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Junius/Rosetta - Split EP Review

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Junius/Rosetta - Split

Junius/Rosetta - Split

Translation Loss Records
I approached this joint Junius/Rosetta effort with a raised eyebrow and an attentive ear, interested to see how the bands’ respective post-rock/post-metal aesthetics would suit each other. The answer, it turns out, is extremely well. Recorded separately (Rosetta at Translator Audio in Brooklyn, NY by Andrew Schneider and Junius at Radar Studios), both tracks were mastered by Nick Zampiello at New Alliance East and the final results dovetail together beautifully, fitting plumb and square as two bits of perfectly hewn masonry supporting each other.

The Junius track “A Dark Day With Night” clocks in at a hair over eight minutes. The band has been described as a meeting point between Neurosis and the Smiths, a comparison I can see in the swooping, elliptical song construction — the track doesn’t progress so much as orbit — mixed with emotive lyrics and plaintive vocals.

“A Dark Day With Night” is spacey and exploratory, feeling its way out, musically groping its way forward. Their work on this split twinkles and throbs, lifts in anguish and fades in melancholy. Junius have recently replaced Ghost on the upcoming Enslaved/Alcest tour and I am now keenly interested to see how their music plays out in a live setting.

Rosetta’s track, “TMA-3,” takes a full ten minutes to chart its course and is a considerably more aggressive effort. The vocals display Rosetta’s trademark brutality, but the song as a whole matches Junius for tenderness, the structure creeping forward, as though the song was learning itself via touch.

Rosetta’s sound is also built to rise and fall, and its ebbs and flows form a violent counterpart to Junius, serving as an excellent example of the differences between post-rock and post-metal. “TMA-3” lifts to rage and falls to brood, always with that fumbling, tremulous quality, but much more impatient.

The two songs on this split album circle each other uneasily, like twin stars, never sure when one will go supernova or turn cannibalistic.

(released September 27, 2011 on Translation Loss Records)

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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