SubRosa – ‘For This We Fought the Battle of Ages’ (Album Stream)
As we speak, there’s an awesome festival going on in Vegas called Psycho Las Vegas, which brings together four generations of heavy psychedelic music. The lineup connects the dots from classic rockers like Blue Oyster Cult and Alice Cooper to the bands that solidified doom metal as a never-ending concern like Electric Wizard and Sleep. The comparatively newer Salt Lake City band SubRosa is playing that fest, and their sound alone connects those same dots. They’ve got two electronic violinists and soaring clean vocals courtesy of Rebecca Vernon that pull more from ’60s/’70s progressive rock than from the usual metal gods, but it’s clear from the thick-toned doom riffs and the occasional scream that SubRosa acknowledge the impact those bands left on aggressive music. If SubRosa covered an Alice Cooper song, I bet they’d do a great take on “Black Juju.” For This We Fought the Battle of Ages (Profound Lore) is an album where any given song is over 10 minutes, if not over 15, and that extended time is used wisely. While they can be heavy as all hell, they can also be somber and quiet, making the heavy parts all the more cathartic. The focus on melody is equal to or greater than the focus on heaviness, and that’s a necessary approach that modern doom bands are often lacking.
(This review was originally published in Five Notable Releases of the Week on BrooklynVegan.)