SubRosa
For This We Fought the Battle of Ages


3.0
good

Review

by Tristan Jones EMERITUS
August 25th, 2016 | 67 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Glass.

On For This We Fought the Battle of Ages, Salt Lake City group SubRosa envision Greek tragedy with chamber instrumentation, revitalized Gothic elements, ambience, introspection, and, in lengthier portions, neoclassical qualities. This would be impressive in itself if Black Tape for a Blue Girl hadn’t already done this thirty years ago (give or take), but what SubRosa do uniquely is rebrand this style in heavy, anthemic channels of doom, thanks primarily to guitarist Rebecca Vernon. At times she delivers warring riffs at ground zero, and elsewhere her guitar resembles a lightning rod channeling the storm’s impact. Her vocals take on a unique quality of being dependent on the audience: meaning, there’s a recurring sense of disappointment in the singer’s tone weighed by the listener’s actions. It’s a subtle, easily-missed trait, but it’s there. The lyrical themes are more expansive and conceptual. Single “Wound of the Warden”, for example, coveys an authority figure who denies any semblance of free choice, “choice is too precious / to be wasted on vermin.” The whole album seems to reiterate a feeling of majestic disdain.

Perhaps For This We Fought the Battle of Ages reiterates a bit too much. Much of the album’s greater nuances are masked by the unrelenting, sludgy instrumentation. Eventually, you get acclimatized to the otherwise breathtaking atmosphere, and wish it would just dissipate - which is problematic of many hour-long-plus doom outings. Kim Pack and Sarah Pendleton’s electric violins feel a bit under-utilized compared to SubRosa’s last effort, More Constant Than the Gods, and seem more supplementary. Despite decent variety, the album requires regular un-peeling to get at the heart. One could miss how lyre-plucked “Il Cappio”, despite being a tiresome dirge, acts as a prelude to the tumbling “Killing Rapture”. On a greater scale, the album could be associated conceptually with the Zamayatin dystopian novel, We, but those not privy to the band’s inspirational material would never guess this. Still, For This… successfully captures the essence of a narrative, and the songs seem to melt into each other, propelled by the same force. The problem is that this unseen ‘force’ is too tangible. For This We Fought the Battle of Ages doesn’t feel like it surpasses space and time, or bridges a gap between consciousness and dreams. Once it’s over, it’s forgotten fairly easily, save maybe a couple of Vernon’s stronger melodies. It digs its nails into your scalp, but doesn’t truly grab at the psyche.




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user ratings (110)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
August 25th 2016


6686 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

meant for this to be a longer review (suited to the runtime), but have been stuck on it for a couple weeks and whittled it down to this. yeah. curious what others' thoughts end up being tho, and i predict a lot of the user base will love this



stream: https://soundcloud.com/profoundlorerecords/sets/subrosa-for-this-we-fought-the/s-u04Ms

thx to the ppl at Profound Lore for the promo

Atari
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2016


24531 Comments


the closing line of this review is pure gold

Digging: The Tallest Man on Earth - I Love You. It's a Fever Dream.

demigod!
August 25th 2016


49295 Comments


I hope I end up liking this more than you

good review obvs

Asdfp277
August 25th 2016


20033 Comments


i find this band to have great atmosphere but they still bore me sometimes. like their good, but

CrimsonLies
August 25th 2016


2579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Going to jam the album tonight. I really liked Wound of the Warden and Killing Rapture.

oltnabrick
August 25th 2016


36696 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

JohnnyOnTheSpot sucks profound lores dicks for album promos XD





also this is really nice, i like it a lot on first listen.

Digging: Absurd (GER) - Totenlieder

PortalofPerfection
August 25th 2016


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review but just "good" for this is underselling the band's atmospheric prowess by a mile. I don't think it's work to peel back the layers, just need a few attentive listens.



Just imo, again, great review, and I do agree I don't think this will end up topping More Constant for me, unfortunately.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
August 25th 2016


6686 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

atmosphere on this is great but it's just one component



and a few attentive listens for an hour-long album is work IMO and that's fine if the payout justifies it but I don't think it does enough to be called a great album. good, and worthwhile for fans, but I'd feel dishonest scoring it higher



@olt - foh, they sent it to me without asking 😓 (tho you're right i did succ for frozen niagara falls a lil bit, i'll grant)

Asdfp277
August 25th 2016


20033 Comments


i feel like if i listened to this like 5881636 times i wouldn't mind it cuz that way it'd be etched into my brain and i wouldn't find it boring and the atmosphere would be totally worth it then, but idk

PortalofPerfection
August 25th 2016


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"and a few attentive listens for an hour-long album is work IMO"



You and I approach listening to music very differently it seems haha.





JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
August 25th 2016


6686 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

well no not given the context of the remainder of the sentence. spending several hours in attentiveness is almost the prime example of a work day for some people. but, like I continued to say, if the payout is worth it then it's all cool. some of the stuff I've reviewed more positively has required a lot more of me

PortalofPerfection
August 25th 2016


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm just saying I would never associate the word "work" with listening to music.



Even like level grinding for 3 hours in an RPG, I'd say "chore". Work to me is something where you're constrained or restricted by certain rules and boundaries, whereas with music it's just me and my imagination.



I suppose some people's job is to employ their imagination. Lucky ducks.

Asdfp277
August 25th 2016


20033 Comments


work is effort, it's not that deep my fam

PortalofPerfection
August 25th 2016


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Okay. Another word (effort) I would never associate with listening to music. Music is an escape, a distraction, a cause to let everything else fall away. If music ever required effort for me to listen to it, I wouldn't listen to it. It would be the opposite of what I'd want from it.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
August 25th 2016


6686 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah I mean there's plenty of good long albums that don't feel like work to listen to multiple times but I guess my point is that this album felt like more work than play and at the end I'm not as satisfied with the result.



tho tbh this convo is getting a bit stale so let's shift gears I guess and talk about what songs you liked and why?

PortalofPerfection
August 25th 2016


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"this album felt like more work than play"



I wouldn't much care for it either lol.



Wound of the Warden is still stuck in my head the most, probably cause I listened to it a bunch before this came out. But Black Majesty is catching up. Gives me a strong dystopia vibe.



Troubled Cells is kind of a weak closer. Key of the Eidolon was supposed to follow and it shows.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
August 25th 2016


6686 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah apparently it'll be a separate release in some form

Lord(e)Po)))ts
August 26th 2016


42595 Comments


the day i see you review something with a not super neutral rating

Digging: Cvd - Elsewhere Nowhere

Lord(e)Po)))ts
August 26th 2016


42595 Comments


i will cut my nipples off with a laser sword

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
August 26th 2016


6686 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/71197/Sarathy-Korwar-Day-to-Day/



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