Rolo Tomassi - Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It (Cover Artwork)

Rolo Tomassi

Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It (2018)

Holy Roar

It’s been more than a decade since Sheffield, UK’s Rolo Tomassi burst onto the scene as hardcore’s Band Most Likely to Namecheck John Coltrane and Dillinger Escape Plan in the Same Interview. They’ve weathered two line-up changes, as well as having an album produced by Diplo, and have now washed up on the shores with their fifth full-length Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It.

Matching the band’s hyper-kinetic live shows, Rolo Tomassi sound has defied categorization by mixing synth-y atmospherics, acid jazz breaks, and throat-shredding hardcore, often within a single song. Described alternately as mathcore, progressive rock, or even spazzcore, most of the band’s previous releases have listed more heavily to one side of their dynamics than the rest. What sets Time Will Die apart as a great leap forward is the band’s mastery of their own alchemy, fusing their disparate sounds into a single cohesive record that reflects every facet of their influence base without ever getting bogged down in any one particular mode.

This is not to say that Rolo Tomassi have sacrificed any part of what made them great through their first four releases. There is no dumbing-down in an attempt to reach a wider audience on Time Will Die, in fact, their album features three different songs at seven and a half minutes or more. These short epics showcase everything the band has to offer, winding from blast beats to floor-punching breakdowns to contemplative piano interludes. Singer Eva Spence modulates her voice to match, ranging from Arch Enemy shrieks and howls to a clean soprano that’s been polished to a pop-radio sheen. Her brother James stays in sync with her the whole way with his own screams, as well as keyboard lines which underpin the chaotic sections before stepping into the foreground during the slower movements.

Individual songs still maintain their own identity by shying towards one end or another of the band’s influence spectrum. “Aftermath”, the lead single off the album, is a prog-pop number with all clean singing from Eva that punctuates its piano verses with a chorus that seems to float upward on the melee of distortion from the guitar. Later tracks like “Alma Mater” provide an unadulterated dose of technical metalcore that frequently brings Axe To Fall-era Converge to mind and allows guitarist Chris Carford and drummer Tom Pitts to flex their chops while also granting us the most headbang-worthy breakdown of the album.

For existing fans of Rolo Tomassi, (and this is where we should specify that they are different from the excellent Chicago band Rollo Tomasi), they will find that Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It is the realization of all the potential this band has demonstrated over their previous releases. It is a strong, cohesive effort from start to finish. For fans new to the Rolo Tomassi oeuvre, Time Will Die is a perfect introduction to the band whose first few songs build upon themselves to settle the listener in for the ride.