Rosesdead - Stages (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Stages (2006)

One Day Savior

Being that the owner of One Day Savior records was the singer for former genre heavyweights Skycamefalling, it's doubtful that the label will ever completely break away from releasing albums from bands of that ilk. Which I suppose is fine, just on the condition that what they do release continues to be solid and enjoyable.

Barring the fact that they have one of the most clichéd band names I've ever come across, Rosesdead bring it when it comes down to the actual music. Obviously it's not going to be original and it's not going to be groundbreaking, but what it is is an album that plays to its strengths above all else, and many of those strengths lie in six strings stretched across a board. Or rather, 12 strings, as the combination of Jason Mante and Brett Diederichs is one of the most fluid and most talented you're liable to find on a metalcore record this year (or the last). Their constantly cascading solos and earth-shattering riffs keep every song interesting.

"Falling and Falling" shows their diversity best as they come out firing, with some extremely speedy progressions, before the drums and bass enter the fold to round things out. Throughout the course of the three-and-a-half-minute duration, the riffs rise and fall, darting back and forth and keeping you on your toes. It's so important with an album like this, that a listener may immediately establish familiarity with other like records, that something is done differently to grab attention from the beginning and never let go. That's the only way to retain interest at this point in time, with a genre that's been done to death more times than anyone has the ability to count. Those two guitarists are this band's cornerstone, and every piece is carefully placed on top of them; all the while they're heavily and precisely rocking the very foundation. And just when it seems they've really settled into a goove, a great solo breaks out and pulls you right along with it. They will not leave you time to catch your breath, and will not leave you time to become bored with a single song on here.

Important as they are, though, they're not the band's only two members, and the others are plenty capable of pulling their own weight. Vocalist Matthew Wedge has a ferocious and unrelenting demeanor that works perfectly with his bandmates' intensity. The aptly named "Balance" is where they pull off a much shorter song than most that appear on Stages, and even the reduced amount of time cannot slow down their onslaught.

Showing that metalcore does still have some gas left in the tank, Rosesdead blitz full speed ahead for 40 minutes, and only a few instrumental interludes are able to break, albeit briefly, the power and momentum they so quickly establish. If One Day Savior continue to release records like this, I'll keep listening. A Skycamefalling reunion would be nice, though...