Rosetta - A Determinism Of Morality
Translation Loss Records
Atmospheric Sludge Metal
7 songs (47:40)
Release year: 2010
Rosetta, Translation Loss Records
Reviewed by Goat

Very much of the Cult Of NeurIsis style, American post-Metallists Rosetta do what they do well enough to make third album A Determinism Of Morality worthy of your ears. Although from a glance at that artwork you’d expect something of the leftfield to their sound, it is pretty much average for the genre, as much about the soundscapes as the celestial heavy/lightness, and it does seem that post-Hardcore influences are as significant as the post-Metal ones. Interestingly, the band don’t like the whole “post-“ description, some of their frustration at being labelled as such coming through in the angrier moments of this album. Let’s face it, however, there are many obvious similarities to that style – a less progressive Burst would be a good comparison – and as you can tell from the first line of this review, I do find Rosetta closer to the style they detest than anything else. Sorry, guys. Maybe you’ll forgive me when I reveal that, whatever label you stick on it, A Determinism Of Morality is a pretty good if unoriginal album, the moments of atmospheric lightness such as Blue Day For Croatoa as listenable as the angry-man-with-a-stubbed-toe violence of Ayil.

The band are clearly experienced at what they do, keeping the listener’s attention throughout and achieving with four members what some bands can’t do with twice that number. I have to praise drummer B. J. McMurtie above all, his skilful multi-limbed battery forming the backbone of songs and driving them onwards beneath the varied guitarwork. You can’t fault guitarist J. Matthew Weed, either, his guitar playing never less than beautiful and gripping. As for the songs themselves, they’re a fairly uniform bunch, propelled onwards and fronted by Mike Armine’s throaty Hardcore bellow. There’s nothing really wrong with any, although none of them quite seize you by the throat and carry you heavenwards like the best Neurosis and Isis tracks do. Still, mid-album triptych Release, Revolve and Renew are enough to placate anyone with a hankering for something of the style, the first’s sudden clean vocals a nice touch and reminding me of Cave In’s lighter side. I liked the Proggy rambling feel to the melodies in Renew, too, fulfilling their hypnotic purpose most satisfactorily.

Avoiding longer pieces for the most part, sticking to the five/six minute average, the album ends with the ten-minute title track, a kind of summary of all that went before, starting slowly and melodically before expanding outwards, taking on an ominous note towards the end. It’s the best track on the album, rolling onwards inexorably and feeling like half its length, although not quite enough to make this album vital. As angry as they may be with others for calling a spade a spade, it would be nice to see Rosetta take the obvious route to gaining true originality and actually playing something original. As it is, A Determinism Of Morality is a good, but not stunning album.

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A Determinism Of Morality
Goat quoted 75 / 100
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