Nothing in the guise of something! why do people find the need to become lost in a world of no lasting significance? Convince yourselves that there is nothing wrong with degenerating time away by sharing something through social media that deep down you or the recipient really couldn’t care less about. Do those numbers represent your popularity or perhaps your insecurities and do your opinions really matter to those that ‘like’ them? or is what you’re doing feeding a need to be connected to something that in essence is an Ephemera. An un-quantifiable, aimless reality and something that is in fact made out of nothing. This is the world that exists on Rosetta’s fifth full length release, ‘Quintessential Ephemera’, and most of it is ‘Untitled’.
Rosetta have released some phenomenal albums, ‘The Gallilean Satellites’ (2005) was a landmark album of the so called ‘Post metal’ variety, with its follow up ‘Wake/Left’ (2007) earmarking the Philadelphia quartet with their own genre – “Astronaut Metal”. The turn of the decade saw Rosetta shift away from the post/sludge confines by releasing ‘A Determinism of Morality’ which was a change in pace and delivered with a hardcore aesthetic. The Anaesthete (2013) was a dark, heavy but also experimental album and with the ‘Flies to Flame’ EP (2014) saluting the past and creating a marker in the sand, the time has come for Rosetta to move on. With a stronger focus on song writing, added melody, texture and light, Rosetta have shed their skin with the release of self-produced album number five: ‘Quintessential Ephemera’.
‘Quintessential Ephemera’ is not easy to define, there are moments with so much weight and power, coupled with the heavy and coarse vocals that’s reminiscent of their earlier work, but underneath are gorgeous guitar arrangements gleaming with melody and piercing with radiance. Album opener ‘After the Funeral’ lifts the band out of the darkness seen on previous releases and into new expanses of sound and texture. Rosetta have always had enough atmosphere to defy gravity, and that is no different here. But the mood is different and the general approach forces the listener to dig a little deeper and come up with your own conclusions. The addition of a fifth member Eric Jernigan (City of Ships) has added an extra layer to their sound and they have utilized this with great effect, not to mention this guy adds an extra dynamic to the vocals with the cleaner singing that are placed perfectly within the mix and never over utilized.
Seven ‘Untitled’ tracks appear on ‘Quintessential Ephemera’. One could interpret the album title and the existence of these track as pretentious, however there is very good reason for this. The ‘Untitled’ tracks purely exist in that format as the band do not wish to stamp them with a value, the meaning of an artistic expression should not be imposed on the consumer. Listening to them as a blank canvas also allows the listener to become more involved on a creative level. If you add your own meaning, then your invested and it can become a greater experience. The music throughout these tracks certainly is a journey, ‘Untitled I’ invites you into the experience with a wash of guitars building with emotion, ‘Untitled III’ is a monstrous effort of cascading rhythm and energy while ‘Untitled V’ has a truly collaborative feel that’s almost a free form jam session, its unpredictable, but equally structured.
If your into a quick and heavy blast then move on, ‘Quintessential Ephemera’ requires some effort, however the rewards become greater with every exploration. Jump on Facebook, share information about it, like it and post information about it because this is no Ephemera, the lasting impression is significant and it’s one of the 2015’s great releases so far.
1 – After the Funeral
2 – Untitled I
3 – Untitled II
4 – Untitled III
5 – Untitled IV
6 – Untitled V
7 – Untitled VI
8 – Untitled VII
9 – Nothing in the Guise of Something