Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rosetta + Junius - 2011 Split

Band : Rosetta + Junius
Album : Split
Release Year : 2011
Genre : Artcore | Post-Metal | Post-Rock | Experimental

Tracklist :
01. Rosetta - TMA-3
02. Junius - A Dark Day WIth Night
03. Rosetta - 4th of July (Soundgarden cover)
04. Junius - Fire Head

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.

Shortly after releasing their first EP, Forcing Out The Silence, in 2004, Junius began a tireless touring regimen to fan the flames of an already blazing press. Among its accolades, Disclosure Magazine declared the debut “one of the most engaging Dark Rock albums to come out since Joy Division last graced a stage.” Junius toured for over 9 months and played over 200 shows in the first year alone, embracing a DIY ethic which remains at the core of the band’s ideology.
Both the debut EP and its 2005 follow-up, Blood is Bright (released as a self-titled full-length in 2007), were recorded by Will Benoit (of Constants), and mastered by Nick Zampiello (Isis, Converge, Torche). Hailed as a “darkly lush epic” by Alternative Press and “genius” by The Big Takeover, Junius’ work is borne of experiments in isolation and asceticism. It’s this austere approach from one of America’s hardest working bands that adds a weighty sense of purpose and intrigue to their output.

Preparation for the long-awaited The Martyrdom of a Catastrophist began in 2006, with month-long writing sessions in such unconventional locales as a bank vault in California, a warehouse in Texas, a farmhouse in Vermont, and a shack in the swamps of Louisiana. The result is a full-fledged concept album, inspired by the life and theories of controversial scholar Immanuel Velikovsky. From birth to death, The Martyrdom of a Catastrophist chronicles a man whose progressive theories on ancient history and the cosmos were widely challenged by mainstream academia during his lifetime. Actual quotes from Velikovsky’s interviews and lectures are interspersed between songs, adding to the narrative. Junius produced The Martyrdom at the legendary A&M Records studios in Hollywood (now known as Henson Recording) over the course of a year, somewhat guerilla-style, during off-hours when the studio wasn’t booked. The album was recorded by Kevin Mills and Tom Syrowski (Weezer, AFI) and mastered by Dave Collins (Danny Elfman, Black Sabbath). It includes a book illustrated by Matt Gauck and Drew Speziale (Circle Takes The Square).

Some of Junius’ recent extracurriculars include lending music to a series of short films by director Mary Lambert (Pet Semetary), participating in a benefit compilation to support Compassion Over Killing, and recently recording a track for the upcoming Songs of Farewell and Departure: A Tribute to Hum (Pop Up Records), which will be available mid-2011.

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.

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