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I’ve always enjoyed Rolo Tomassi. Whilst some of my friends are completely baffled by the ‘noise’ that they see me thoroughly enjoying I, well, I thoroughly enjoy it. I’ve been listening to them back since the days of 'Film Noir' and watching them progress with each release has been a real progressive movement whilst still retaining that sound that can only define them as Rolo Tomassi.
'Astraea' is further proof then that this progression between albums is a maturing and experienced one, showcasing more complexities, aggression and melodic passages in a tapestry of instruments being played to their absolute maximum by some incredibly talented musicians.
A key part of Rolo Tomassi's sound is of course the complexly written music. The influences from mathcore and progressive music has and always will be clearly evident, with 'Astraea' being no stranger. The opening of ‘Echopraxia’ demonstrates this complexly written passage idea before throwing us into some fantastic riffery courtesy of new axe man Chris Cayfors, before hurling ourselves back to the brawling noise and then back to some riffs before slinking down into this sultry groove.
Eva sounds as terrifically terryfying as ever, even better so when battling with brother James. As always, the final track opens up into this ambient soundscape of absolute epic sounding proportions as Eva lets out her smooth tones for a beautiful finish. A big thank you to 'Illuminaire' and easily my favourite finale track the band have produced.
For myself though this album will be about the melodies. They’ve always been there, but sometimes I’ve found often too short lived. I find that 'Astraea' has a brilliant structure to each song, utilizing the complexities, the aggression and the melodic passages as separate sections and darting back between them all, showcasing new sections in unexpected locations so still keeping that on your toes, frantic and progressive feel that will always be my favourite part of Rolo Tomassi.
It’s so easy for me to say this is my favourite Rolo Tomassi album. 'Astraea' is Rolo Tomassi at their finest and I can only hope that my friends will come to understand the talent that truly lies within.
'Astraea' by Rolo Tomassi is out on the 5th November through Destination Moon.
Words by Mikey Brown (@MikeyMiracle)