and scratching their testicles with spikes, but not Rosetta. Gone is the sofisticated surrealism, gone is the Post Rock, perhaps not completely, but mostly, and I'm afraid to even think what comes after.
Ryu is the first track and is great, really superb...I thought FINALLY Rosetta are pushing their Post Rock as far as it can go because it reminds me so much of Renew and Je n'en connais pas la fin. That would gradually change as the album went on.
Fudo is...well...ok, decent, nothing groundbreaking though. Boy did my hearth skip a beat after I realized the first track might just be the odd one out, a genetic yet beautiful mistake. Slowly but evidently the boring junk takes over Post Rock.
This is even more evident in In & Yo which is dull and boring with almost no post rock whatsoever. Rosetta isn't a band I'd imagine listening to while hardly suppressing the urge to skip a track.
Oku starts with probably the worst crap I've heard this year, it adds a bit of Post Rock half way through but nothing epic, nothing memorable and concludes on a dull note. At this point things are looking pretty grim and I wish I would have just repeated the first track forever, never listening to the other eight, it's like when you realize Santa Claus doesn't exist.
Hodoku is different though. It's beautiful, epic, and the ethereal vocals are superb. The piano adds a whole new flavour I wish Rosetta would pursue a bit more, it makes it all sound dramatic. It's another beautiful genetic mistake though, one that exists only to revive an almost bludgeoned to death hope.
Oh how naive I must have been for not expecting Myo to just hit me in the head with more trashy hard core from the very first second of the track. Here I was, waiting in anticipation for Renew 2, and it never happened. All I got was more distortion to drown out my cries.
I was almost afraid to listen to Hara fearing disappointment, however it was ill founded as it's yet again a very surreal and epic composition that makes you feel like you're lost in life, makes you contemplate your very existence. It was unexpected as I grew accustomed to Rosetta disappointing me by then.
And just as I expected the last two tracks are pure crap. There are soundscapes, by all means, but they're not Post Rock at all, they're something you'd expect a gothic band to play with their eyelashes while licking their guitars. They're too pretentious, "black" and "tr00" I shed a tear for what Rosetta might have become but is slowly dying in the shadows of mediocrity as an unwanted child with a beautiful mind not even its mother is able to understand let alone appreciate.
Recommended Tracks: Ryu, Hodoku, Hara
Worth a listen: Fudo
Rating: It's extremely hard to rate Rosetta. How do you rate an album with 3 amazing tracks, 1 decent and 5 terrible ones" If you give it a high rating you're giving too much to those 5 bad ones, yet if you give it a low rating it's a disservice to those 3 great tracks. Just imagine the album consists of only those 4 tracks, the other part is an entirely different hard core band who also did the cover art and band name "art" and it's actually a split EP. Just find an excuse damnit!