LP / Wierd Records / 2012
Tension develops at the points where modernity and the ageless meet.
That tension has a rhythm that has incarnated itself in various forms of
contemporary music, and sometimes the sound it makes stands out more
than others. RØSENKØPF channels that deep, relentless sound that feels
at once like urban ruin and primordial nature, as if the unyielding
cycles of ritual and decay are echoing through each instrument. As the
latest addition to the Wierd Records roster they embody one of those
Melding electronics, guitars, bass and live drums, samples, and
confrontational vocals together in a seamless, non-hybridized way,
RØSENKØPF has found a motley group of admirers, from those those
attracted to the experimental end of black metal to those that gravitate
toward the recent mutation of codeine-slowed hip-hop and demonic drone.
But looking closer at the band's unmistakable spiritual bond to
monolithic giants of the deathrock and crustpunk past, the gravity of
their preoccupations and the singularity of their sound anchors them in a
specific and unique place. While the band members have roots that reach
far into the punk underground (Detestation, Question, Thriller, Dawn of
Humans etc.), that serves only as the soil out of which RØSENKØPF has
grown its poisonous flora.
"Burning Spirits" opens the LP with bassist Saira Huff's hypnotic
bassline. Groove-oriented drum machines are gradually washed over with
vocalist Søren Roi's urgently abrasive vocals and live metal percussion
reminiscent of primitive industrialists Einstürzende Neubaten or Crash
Worship. "Heed," with it's charging drums and crushing guitars sounds
appropriately like the fearless summoning of an as-yet-unnamed menacing
force while still managing to sound anthemic. By the time "Troth" kicks
in with its psychedelic overtones, the ever-increasing tempos evoke the
ecstatic qualities of religious ceremony and carnal sexuality.
Throughout the closing track, delicate synthesizers float atop more
impatient rhythms and unwelcoming textures as moments of sonic violence
are severely punctuated by pressure-inducing, almost ruthlessly patient
restraint. Taken as a whole, RØSENKØPF is a debut remarkable for
its ability to conjure atmospheres that might have provocative names
like "apocalyptic optimism" or "brooding grace." It's a darkly focused
pandemonium of resistance that names no enemy. Instead, they paint its
face and rally around its effigy.