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Early and uneven attempt at epic post-BM opus - 90%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, October 3rd, 2013

Here's an early attempt by the UK black metal act Rosaceae at creating an epic post-black metal work on nature and post-apocalyptic Earth. Rosaceae's style combines fairly clean black metal riffing and melody with ambient elements and field recordings of birdsong and storm thunder to create a complex and varied piece of music. There is plenty of heartfelt passion and energy throughout this opus though, which compensates for the technical glitches and listeners will come away impressed with the act's ambitions in forging nature-oriented atmospheric and epic post-black metal.

After a long introduction of twittering bird echo and slow, thoughtful acoustic string melody, the track proper blasts into being with spitfire buzz. The general direction is of a steady crescendo through intense and raw black metal buzz, melodic and deeply emotional in parts, to an overwhelming climax. Unexpected and sometimes abrupt shifts from intense tremolo guitar riffing to passages of quiet, broken by fragile piano or other gentle acoustic music, heighten the tension by disrupting the pace and adding extra layers of melancholy and raw feeling. Vocals are harsh, raw and filled with anguish. The bulk of the BM music is clear with slight distortion to sharpen already jagged guitar tones.

At the track's peak, guitars are trilling away with an unearthly electric vibe and the atmosphere is vibrating and frying. Synthesiser tone wash moderates the tension somewhat. The one thing missing that could have made this part of the music really epic and lifted the recording to another level is a martial-styled percussion rhythm section.

It is an early recording but already Rosaceae's focus and ambition are very clear: the music may shift from one genre to another but momentum is not lost - I confess that there were moments during the track where I feared that the R man was risking too much in dropping the BM guitars for periods of stillness and I was scared the music would fall apart and have to start all over again to build up tension - and intense feeling and drama carry through and power the music all the way to its climax. The actual execution may not be perfect and the percussion as it is, is inadequate for Rosaceae's aims. Even with its flaws, the music is strong enough that at a later time in his career, Rosaceae main man McGeorge should try revisiting this track and re-release a new version.