One of the biggest problems facing metal today is the widespread lack of originality. Too often, bands will simply pick some influences and knob mercilessly off of them. This is especially true of the metalgaze/post-metal/what-have-you mold, where bands can make competently decent material just by showing up. But to really tickle the part of the psyche nestled between the urge to crush things and the need to mellow the hell out, the music has to go beyond mere mimicry. And “A Determinism of Morality” is a study of working within a genre without being confined by it.
Wisely giving the finger to the buildup-buildup-buildup-release! pattern, Rosetta lets us know they’re no slaves to formula from the second the album starts. “Ayil” explodes into pulsing waves of blinding light, receding and growing in intensity, always gaining momentum until the band is spent and your corneas are burnt. “Je N’en Connais Pas la Fin” provides a warm contrast, creating a shimmering pool of atmosphere that is at once weighty and calmly evocative, a layering that most other bands don’t (or simply can’t) attempt. That the song also provides one of the heaviest moments on the record is a bonus; a cathartic eruption that’s as if a few dozen extra guitars suddenly plugged in.
And those are just two standout moments on an album filled with them. “A Determinism of Morality” is filled with monumental tectonic shifts, tidal upheaval and blissful respites. Every note, every sequence and indeed every song plays off another and builds toward the title track, which caps off the album in truly epic fashion. Whereas most bands play to a climax within songs, Rosetta have crafted a cohesive album-length experience.
Albums like this prove that no matter how much a particular genre has been strip-mined, there are always untouched veins waiting to be discovered. Rosetta understand that rigidity and creativity don’t share a bed, and have quietly metamorphosed into one of the leaders of the whatever-you-want-to-call-it genre they’re a part of. “A Determinism of Morality” sees the band completely unshackling themselves from the comfortable stagnation that too many of their peers remain happily chained to.