Rosetta
Flies to Flame


3.5
great

Review

by SgtShock USER (8 Reviews)
October 22nd, 2014 | 23 replies


Release Date: 10/14/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Despite its hollow center, Flies To Flame has enough substance to keep fans tided over until their next release, and simultaneously serves as a tribute to the band’s past.

Before last year, self-proclaimed “Astronaut-Metal” act from Philadelphia had floated along on a rather steady course of progress through the years, as if their evolution in sound was dictated by Newton’s first law in the very environment they seek to emulate. That all changed when they dropped The Anaesthete just last fall. The album’s foray into unfamiliar territory was met with mixed reception from fans. Condensed track lengths and a few curveball additions, like the piano track and the artwork, intrigued some but left others longing for something more akin to their previous works.

Enter Flies to Flame. To call it a return to form would be misleading, as it was written and recorded around the same time as The Anaesthete, but released afterwards. Instead, it serves as both a missing link and a throwback to the band’s past.

The album pushes off with Soot, a brooding track that slowly intensifies over layers of guitar and the genre’s oh-so-quintessential tom groove. Distant shouts and radio chatter phase in and out, until finally erupting into Rosetta’s characteristic wall of sound. Mike Armine’s fierce vocals add primal texture to sparkling guitar tones, soaring over the drummer’s relentless 4-against-3 polyrhythm. This is Rosetta firing on all cylinders; conjuring forth both beauty and fury all at once in one colossal slab of noise. This intensity is not seen again until the EP’s final track, Pegasus, which blasts off like the rocket of its namesake, leaving the listener pinned to their seats by its sudden force. Easily the strongest track on the record, it is the ultimate manifestation of Rosetta’s transition between their last two albums, and is certain to appeal to fans of both.

Unfortunately, these two tracks are bookends to an otherwise unremarkable, ambient center of the album. Seven Years with Nothing to Show could easily have been on their sophomore effort, Wake/Lift. It’s name is likely no coincidence, with it being written roughly seven years after the band’s inception in 2005. Peaceful guitar parts echo and splash over a wall of metallic sheen that almost seems to breathe as the song progresses. While rather uniform throughout, it carries just a hint of dissonance and tension that contrasts with an otherwise placid tone. This level of subtlety would be more greatly appreciated on an LP, something of more considerable length, where it could be expanded upon or even used as a motif. The next track, Les Mots Et Les Choses, climbs slowly upwards, with more and more layers of sound being added. It eventually swallows the radio chatter playing throughout, before eventually receding in a tidal fashion, exposing it once more. This gradual song structure brings forth imagery of some massive object slowly passing by, like a ship or even some astral body. The experience is pleasant, but this track and the drone-esque one before it take up a considerable amount of the album’s time. We know Rosetta understands that ambiance takes time to establish, but they have devoted nearly half of Flies to Flame’s 31 minute runtime to it. As a result, they have unintentionally created an experience that is as uneven in quality as it is in style. Even one more non-ambient track would have been enough to make the album feel more balanced.

It is worth mentioning that 2014 has been a fruitful year for atmospheric metal of all kinds. Relatively new contenders like Locktender, The Great Old Ones, and Saor are gaining recognition, just in time to join with old staples, like Jakob and Agalloch, who have made their long-awaited returns. While it is unclear how long it will be until Rosetta’s orbit brings them back around with another album, fans can likely expect a continuation of the change in style we saw on last year’s The Anaesthete. Despite its hollow center, Flies To Flame has enough substance to keep fans tided over until their next release, and simultaneously serves as a tribute to the band’s past.

In summation, I give Flies To Flame 3.5 French Sociologists out of 5.



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user ratings (96)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ComeToDaddy
October 21st 2014


1779 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ohhhh boy that's 2 reviews in a row I've had half-written before someone else posted one haha. Really great job here though, the ending feels a little rushed but the meat of the review is on point. Pos'd



Might want to mention that this release only exists in this form because their agreement with Translation Loss records required one more EP before they were free agents. It was basically just contractual obligation that birthed it

ComeToDaddy
October 21st 2014


1779 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I just wish this ep had more Pegasus. What a track

SgtShock
October 21st 2014


796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha, now I feel bad. I was surprised no one had released a review by the time I got around to making mine. You should just throw yours up as well. I'm really interested to hear more about what fans think of this album. I had heard the Translation Loss obligation thing somewhere (maybe it was you on here), but I wasn't sure enough to throw it in there. It makes sense though, considering how DIY they are.

ComeToDaddy
October 21st 2014


1779 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Don't feel bad, half of my points are identical to yours anyway (; my review would just be filling space, but there's plenty of 2014 albums worth reviewing so it doesn't matter haha.



The only point of difference is I didn't look as highly on Soot as you did. It felt sort of clunky with it's build, like they just flick on a switch when they want to go aggressive instead of building effectively. The individual pieces are great, but don't fit together well imo

Sniff
October 22nd 2014


5262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Get those ratings outta my face

Artuma
October 22nd 2014


30040 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review and album. nothing groundbreaking for the band but still really enjoyable

Digging: Convulsing - Grievous

Artuma
October 22nd 2014


30040 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"no offense but you suck so bad that i want to punch you"

Artuma
October 22nd 2014


30040 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

come at me

Artuma
October 22nd 2014


30040 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice one, band rules so hard it's hard to get done listening to them

Artuma
October 22nd 2014


30040 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

WHEN YOU MEEEEEEEEESS WITH US

Archelirion
October 22nd 2014


5639 Comments


How on Earth did I miss this being released?! I didn't mind the Anaesthete, but general consensus seems to be that it's better so I look forward to this.

Great review by the way, though I hope I can disagree with some elements!

Sniff
October 22nd 2014


5262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

You can. The middle part is awesome as hell!!!

SgtShock
October 22nd 2014


796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm curious to find where they got the radio chatter used in the songs. Based on the title of track 3, they may be taken from Michael Foucault's lectures. He has some awesome sociogical concepts, including using the idea of a panopticon (that's a buzzword in post-metal if I've ever heard one) to examine discipline and restrictions imposed by societies. Considering Mike Armine is a Sociology teacher, this could be what it's from. However, I'll have to check if there are any English recordings of Foucault's lectures he could have used, or even if he sounds remotely like that.

RogueNine
October 24th 2014


3784 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice to see that this is out. I'll listen to it soon.

tacos n stuff
October 25th 2014


3137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

this was definitely a grower for me

first listens were a 3-3.5

Shuyin
November 15th 2014


13407 Comments


seven years is a jam and half

tacos n stuff
December 5th 2014


3137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

If Pegasus isnt SOTY i dont know what is

Sniff
December 5th 2014


5262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

What we loved

tacos n stuff
December 5th 2014


3137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

OOooo thats a good choice sniff

Now i wanna listen to Zion again

ComeToDaddy
December 5th 2014


1779 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pegasus is definitely top 5 material



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