One of the absolute highlights of 2017 was Rosk’s superb debut album Miasma. It’s now 2019, and I was thrilled to receive Rosk’s latest album Remnants. However, this soon turned to trepidation, as I discovered that Remnants is not another post-black metal masterpiece. Rather, it’s an acoustic post-folk one, and my initial apprehension disappeared as soon as I started to listen to it.
Yes, it seems that Rosk have decided to not play it safe. On their second album the band have crafted 45 minutes of acoustic perfection. A bold claim, I know, but this really is an absolutely stunning piece of work.
Dark and haunting, this is an exploration of loss and death, and is as affecting and compelling as you would hope for considering the subject matter. In the words of the promo blurb, “This dark, acoustic album tells a story of dealing with old age, loss of the loved one and humiliating solitude.” Well, who was expecting that? Not me. As the band explore this theme, however, it soon becomes apparent that they more than do it justice.
This is beautifully crafted music, and deeply affecting. Enriched by the occasional inclusion of a highly emotive violin, these new songs are captivating exemplars of acoustic music, wonderfully realised and exquisitely textured. The vocals and the music both drip with emotion, and the simple, yet powerfully engaging clean singing in particular is highly effective at portraying feeling. It almost feels as if the band have lived what they’re singing about, as if they have already lived a lifetime and suffered greatly just to bring about Remnants‘ immersive and absorbing music.
There’s no metal here, black or otherwise. The songs still have a largely post-rock/metal structure, however, and you can almost imagine distorted, heavier versions of them. I feel that this would ultimately be an unnecessary distraction, however, as the music on Remnants is so perfectly formed and delivered, that you wouldn’t want it to exist any other way.
Remnants is so good it hurts.