Friday, September 30, 2011

EP: Rosetta & Junius - Split

Band: Rosetta & Junius
Album: Split
Label: Translation Loss Records
Year: 2011

01. Rosetta - TMA-3
02. Junius - A Dark Day With Night
03. Rosetta - 4th Of July (Soundgarden Cover)
04. Junius - Fire Head (Hum Cover)

Philadelphia quartet Rosetta push the boundaries between metal, progressive rock, post-rock, space rock, and hardcore punk, employing an experimental songwriting technique filled with chaos and atmospherics. Their sounds range from Pink Floydian / progressive rock sonic layering to walls of pure static ambience to crushing, sweeping sludgey riffage. Their first album (The Galilean Satellites, 2005) was an especially ambitious project: the goal was to record two discs of equal length (one a metal album, the other a noise/ambient/drone album), each of which could stand on its own, but played together would create a third, more intense experience. The technique fits well with the band’s unique experiments in noise, sampling, feedback and power. The sheer amount of aural input means every listen becomes a new experience, allowing the listener to pick up on more and more layers within the sounds.  

Their next album (Wake/Lift, 2007) was a bit more restrained, but for this reason, really allows the band’s songwriting to solidify and proves them worthy of the “mainstream” of the avant-metal world.  

The third full-length album, A Determinism of Morality, was released in May of 2010, and featured shorter, faster songs, with a bit more attention to technical playing and compositional structure.

Junius has been electrifying rapt audiences with its spellbinding walls of reverb-drenched guitars, haunting vocals and self-made lights since 2003. The band’s music is both cinematic and accessible, building to crescendos which echo some of post rock’s most epic moments, but with vocals, hooks, and lyrics creating focus throughout. While Junius can be tough to categorize (they’ve been called a hybrid of Neurosis and The Smiths by Rolling Stone), band members have cited such artists as Bedhead (Junius singer/guitarist Joseph E. Martinez’s uncle Trini was their drummer), Philip Glass, Hum, and M83 among a long list of inspirations.

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