01. Ryu / Tradition
02. Fudo / The Immovable Deity
03. In & Yo / Dualities Of The Way
04. Oku / The Secrets
05. Hodoku / Compassion
06. Myo / The Miraculous
07. Hara / The Center
08. Ku / Emptiness
09. Shugyo / Austerity
Rosetta has been carving their name into the walls of the den of post-metal since 2005. Beginning their acclaimed discography with a dual-disc concept record, the band utterly distinguished themselves from everyone else with their 2010 opus A Determinism Of Morality, an album that not only increased their audience, but ended up on countless year-end lists. Now, three years later, and this time using Bandcamp to self-release their record, the band has released their first record in three years, entitled The Anaesthete. After many late night listens with the lights dimmed and eyes closed in a near-meditative state, the verdict is clear: the band have done it again.
The album opens up with the beautifully crafted ‘Ryu / Tradition’, with its wall or ambiance and it’s beautifully-crafted mid-section. From there, the album’s emotionally evocative journey continues, pummeling through song after song of pure post-metal ecstasy. This album also marks some very distinguishable elements that make it far different from its predecessor, most notably the album’s overall more somber, dismal feeling. Whereas with ADOM the band made songs that sounded as if you were being lifted up by angel, towards the heavens, through vast cloudless skies, The Anaesthete is the funeral dirge, an album played as if you were to be buried beneath the surface of the Earth. The instrumental pieces strongly exemplify this feeling, being very minimalist, and almost drone-like.
In stark contrast to this dismal atmosphere, the album sounds crisp and crystal clear, as all of their previous works have. The guitars sound huge, and the bass is turned up a little bit more on this release, which is bodes the band well; the bass lines throughout the record are beyond description, and while not flashy or special, they carry this song along with the drums. Together they seem to work more harmoniously than their previous work. For example, on the track ‘Fudo / The Immovable Deity’, the bass cuts right through the mix in the opening section, and the seemingly dissonant harmony created with the guitars actually fits in perfectly with the song. Moments like these are an example of how this album is truly great; the band isn’t afraid to leave their comfort zones and explore. Especially in the song ‘Hodoku / Compassion’, where the band uses jingle bells and clean vocals from a guest vocalist Eric Jernigan aptly outline the album’s mood: gloom.
One thing that really stands out is the album’s closing track, ‘Shugyo / Austerity’. The entire song is drone doom, reminiscent of Sunn O))), Boris and Extra-Capsular-era Earth. It’s really killer. If the band were to make an entire album like this, with songs sounding as good as this, everyone would love it. The band’s exploration into these territories of heavy drone doom is something that will keep you coming back to this record for months and months to come. Had the band made ADOM 2.0, sure, it would have been great. However, it would have been just that; the same thing rehashed again into an entire album. The band has kept it fresh, kept it experimental, and kept it different, which is why this album is better than most albums this year.
Surely this will end up on many best-of-2013 lists, this reviewer’s included. And for good reason; the band have carried the torch that Isis lit over a decade ago for the past few years, and with this new record, the band have proven a few things: experimentation bodes them well, that they can write beautifully haunting music and effectively and efficiently blend their past with the present. Most importantly, however, they have showed us the reason that they are the frontrunner in a genre that, until now, had a huge void in it.
Rosetta – The Anaesthete