Rolo Tomassi – ‘Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It’

By James Davenport

Thirteen years ago an unknown group of young musicians played their very first gig in Sheffield. Now, over a decade later and Rolo Tomassi are undeniably one of the most forward thinking and innovative alternative bands in recent history. As they prepare to unleash album number five into the world, entitled ‘Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It’, there’s a familiar air of excitement surrounding the release. As a band that have never “released the same album twice”, each time word of a new Rolo record comes around, tongues start to wag and the ‘hype machine’ quite rightly, goes into overdrive.

Since the days of their early releases such as the infamous ‘Self Titled’ EP or the ground-breaking ‘Hysterics’ album, Rolo Tomassi have dabbled with mathcore, electronica, hardcore, post-hardcore, metal and just about any other sub-genre you could care to reel off. Their newest release ‘Time Will Die…’ is no exception. Despite following some similar themes explored on both ‘Astrea’ and ‘Grievances’, such as the utilisation of Eva Spence’s cleanly sung vocals that convey so much raw emotion with every word, ‘Time Will Die…’ too tells its own story and stands proudly atop their discography, like a crown jewel on the colourful totem pole that is their back catalogue.

To set the scene, ‘Time Will Die…’ opens with an extremely gentile instrumental introduction track consisting of sparse ambient and atmospheric noises akin to those of a stargazers dream, or perhaps some unheard layers on an Enya record. Either way it’s the perfect set up for ‘Aftermath’, the second single to have been taken from the album.

‘Aftermath’ is almost unlike any other Rolo Tomassi track we’ve heard, entirely cleanly sung and out and out beautiful from start to end. It simultaneously builds walls of sound so great, they’d make the current US President blush. Ending on a positive note, “Unafraid of the aftermath” the track suggests that regardless of reviews or criticisms, Rolo have placed their feet firmly in their own comfort zone and you’d be a fool to try to stand in the way of their progress.

This leads us to ‘Rituals’, the first single taken from ‘Time Will Die…’ which is almost the polar opposite in sound and composition. The track rides along a riff that storms its way through the cleanliness previously put on show and brings back every inch of aggression and intensity the band has to offer. Although ‘Rituals’ and ‘Aftermath’ appear as complete opposites at first, ‘The Hollow Hour’ and ‘Alma Mater’ quickly rush in to fill the void and bridge that gap. Both tracks retain the classic Rolo Tomassi sounds of jagged mathcore and start stop intensity. Despite the unexpected, chaotic breakdown that closes out ‘Alma Mater’ that’s nothing other than ferocious on all accounts both tracks also delve into enormous post-rock crescendos that will forever keep you guessing where the album will go next.

Though the cards may be laid out on the table, Rolo Tomassi have saved their “secret weapons” for those who’ve stuck it out and made it this far into the album. ‘A Flood Of Light’ is eight and a half minutes of unrelenting, unforgettable and breath-taking musical composition. Demonstrating their ability to throw up cathedrals of sound before stripping them back to their foundations in the blink of an eye, Rolo Tomassi have outdone themselves and spoilt us with the generosity of this track. Its grandeur and magnificence are enough to reduce one to tears as trying to put its beauty into words feels somewhat impossible.

From the opening synth chimes of ‘A Flood Of Light’ to the final moments of ‘Risen’, the second half of ‘Time Will Die…’ is where Rolo Tomassi really come into their own and demonstrate once again why they are one of the most exciting bands on the planet. ‘Whispers Among Us’ returns to outright aggression with demonic vocal that send shivers down the spine, making it seem as though the last ten minutes of beauty and emotive music hadn’t even happened.

As the crescendos of ‘Contretemps’ and distorted ambience of ‘Risen’ close out the final moments of the album, Rolo Tomassi have surpassed their own genius and more than proved why they’re in a league of their own. As they bare their souls to the world and continue to push their boundaries even further than we could’ve ever imagined, the scale of ‘Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It’ is unfathomable. This is not merely a ‘new album’ but a work of art. An absolutely phenomenal and jaw-dropping triumph.


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