(Translation Loss 2007)Rosetta - Wake/Lift

In today's metal climate, it seems you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a new metalgaze/shoegaze/post-metal/whatever you want to call it album. And while none of these bands are reinventing the wheel, to stand out they have to make a pretty goddamn rocking wheel. It's like making a cheesesteak. Sure, anyone can slap some steak and cheese on a roll, but it takes a true artiste to make a little happiness for your mouth. And nowhere is this analogy more appropriate than in the case of Rosetta, hailing from the only city in the world where you can get a cheesesteak that doesn't taste like ass.

Lucky for us "Wake/Lift" is a tasty slab of music. Chances are you won't hear anything on this album that you haven't heard before, but it's unlikely that you've heard it done quite as well. Opening with a monstrous wall of sound on "Red in Tooth and Claw," the album proceeds to deliver an hour's worth of what would be typical metalgaze in the hands of a lesser band: balancing hefty guitar riffs with light, crystalline passages while throwing in flourishes of electronics. While that could describe about a hundred records released over the last few years, "Wake/Lift" separates itself from the pack with both its ferocity and the thoughtful construction with which it is delivered. This is best exemplified on the head-bobbing crusher "Lift (Part 1)," the album's standout track. The only time the album drags is on "Temet Nosce," a fifteen minute sonic drone that lasts about twice as long as it should. Another minor detraction is that the mix is a bit muddy, which sometimes obscures the guitars and tends to bury the vocals.

If a band wants to play in the house that Neurosis built, then their albums have to stand up to repeated listenings. One of the biggest pitfalls for a band like Rosetta is that their music, with all the droning and cyclical guitars and beats, can get boring, especially after the second or third time you hear it. Thankfully, this is not the case on "Wake/Lift." Subtle details start to pop up after the first time you listen to it, adding depth with each repeated spin. Rosetta has shown that it is still possible to release a deliciously killer album in a genre that is quickly becoming oversaturated.


buy it!