- Rolo Tomassi
- Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It
Rolo Tomassi are a long-standing band that makes nailing down their genre a bit difficult. They aren’t as poppy as most post-hardcore, not as structured as metal but too strange and heavy to be taken in by any sub-genre of rock. It’s an experimental orgy of influences that is performed with such ability that it sounds progressive and epic. It’s going to be somewhat of a track by track, more so than I usually do but it’s such a crazy album with a lot to talk about and be excited for.
You always hear bands having the first track be a skit or a creepy ambient piece for the metal bands. Rolo Tomassi enter this album with a very subdued and calming start that speaks to their unpredictability. They are a really unique sounding band that will cross a series of genres either in little pieces or as entire song structuring – at the beginning here we’re being given a solid chunk of alt/post-rock for a couple of tracks. It touches on a real nice sound not unlike Deafheaven’s release also from this year Ordinary Corrupt Human Love. It will bring forth memories from whatever age you want to remember.
It’s at the third song Rituals that we get to hear the first heavy parts of Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It, and compared to their previous releases which had a math-core heaviness. This one is more of a black metal kind of approach that unwinds towards the middle to become some Julie Christmas/Battle Of Mice type breakdown. It’s incredible. I’ve been a fan of these guys for a long time as well as their peers Horse The Band and Dillinger Escape Plan who are the closest bands I can really compare this one to.
It’s a straight up ride listening to this release, you truly have no idea what to expect when each new track starts. It’s so varied and masterful. It’s super easy to find a grove to even during the more unsettling moments. The melodic parts where the vocalist (Eva Spence) shows off her clean ranges are impressive considering she also does the growls during the heavy parts, she basically has the quality of two vocalists. We do see the return of the math-core style vocals which is just fine by me, it’s done expertly. “Alma Mater” is a good example as it opens and closes as a straight up math-core track, showing Rolo Tomassi have not in any way forgotten their roots in the scene. In between it explodes into a heartfelt moment. Whispers Among Us treats us with some more math stuff but with a heavy dose of black metal and then evens out into sludgy post sounding metal.
A Flood Of Light is an interesting experiment in itself, it seems to be fusing post-hardcore and doom/post-metal or similar genres. It’s a huge 8-minute track that takes you away from the album to go on a whole other journey within the journey. It sounds equally melancholic and hopeful, it’s beautiful. The vocals at the beginning have that pop punk feel to them that you get from bands like A Lot Like Birds or Dance Gavin Dance but it’s so short that it pretty much an homage. It was just interesting to me that they still acknowledge that part of the scene as an influence here.
To send off what was an incredible album, Risen is a straight forward post-rock track but does not lack effectiveness. It’s basically a continuation of the opening track sound so it this makes a lot of sense and bookends the album well. It’s a sleepy song that’s not out to impress. It’s a just nice and serene way to end a roller coaster of a music experience. If not for these long quiet moments this would be an easy 100% but for the purposes of this blog, it’s not super heavy. For general purposes it is perfect.
In conclusion, this album was some next level stuff that refuses to play nicely within one genre. It will surely have an influence on the future sound within the scene. Especially now that they seem to be the only one of their peers still going at it, with many of the other major bands either retiring and on hiatus in the last five years. This strange and enticing brand of post-hardcore/Math-core is probably my favorite sound of all time, hence why the recommendations below are plentiful. It’s good to see that it will continue living and perhaps even towering among a sea of stale releases.
This is it, this is the peak of Rolo Tomassi after a decade of experimenting and maturing. Everything they do from this point is going to be amazing. This album damn near had me in tears with how good it is, this more than scratches the itch of waiting for HORSE to bring out some new stuff – hell, it creates a new itch.