Unleashed from doing yet another full-length record, Canadian post-metal masters Rosetta recorded a three-track EP full of vibrant and fragile atmospheres. Acoustic guitars, lush ambiance, and mesmerizing melodies dominate the sound of Terra Sola.
Early 2019’s Sower Of Wind was a very atmospheric and ambient release, even for a band like Rosetta. With the album’s four tracks, the Canadians created a dense, dark vibe that sounded different from what we got with 2017’s Utopioid. The post-metal side of Rosetta is now back as well: Terra Sola is an EP that seemingly came out of thin air, delivering nothing less than three tracks of brand new music.
The EP’s title track is an eleven-minute opus that doesn’t need any introduction or ambient build-up – it simply starts with clean guitars accompanying a groovy beat right away. The clean vocals linger around like hazy fog on the meadow at morning, while the warming guitar melodies guitar create beams of sunlight over the foggy landscape. Then, the desperate screams of singer Mike Armine break in like a cold torrent of rain.
Picturesque landscapes of sound
When closing my eyes, this exact picture was painted in my mind: a dark, cold, and wet scenario with mere sprinkles of warmth. Within the eleven minutes of “Terra Sola”, Rosetta tell a story through the song’s great musical narrative. It wouldn’t even need vocals to help the listener relive the story that is being told. There are many post-rock elements similar to If These Trees Could Talk used here, especially in the section starting from about 4:30 of runtime. Generally speaking, the more metal-leaning sound that Utopioid had is barely present in this song; rather, it reminds me of Devil Sold His Soul, without having actual breakdowns in the music.
A clean section that starts after about seven-and-a-half minutes takes us back to where we first fell in love with Rosetta. A drum-focused part builds up ever so slightly, while theguitars are playing around, establishing a typical Rosetta atmosphere. The repetition creates a feeling that might make you forget about time and all your worries. It’s one of those meditative parts that just feel so refreshing and enjoyable where only small details are changed or added over the basic drum beat. Light synthesizers start to tingle in your ears with a crystalline atmosphere pad, and lead you to the very ending of the song.
“57844” directly refers to Utopioid’s “54543”. It also is based on the same harmonics, but takes them into a different shape. Starting out with driving guitars, there are actually no drums on the track, just some light percussion. Also, the vocals seem very breezy and undefined in their delivery. For sure, “57844” is a great reminiscence of “54343”, because it’s not possible to overlook the two tracks’ harmonic parallels. Anyway, it sounds almost entirely different but still functions as a great reprise, connecting the Terra Sola EP to the band’s latest full-length album.
“Where Is Hope?”
The song title alone carries a very philosophical meaning, which is why it makes sense that on this track, Rosetta decided to keep it instrumental. “Where Is Hope?” is a fully acoustic song that doesn’t need any kind of vocal. The guitars do the same as on “Terra Sola”: they convey the song’s story via the musical narrative. Some drum hits are used to build a background that sounds more like an ambient electronic song, while the brilliance within the acoustic guitars shimmers through. “Where Is Hope?” sounds like a piece of atmospheric electronica that could make it into every chill-out playlist on Spotify. There’s even some lo-fi feeling in the drums.
As stated in their Bandcamp info, Rosetta tried to break away from the album format with Terra Sola, because an EP ‘breathes more freely outside the structure of an album‘. Many bands use EPs in order to experiment, and this one also serves this purpose, containing three tracks that all sound different, but also all carry the same trademarks Rosetta stand for. As with every of the band’s releases, Terra Sola is available for a pay-what-you-want download on Bandcamp. Them being independent becomes apparent even in their music, as it sounds natural, organic, and well-conceived as always!