Review Summary: Eclipsed by its successor, yet responsible for its overwhelming success.“Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It”
is Rolo Tomassi’s best album. It is an incredibly emotive and innovative journey, seamlessly coherent, a perfect example of the cathartic effect uniting relentless chaos and graceful tranquillity can yield, and also one of the best hardcore albums the genre has ever birthed. However, as striking and universally acclaimed as it was when the album was initially released, it wasn’t wholly unexpected.
Since the band’s inception, when the band member’s average age added up to the late teens, Rolo Tomassi have been constantly teasing what they were capable of creating. In 2015, “Grievances”
took a bigger step than usual. It is this initial step that would ultimately lead to the creative leap “Time Will Die…”
made in the band’s career. The band’s fourth album introduced the way they could create elaborate hooks, and it had a deliberate focus on maximising atmospheres and shifting moods smoothly rather than erratically, as their earlier albums do. “Grievances”
provided Rolo Tomassi with a number of possibilities they could pick and choose from for in for their next album, each with a solid and sturdy foundation to build upon.
Throughout the album, various interludes are placed within the sequencing, each of which merges one atmosphere into another in order to serve as a bridge between the songs. “Grievances”
largely relies on these interludes to make the album sound like one cohesive sound rather than a collection of songs thrown together. By the end of “The Embers”, the song droops into lonesome piano chords, which “Prelude III (Phantoms)” is entirely comprised of. This, in turn, leads to “Opalescent”, where Rolo Tommasi wisely progresses this tender atmosphere with radiant synth, soft vocals and a tearful riff rather than imploding into a mathcore maelstrom. Only after the next interlude do they explode into action and with the amount of space they have formed, the frantic impact “Stage Knives” immediately produces is maximised fully. The issue here is how crucial these individual interludes are in connecting the songs together, rather than the complete songs developing their own transitions and leading into one another without the need of a sperate interlude. “All That has Gone Before” illustrates the needlessness of interludes to alternate between various moods. This 7-minute closer switches from determination, anxiousness and fury effortlessly. Eventually, the repetitious singing, persistent riffs, trembling drums and dramatic electronics escalate simultaneously to create a captivating conclusion to the album.
is Rolo Tomassi’s darkest album. Delving deeply into the darkest corners of one’s being, the lyrical content paints an image of a soul brimming with regret, helplessness and remorse, grasping at any opportunity for blissful relief. Similarly, this is illustrated through feverish math melodies. “Estranged” bursts forth with stressful rhythms that collide together with trace amounts of finesse, abruptly pausing for temporary peace via tender keyboards. Near the end of the chaos that “Stage Knives” exploits lie one of the album’s standout moments: a 2- second drum fill and a single cymbal smash. Suddenly, in one simple but intricately effective swoop, one destructive breakdown becomes two, doubling the damage that Rolo Tomassi initially caused.
Although this excellent album is now eclipsed by the level of perfectionism its successor exudes, without the initial subtle features “Grievances”
introduced, “Time Will Die…”
would feel less of a cinematic journey, and if Rolo Tomassi hadn’t waded their way through the darkness that this album emits, its successor may have felt less of a cleansing and immersive experience. “Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It”
is Rolo Tomassi’s best album, but it owes a considerable amount of its success to its darker predecessor.