Rosetta | Wake/Lift

There are three heavy music records that are completely indispensable in my library.

Envy – A Dead Sinking Story
Converge – Jane Doe

and now…

Rosetta – Wake/Lift

One of my secret superpowers is that I can tell if an album is good just by looking at it. This goes beyond just judging it by its cover- I also inspect the spine, check what color plastic the jewel case is, notice the label, year, song titles, if possible I surmise the rising and falling action of an album based on those titles. I’m uncannily good at it. In fact, it’s how I (not previously a Converge fan, was able to buy Jane Doe on a whim. What I’m getting at here isn’t my keen precognitive musical appreciation, but that I knew this album would be good before I ever hit ‘play’.

The cover instantly reminded me of the work Aaron Turner (ISIS/Hydrahead Records) does. Turns out I was correct- but not really- he DID design their first album, but the dude that designs Mastodon’s album covers did Wake/Lift. The deconstructed, photoshop assemblage of towers emerge as a monolith whose inscription would ostensibly read a poetic ode to all things fractured and massive.

Rosetta plays self-proclaimed “Space Metal,” which absolutely is apparent on their debut (2x) album, The Galilean Satellites, is less so on Wake/Lift. Wake/Lift seems much more of a generally terrestrial vein, but of a scope as large as space. Low, dirty, and warm, the album is seemingly intentionally muddled, as if it’s a dialect they’ve chosen to convey their work.

In on the coattails of their highly revered debut album, The Gallilean Satellites, which was actually two albums; one self-proclaimed “space metal” opus, one serving as a compliment ambient work that can actually be listened to in tandem with disc one creating an even more complex, rich, and quadraphonic experience. I’ve done it and it’s mindblowing. (You can get both albums from iTunes as one for $9.99. Listen to the main part of the album first before synching them up, just so you can appreciate the subtle impact.) While a sister-album to Wake/Lift, called The Cleansing Undertones of Wake/Lift, exists, it is not meant to be listened to in conjunction with the main album.

Why is this album so good? They do things with such an indirect but emotionally precise sense of tension, climax, and taste. From thick, sludgey baritone chords aching throughout the middle peak of part two of the three part song, “Lift”, the dronal, trance-inducing trudge of Temet Nosce, to the shimmering-then-bursting transition composing the patiently developed final seven minutes of the closing track, “Monument,” Wake/Lift paints touches every landscape between here and the moon – and those aren’t even the best parts of the album.

Entirely recorded on analog tape, the recording is definitely muddy at quiet listen. But this album should be listened to blaringly loud, through huge speakers, and preferably more than two of them. It’s transcendental and massive. Hugely, megascopic, brobdingnagianly massive. And beautiful.

I’ve got no tracks for you to download, unfortunately, but if you need a good album (that is also massive), go pick it up.

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