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 standout moment.
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.
1. Burning Spirits
2. Human Løve Song
6. Light The Way