Rolo Tomassi
Grievances


4.0
excellent

Review

by Chamberbelain CONTRIBUTOR (190 Reviews)
August 5th, 2018 | 20 replies


Release Date: 06/01/2015 | Tracklist

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.

“Grievances” 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.



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user ratings (161)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
BeardedBird
August 5th 2018


5 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is my favourite Rolo and I'm glad it finally has a (good) review.

calmrose
August 5th 2018


3543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

finally a review for this, album rules so much and is easily on par with Time Will Die

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Demon of the Fall
August 5th 2018


7318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks dude, this needed a review badly based on the average/no. of votes. Close to a 4/5 for me, some absolutely massive tracks.

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bloc
August 5th 2018


51359 Comments


Probably tied with Astraea for second best, although they're far behind the latest one. Their latest album makes me never wanna listen to this.

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Groundking
August 5th 2018


740 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Astraea is better than this, but it still kicks ass.

calmrose
August 5th 2018


3543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is definitely better than Astraea, though that album is still dope

FearThyEvil
August 5th 2018


16091 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yay! Finally has a review

FearThyEvil
August 5th 2018


16091 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hope this album can eventually get a avg of 4 or higher

calmrose
August 5th 2018


3543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

should be at least at a 4

FearThyEvil
August 5th 2018


16091 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yup, and I'm also in the minority that thinks this is way better then Time Will Die. I still love Time Will Die but there's filler moments on that album and some songs go on way too long. I can't really find a single qualm about that here.

calmrose
August 5th 2018


3543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is easily on par with Time Will Die imo (in that both are incredible), glad you dig this heavily Fear



if you'd picked this or TWD for their best, wouldn't go wrong with either

TundraL5Z
August 5th 2018


1645 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Last song on this album All That Has Gone Before, no words to describe man

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FearThyEvil
August 5th 2018


16091 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This band is easily simply incredible at transitions too

calmrose
August 5th 2018


3543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

their transitions are an art form

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
August 6th 2018


1254 Comments


Just rewatched LA Confidential so this post is timely for me

Confessed2005
August 7th 2018


4432 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Superb band. Pretty much the best modern UK math band ever.

Wildcardbitchesss
August 7th 2018


1202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Best modern U.K. band period imo

Digging: Birds in Row - We Already Lost The World

johnnydeking29
August 7th 2018


11566 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is hecking mad, enjoying it way more than I did Time Will Die or their first two

Digging: mewithoutYou - [untitled] e.p.

FearThyEvil
August 8th 2018


16091 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

That's cuz it's better then Time Will Die.

Kirderf
August 8th 2018


36 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The track run from Phantoms to Stage Knives must be my favorite run this decade.

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