Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It, by Rolo Tomassi
Suggested by Luke Kay
Rolo Tomassi are tricksy little hobbitses.
Knowing zip-diddly-bupkis about the band, I cracked open the Hobnobs and fired up my streaming service. The first song, Towards Dawn, lurched into the aether. Two minutes of formless plinky plonky soundscape, which achieved nothing but to harden my heart to the upcoming aural storm. I mean, seriously?
Song two kicked in, the immediate Aftermath, and my spirits soared. Intricate drumming, summery guitar tones, wonderfully breathy Bjork-pop style vocals, all building to a large and lavish brash Proggy crescendo. Hah, those cheeky scamps! They had me going for a moment, with their experimental ambient nonsense.
Song three next, the exciting Rituals. It started strong, with a supremely heavy grunting guitar that was almost pompous in tone. Then someone started screaming and oh my god kill me cremate me put my ashes in a Pringles tube and fire me into the bloody sun.
Can we not have ONE BLOODY METAL ALBUM without the need for incessant screaming bilge? I won’t dwell on this, because I feel I cover this topic at least twice a week. The screaming vocalist here may or may not have been the female lead Eva Korman (whose non-scream work is wonderful) or her synth-playing brother James Spence. Whoever it is, it sounds like high static, like someone angrily tearing up a handful of unwanted pizza menus.
Musically, I found Rolo Tomassi very exciting. At their core they are pure Math and Prog Metal, but there’s something intensely uplifting about their overall sound. It’s a happy noise, an optimistic take on the style, which proves quite infectious. It’s clear that the Sheffield quintet are an experimental and adventurous bunch, because they refuse to sit still and dwell on any one particular sound or style. From the heavy drumgasm of Rituals to the spacious and light Contretemps, Rolo Tomassi are keen to gallop all over the Prog musical map and leave their dainty footprints in the sand.
I think I’m coming round to Prog the more I hear. Maybe this is a consequence of this project, which hurls song after song at my unresisting face, hour after hour, day after day. Craving newness is inevitable, and while Prog might be indulgent, you can’t accuse it of being boring.
That screaming, though. Time Will Tell And Love Will Bury It gets 6/10, with my favourite track Aftermath taking them up to 8 before the scream anathema bat-slapped the score back to the bleachers.