Rome
A Passage to Rhodesia


4.0
excellent

Review

by Zach USER (111 Reviews)
March 9th, 2021 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A harrowing display of minimalistic approach.

I've always rather enjoyed the dark but oft monotonous and subdued tones of dark folk, aka neofolk, aka, apocalyptic martial folk (the self proclaimed title of Rome). At its best it is tranquil and wonderfully antiquated, and at its worst, exceedingly forgettable. Amidst this, A Passage To Rhodesia lies almost entirely in the former, lapsing into boredom only in its final few minutes.

This record as a whole is rather minimalistic yet relatively diverse, employing a mix of nearly industrial militant beats (The Ballad of the Red Flame Lily), harrowing yet fierce acoustic work (One Fire, potentially my favorite of this record) and the occasional eccentric instrumentation (take, for example, the brief xylophone on Hate Us and See if We Mind). It all serves the record well-it manages to craft the cold, desolate atmosphere it's intent on creating while hardly finding itself a victim of artistic laziness.

Perhaps the content matter and the way its portrayed plays a role in this, as the record tackles the tragedy of the Rhodesian Bush wars from the side of the oppressors. Towards the beginning there is vigor, presented well in the romping industrial energy of the first few tracks where the colonizers believe they are liberating the country with their own warped form of Manifest Destiny. This, however, slowly resides into mourning and self reflection by tracks like "A Country Denied" (the lines of "When did we know we were on the wrong side/That this war was just a matter of pride" show this well) as they realize the futility of their war-this land was never theirs, not with an ethnic people who claimed the land their own for thousands of years.

With this concept in mind it does then make sense that the record would slow down to a melancholic crawl, however the feeling does wear -slightly- thin by the time we are greeted with our 3rd depressive ballad in the form of "Bread and Wine",but that gripe is small. The fact that Rome can make such a use of monotonous croons and barebones acoustics with just enough outside instrumental flair work for the larger portion of a 52 minute runtime is an impressive task. Neofolk is, on some level, a constricting genre to work within, and yet Rome has always worked wonderfully within its borders, with an impressive sternness and workhorse mentality that rarely falters. A Passage To Rhodesia is a dark and calculated artistic defiance, and is, amongst the sea of their releases, one of Rome's best. Jam it.



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user ratings (24)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Dedes
March 9th 2021


7626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a long review by my standards please read thx loves

Mythodea
March 9th 2021


6003 Comments


I once heard a good song from this guy, but his takes are dubious at best, iirc

Dedes
March 9th 2021


7626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

How so? I've heard alleged far right claims but I haven't explored any of his really recent discography so there might be something I'm missing.

Mythodea
March 10th 2021


6003 Comments


His stance has been supposedly neutral, which usually is a red flag on its own. I can't remember specifics, though. The whole ''martial folk'' with european imagery and R O M E on the name sounds sus....

First song I listened from them was ''Who Only Europe Know'', who is a great song, but the lyrics are an ethnostatist's wet dream, and all neo-nazis are masturbating in the YT comments. Last year when there were refugees at the eastern borders of Greece, people were tweeting #I_stand_with_Greece, seeing it as an invasion to destroy European civilization while children were dying in the sea. You can see the same # at the YT comments.

I don't know if he is or not, but when your fanbase is infested by neo-fucks and you keep it neutral, you are probably accepting it.

Dedes
March 10th 2021


7626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tbf you really can't play neofolk about European history without attracting a legion of neonazis.

Hes certainly no Douglas Pearce at least lol

Dedes
March 10th 2021


7626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Old article but he seems to be closer to anarchist than any sort of fascist https://www.reflectionsofdarkness.com/-artists-p-t-interviews-88/10146-interview-rome-september-2011.html

Regardless his take on heritage is interesting and surprisingly...open? He doesn't seem to deem his own heritage as being better than any other at the very least

Mythodea
March 10th 2021


6003 Comments


anarchist no, moderate leftist perhaps. I see some outright denounciation of nazism and he does address the fact that some of his listeners don't get what's his point.

I feel like he should be more critical and open than one review ten years ago, but yeah, I can't dictate anyone.

XyphDryne
March 10th 2021


124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You see denounciation of nazism and yet, you write what you write. He holds the values of Europe dear and you throw in dying children in the sea. That´s some mental acrobatics right there. What are you even saying? ? Nevermind though..

Mythodea
March 10th 2021


6003 Comments


You can try reading again next time before talking about mental acrobatics. I commented on a song with cryptic enough lyrics to be interpreted as far-right and I say what I've noticed about the comments and the narrative.

THEN Dedes gives an illuminating review from '11, where I notice some things. What should I do? Deny that he's denouncing Nazism just to look consistent to you?

First: impression
Second: thoughts on the interview

If it was the other way around, you'd be right. It isn't. Can't see where your problem is.

Dedes
March 10th 2021


7626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I dont think it was mental acrobatics, it's just how you interpreted a song that was rather vague and could easily allude to the crisis of the time. It's hard for me to say personally as I dont know much more about Jerome Reuter than what I know through a couple of his albums and the article I posted.

Mythodea
March 11th 2021


6003 Comments


we've kinda ruined this thread. Sorry Dedes... Cool review anyway, I'll try listening to this sooner or later

Dedes
March 11th 2021


7626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bitch you better!

Lol tell me what ya thing dawg



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