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Rosewater – Bloodcount

Rosewater - Bloodcount

CD, Sturm, 2006

Rosewater’s latest offering, “Bloodcount”, begins with great promise, delivering a pounding, technical EBM dancefloor hit-in-the-making, “N.M.E”, followed closely by the quasi-industrial cruncher, “Unbroken”. Both tracks display intelligent studio work – the production values are clean, the sequencing builds well, and surprisingly complex synthlines (an area where many harder EBM acts find themselves lacking) are dropped in smoothly.
Unfortunately, this promise of great things to come was, at first, not quite lived up to: the next few tracks float uncertainly in a grey area somewhere between EBM and Harsh Electro, without ever quite coming to a decision. It must be said, however, that repeated listening alters this opinion somewhat: the crossover Rosewater achieves is done with consummate skill, marrying the genres of EBM, electro and industrial into a new, schizophrenic breed that defies definition and must be heard at high volume to be fairly assessed. Tracks like “On the Move” deserve the dancefloor treatment, while “Cold Refuge” is a slowly building and beautifully constructed lesson in despair, perfect for creating ambience.
Vocal treatments range from heavily distorted screams (on “Dzelzbetons”) to vocoded whispers (on “Irreversible Alterations”), making for added interest in that department. In fact, all the filtering and effects are beautifully and cleverly executed, on all instruments.
Overall, I find that even superior studio skills can’t entirely save this album – throughout, I found myself hoping for more of the balance between hard percussion and atmospheric synthesizer work exhibited in the first few songs, but slowly came to realize this equilibrium I sought was actually present within the whole album: the first half represents the semi-industrial madness DJs constantly crave, while the second half is a more introspective, emotional journey. So, as a single entity, the album is awesome – it only falls a little flat if taken as individual songs.


— David vander Merwe

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