Rosetta are a band known for their melancholic brand of post-metal. The walls of guitars create the chaos. The bass and drums form a union that brings with it forces equivalent to that of a runaway car careening towards the divider on a busy interstate. The tortured vocals of Michael Armine evoke every bit of sorrow and despair as much as any other vocalist in metal. However, the band’s music can also be seen in a very cathartic light. The music lifts the proverbial weight off of the listener’s shoulders, giving way to an emotional and spiritual cleanse that leaves you feeling pure, and wholesome, after their music stops. The band has continually made a name for themselves with their particular ear on production, specifically with the idea in mind of creating a soundscape rather than guitars, bass, drums, and vocals as their own separate parts. The goal of the band is to make to sum of its parts the main focal point, rather than the other way around. Listeners don’t focus on specific licks of drum fills; they focus on the songs themselves as whole songs with one central meaning, a defining figure that tells a story from beginning to end. Now, with the band recording their latest effort, they have been so kind as to give us a photo journal of their time in the studio, along with some quick thoughts from the band about this record, what it means to them, and how working with a fifth man adds a new dynamic to the band.
This is our first album with two guitar players. Longtime friend Eric Jernigan, from longtime tourmates City of Ships, has joined the band doing both guitar and vocals. We started writing together about exactly a year ago, and somehow managed to come up with a full-length’s worth of material by getting together for one weekend a month.
Sonically, this record is the pendulum swing back from The Anaesthete. That was probably the darkest and most despairingly angry album any of us have ever worked on. It was a sort of eulogy for the old way we’d been doing things. This record is like a rebirth. It has some of the most hopeful and light-filled melodic work we’ve ever done, but it’s also some of the heaviest. It feels like a more guitar counterpoint-driven piece than the last few records. Conceptually, it deals with digital alienation, and the idea that technology promises us utopia, but costs us our humanity.
photo credit: BJ McMurtrie
Band members’ thoughts:
Matt: “I thought that this was going to be a 90s grunge record, but it turned out to be an 80s post-punk record.”
BJ: “After 12 years with the same dudes, everything we’re doing still feels fresh, and still makes me excited to be a part of and play. Eric joining in and being part of the writing process feels like that natural growth and progression that I look forward to with every recording we produce.”
Eric: “Pretty much feels like I’ve been in this band since 2009 or so anyway. After several guest appearances on past albums and 8 years of tolerating their socially awkward tendencies I’m stoked they finally let me pick up a guitar.”
Armine: “I know that I love the songs, believe in the words I’ve written, and have enjoyed the writing process. Those sessions were really important to me. Everything beyond that is foggy.”
Dave: “I thought that this was going to be an 80s post-punk record, but it turned out to be a 90s grunge record.”
We’ll be bringing you much more news about the band, and we’ll have some new music for you to hear whenever the band feels ready. Stay tuned!