By: Andre Almaraz
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 03/03/2017
Label: Battleground Records
“This Mortal Road” a monolithic behemoth which starts off with a lumbering, pounding rhythm summoned straight from the bowels of hell and does not let up its sonic assault for albums duration.
“This Mortal Road” CS//CD//DD//LP track listing:
1). This Mortal Road
2). Wind Scopion
3). Serpent Cult
4). Swallowed and Lost
Rozamov is a band who I’ve been following for several years now, ever since I had seen them play a small club in Chicago back in July of 2013. They made an impression on me then that still holds my interest into the present day and I am pleased to have the opportunity to review their newest offering. Up for review is their fourth recording, yet first full length album, “This Mortal Road,” which was just recently released on March 3rd, 2017.
The album begins with the title track; a monolithic behemoth which starts off with a lumbering, pounding rhythm summoned straight from the bowels of hell and does not let up its sonic assault for almost eleven minutes. The blunt force trauma of the opening riff is eventually slightly offset by some clean vocals, giving the opening segment a very haunting and melancholy feel. The tune is primarily instrumental, but as that thundering opening riff returns toward the end of the song after an introverted and sullen sounding period in the middle, this time they choose to scorch over the top of it with aggressive, shouted vocals, giving it a completely different, more venomous feel the second time around. The second track, “Wind Scorpion,” keeps the lava flowing freely as the scorching vocals chime in right from the top and all the way through this one. This song gives a small ray of hope to the overall bleak landscape by way of a meaningful, expressive guitar solo near the end; a very nice touch.
The third track, “Serpent Cult,” would have been perfect for the soundtrack of the original Conan The Barbarian motion picture as its serpentine riffs are the sonic equivalent of slithering through the barren desert sands and across hot rocks as you bake in the midday sun. The vocals accompany almost every riff in this one, again employing both clean and aggressive variants, and they all sound phenomenal as always. The fourth track, “Swallowed And Lost,” is a short piano piece set to a backdrop of blowing winds and ominous spoken word echoed out to almost unintelligible proportions with some low end rumble and noise thrown in for good measure. At just under two minutes in length, the piece serves as a brief intermission from all the downtrodden misery before they cast you right back into the depths of their devoted and dire devices, devoid of life, which brings us to the closing track….
“Inhumation” is the longest song on the recording at a massive eleven and a half minutes from start to finish. This mournful canticle is a true testament to what Rozamov truly is, and wraps the album up nicely as they close the final chapter to leave us stranded in this desolate desert world which they’ve created. The final four and a half minutes of the song slow to a suffocating crawl, as you feel your breath slipping away until finally, we have transitioned through to breach the land of the dead.
Rozamov has always had a signature sound and the production on this particular release is a perfect storm of low end boomed down into oblivion and high end elevated to laser precision which compliments their song writing style perfectly. The music is extremely expressive and “This Mortal Road” is a collection of darkened dirges that make the perfect soundtrack to accommodate the reminiscence of painful personal memories and thoughts of loved ones who are no longer with us in this dimension. The band is a tightly honed three piece unit of power and complexity which is currently on tour in promotion of this new album, and I highly recommend you witness their live show any time you are able.