Review Summary: In the category of one.
Now that The Dillinger Escape Plan has taken their final bow, there is an amorphous hole left in the heavy scene waiting to be filled. Because they were such a sporadic sounding band- one moment seamlessly crossing into new territories and colliding opposing genres together in a moment’s notice later- the problem with their uniqueness is that, essentially, they had no ‘torch’ to pass on to a successor. The ones who are going to fill the Dillinger-shaped hole in the scene are the ones that don’t sound like them because the hole left in their wake is reserved for a band who are equally inventive: a band that does not depend on a formulaic approach to making their music, one who does not confine themselves to the limitations of the genres they originated from.
Enter: Rolo Tomassi.
Here is a band that has defied categorisation and expectations for just over 12 years and their new album, “Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It”
, continues to shatter, heal, confuse and dazzle their diverse audience. Given its title, “Time Will Die…”
is a logical successor to the band’s previous album, “Grievances”
, which delved deep into the crevasses of darkened souls and painted a picture of darkness, turmoil and regret. The contemplation in the band's latest album's title is apt in defining the way in which Rolo Tomassi portrays relief, acceptance and strength in the wake and success of “Grievances”
while continuing to fuse together graceful elegance and unrestrained mayhem more seamlessly than ever.
“Time Will Die…”
is an incredibly kinetic album. On stage and on record, Rolo Tomassi has never associated themselves with the term ‘still’. Sudden bursts of energy erupt from quiet, pensive moments during the album- particularly during “Rituals”, “A Flood of Light” and the melancholic repetition of “The Hollow Hour”-where alarming guitars, shooting keys and shivering drums contort around Eva Spence’s blistering vocals, making these songs sound like a frozen gale-force wind pulverising your face or allowing a monstrous tidal wave to come crashing down on you. However, it’s the little intricacies like how each track subtly leads on to the next, or how they build their climaxes with something as simple as adding another chord progression into the mix, or how on “Alma Mater” they maximise the table-flipping breakdown not by slamming on the brakes and then exploding into action, but by filling the transition with a simple drum fill that keeps the music in constant motion.
Across the album, Rolo Tomassi illustrates this emotional mannerism about them where they can sound so bracing, so cleansing and yet so destructive at the same time. Over the years they have learned to bind opposing extremities with more cohesion in comparison to their earlier efforts which jaggedly leapt from genre to genre, lacking the finesse their latest album expertly flaunts. What is immediately noticeable about “Time Will Die…”
in comparison to its predecessors is how crystalline the album sounds. “Towards Dawn” establishes an ambient, droning dynamic at the start of the album where shimmering guitars glide across oceans of minimalistic synthesizer into “Aftermath” where Eva’s comforting vocals combine with these twinkling melodies to create a wall of pearly white noise. These melodious moments crop up frequently across the rest of the album, spearheaded largely by the Spence sibling’s keys and vocals, however, the transitions into their furious math rock never appear forced or awkward; each transition is established naturally and given the necessary time to do so, hence why three songs on “Time Will Die…”
are in excess of 7 minutes- an uncommon feat most bands drawing heavy influence from hardcore and math rock.
With this kind of talent and diversity on display, Rolo Tomassi is well on their way to legendary status. Let’s not forget that Converge were around for 11 years before “Jane Doe”
. “Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It”
is an immersive, wildly innovative journey which expertly sews opposing sounds and contrasting expressions together like no other band has done in many years and will hopefully propel them to the lofty success they have earned. Only time will tell.