So this one’s been taking its time rising up my schedule… and one that I’ve been rather perplexed about covering, not just because of its critical acclaim but also because it’s received some popular backlash for possibly simplifying and streamlining their sound, which may have been that step needed to win over critics but would have alienated the diehard fans.
And speaking as someone who is definitely not one of those diehard fans, some of that might have been helpful, because Rolo Tomassi are not exactly close to an accessible act – screamo vocals balancing with female clean singing, wild shifts in time signatures and structure that recall something closer to jazz fusion than progressive rock or even mathcore, and let’s not forget the synth tones that somehow picked a mutation of chiptune that gives me a splitting headache every time I listen to them. Yeah, let’s not beat around the bush, having listened to all of Rolo Tomassi’s records, I had a really hard time getting into them – sure, I can respect the sheer talent and there were some of the more restrained, atmospheric moments I liked, but I also get the impression that said moments were not the ones that are winning over the most acclaim from the diehard fans. But hey, Astraea was heading in a slightly more refined direction – as was Grievances in its own twisted, much darker way – and if Rolo Tomassi were looking to double down on those tones for future releases or even just accessibility a decade into their careers… well, it’s a balancing act. So how is Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It?