Review Summary: Even though it may be nothing new for the post metal titans, they back up their claim with yet another massive and vibrant atmosphere.
The great Aaron Turner of Isis once said that in order to achieve balance within the self, one must embrace both sides of the coin. By this he meant both our masculine and feminine side. This certainly reveals to be true. That is why post metal is such a brilliant genre of music. It maintains a hard hitting atmosphere while at the same time slowing things down a bit for beauty to run its course. When it comes to Rosetta’s 5th outing, they accomplish this goal swimmingly. What’s even more exceptional happens to be how both of these elements blend together at the same time more often than not. While the soaring harsh vocals may be the main attraction of some of the songs, downright moving guitar tones are gracefully being played in the background with cleans surprisingly being showcased too. It’s for these reasons that Quintessential Ephemera
proves to be quite the engaging ride.
The bulk of this listen consists of a long streak of unnamed tracks sandwiched in between two meaningful instrumentals. “Untitled I” kicks off this streak with an emotional bang. The brilliant screams and beautiful guitar melodies juxtapose exceptionally well. The overall musicianship is quite charismatic and the addition of clean singing is a welcome touch as well. Speaking of musicianship, everyone gets a chance to shine here, with stellar bass work in “Untitled VI” and consistently compelling percussion being played throughout. Though not necessarily as mind blowing as they once were, the signature build ups remain quite intact here too. After a frenzy of distortion and hefty screams, the band slows down a bit to let the listener take it all in a bit. However, make no mistake that the heavier sections dominate and are often the centerpieces here. “Untitled II” expertly continues the thread of fantastic expertise, with the riffs and atmosphere delivering an even more engaging experience here. As one could predict, many elements of A Determinism of Morality
carry over to this album, but it’s far from a carbon copy. Thus, it's clear that the band dug themselves into a nice niche with a whole arsenal at their disposal.
Though the heavier sections without a doubt thrill, the significantly more beautiful songs prove to be extremely evocative. Opening track “After the Funeral” exists as a lush display guitar melodies designed for the listener to chill out and await what comes next. Meanwhile “Untitled IV” offers a more poignant experience, with fuzz, piano and gentle guitar work walking along in the background. However, the main lighter highlight happens to be the closing track. “Nothing in the Guise of Something” offers an irresistible mix of tribal drumming, dynamic guitar tones and a breathtaking build up that really brings to mind the sound of post rock. The addition of simple yet effective piano notes in the background also make all of the difference in providing a passionate experience. It’s one hell of a way to close out that captivating record.
Whether it be the sincere emotions or simply vast heavier segments, Quintessential Ephemera
is definitely yet another standout record from the post metal titans. It may not be anything groundbreaking for the band and at times even a tad repetitive, but their talent nonetheless shines through here. It still earns them the right to keep their title as one of the more prominent acts in the genre. Therefore, this would be a stellar place to start for anyone looking to get into Rosetta. Massive and always vibrant in nature, this is yet another record that really reveals how post metal is such a worthy sub-genre of metal that needs to be embraced and discovered more often.