Tuesday, August 23, 2016
SubRosa : "For this We Fought the Battle of Ages"
I have been looking forward to this album and while I am not the biggest fan these days of songs tipping the scales at over ten minutes, they make the most with the powerfully dynamic opener. The violins weep against the slabs of sludged out distortion. The vocals are generally pretty delicate. A thick bass line leads you into "Wound of the Warden". There is more motion in the ocean on this one . Not quite metal in the way it builds up in the first couple of minutes, while riding a similar groove. The growled vocals arrive before the five minute mark. This is followed by a much softer vocal harmony, so they are not running the same old good cop/ bad cop thing with predictable vocal trade offs. The sludge does get hammered down onto by the midway point, with the violins acting as the salve.
Though it gets off to a softer start "Black Majesty" carried a more weighty drone. This makes the melodic trade off at the four and a half minute mark that much more effective. It goes hand in hand with what I always say about being just being heavy all the time and how that numbs you out unless you are given something to contrast that with. It does seem like at 15 minutes this song could have had the fat trimmed here in there , but nothing that makes it too ponderous. There is a more depressive doom like pacing to "Killing Rapture". The vocals are mixed back against the guitars with the violins weaving their mournful melodies in the back ground. The drums churn up omimnous storm clouds.
The strength of the closing song "Trouble Cells" is the darkness that surrounds it's otherwise surreal take on folk. Vocally it's not the best song on the album, but they do weave together a pretty good mood, setting it apart from the bulk of the album. I'll give this one a 9.5 and see how it sits with me.