When the Sleepmakeswaves tour was announced for December in Australia there was an unfamiliar name, to me, on the tour poster. Joining them on the tour will be Rosetta from Philadelphia, USA. So I checked them out and I was pleasantly surprised.

Formed in 2003, this 5 piece’s sound has evolved dramatically over the years to keep things interesting. Metal, Hardcore, Progressive, Ambient, Punk, you name it, they’ve probably done it. Lucky for me, Rosetta dropped their new album Utopioid via Bird’s Robe Records in Australia on Monday via the bands Bandcamp store. As Rosetta is proudly 100% independent they have even enabled fans to pay what they think the album is worth.

Utopioid has gone in a more mellow direction to their previous works. This album is cohesive in the way that each song moulds into the next throughout the 9 tracks on offer. I found myself zoning out on a couple of tracks as it does become repetitive after a while, though maybe it is just the mood I’m in.

You see, the band is trying to tell a story through this album of all the highs and lows of Rosetta’s career. It does take me on a roller coaster ride as the album ebbs and flows, with moments of high intensity guitars that make you want to kick a hole in the wall, the drums surging forward, to moments of anguish and mystery such is the haunting spell of the guitar work as they strip it back to a more ambient setting.

There are some powerful moments vocally throughout this opera. Unfortunately the vocals from Mike Armine sit back in the mix and it is hard to pick up on where things are going. However this is redeemed on selected tracks. ‘54543’ and ‘Hypnogogic’ stand out to me. They feel like resolutions to the hardship that the music on this album portrays. These songs are stripped back and are filled with raw emotion as Mike’s voice pours through blissfully in ‘Hypnogogic’. These two tracks also come in to the track listing at crucial points, breaking the mould of the status quo.

This album reminds me a lot of New Zealand band Jakob. The music is ambient with plenty of hints of heavy throughout. You don’t notice the length of each track as it all blends together to create the novel. I am really keen to see this band in action on stage in December to see how all this translates. The instrumental layers throughout the record are simple and would translate well to the live stage. You almost feel like your in the room with Rosetta jamming while you are listening to this record.

Overall, today, perhaps this isn’t so much my cup of tea. But it is a quality record worth listening to. You have to respect the band for trying to break new ground and there are many standout moments throughout Utopioid. Name your price and grab yourself a copy.


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