Sound — 7
Rosetta have always had an interesting sound to them and from their first album, really had a mastering of the use of delays and reverbs. Spacey atmospheres and entrancing musical compositions with the occasional post-hardcore/post-metal sludge fest have really defined what Rosetta stands for (and sorry Rosetta, but you will always be labeled as "post-metal" no matter how much you hate it). The problem with being labled anything "post" is that once you ARE "post" anything, you sorta become doomed into forever making the same song with the same textures over and over again, which unfortunately, has been the case for bands like Rosetta. That's not to say that one song isn't REALLY awesome, but it can get tedious and make you wanting something else after awhile. For the most part, this album in particularly can easily be compared to their previous album (and all the other previous albums AND all other post-metal/post-rock albums in existence), that however, doesn't mean it's not an enjoyable experience. Certain aspects of this genre work when combined with other elements (Godspeed You! Black Emperor have classical instrumentalization and ISIS have really bludgeoning metal riffs), but Rosetta seem to stick to the very spaced out atmospheric ambient sounds that have come to define them, meaning if you heard previous Rosetta albums, you won't be surprised here. That being said, it doesn't mean Rosetta didn't TRY with this album. Tracks 3, 4, and 6 in particular, are quite heavy to the point where I would even argue EXTREMELY heavy, especially for Rosetta. Those three tracks have far less delay and looping, cosmic sounds than what we can normally expect from these guys. Track 6 has some real booming and powerful heavy riffs with some intense drumming and is probably one of the shortest tracks in Rosetta's history. Track 3 displays, one of the coolest basslines I've heard this year within the outro of the song, where the guitar weaves in and out of the distorted bass, with very little distortion even used, but more amp push in volume adding an awesome effect.
Lyrics — 6
There's absolutely no surprises here. Armine's vocals have always been pretty typical post-metal, sorrow-filled growls that sorta decay into the background with the music being center stage. This normally works in favor of bands like these, as it intensifies the overall sound of music, acting more as a second instrument than a wordy way of disrupting song structure and it's a good way of distinguishing the genre from other forms of metal. This, can also make deciphering whatever is being spoken, near impossible and if you don't have lyrics, you probably have no idea what is being said. I, myself, didn't mind this, as I'm quite used to Rosetta's sound/vocals and view them more of an instrumental band than anything, but I think for someone that is looking clear vocals, you won't really find them here. Track 5 features guest vocals from the guy from City Of Ships, but the song, I actually found quite boring.
Overall Impression — 7
I've loved Rosetta since day one, so to some degree, that might make me bias, but I've tried my best to write a fair review. Rosetta aren't doing anything new (their sound wasn't new when they started). Shoegaze, post-metal, post-hardcore, whatever you wanna call them; there's hundreds of these types of bands now, but I feel Rosetta are really great at doing what they are doing... I just wish they would do something ELSE with it. I will say, that I am quite impressed with how heavy this album is in comparison to previous endeavors and that's not just because I'm a metal fan, but because it shows them trying to, at least, branch out and TRY to do something different. I feel like this album could really be a great start of something new for Rosetta, they just have to push to get there, but until that time comes, it's still just the same as every other Rosetta album.