With all of its emphasis on slow tempos and huge riffs, doom metal and its immediate relatives (especially sludge and post-metal) conventionally get the nod for “heaviest” metal subgenres. Heaviness as a concept means many different things to many people in the metal world, but most interpretations boil down to “heavy” as shorthand for overwhelming, inexorable physical force. Doom metal, with its monster amp setups and piledriving repetition, is basically set up around achieving this effect.
Ironically, doom’s open tempos and manageable structures also allow it to cover more emotional ground and incorporate outside influences more easily – even when doing so involves ratcheting back the sonic tonnage. Salt Lake City’s SubRosa have built an impressive career around exploring doom’s more literate and sensitive side. Their last two albums, 2011’s No Help For The Mighty Ones and 2013’s More Constant Than The Gods, grafted elements of chamber music (most notably in the form of two electric violins) and somber Americana onto looming doom structures, to masterful effect.
SubRosa delve deeper into this vein than ever before on the upcoming For This We Fought The Battle Of Ages. Though all of SubRosa’s albums tend towards Opethian sprawl, this one features some of their most ambitious and elaborate cuts to date – two songs surpass the 15-minute mark, and a third clocks in over 13. That makes “Killing Rapture” one of its more compact tracks, and it’s as good an opportunity as any to familiarize yourself with the band’s melancholy charms. SubRosa specialize in wistful, cinematic evocations of sorrow, but they can also put together a hell of a driving build-and release setpiece, as evidenced by this tune’s second half. Listen.
For This We Fought The Battle Of Ages will be out 8/26 via Profound Lore.