SubRosa - For This We Fought the Battle of Ages

by James Gerard Rating:9 Release Date:2016-08-26

Eschewing any sense of novelty, SubRosa has been pedaling their inspired brand of Doom/Folk for the better part of ten years, where over the course of a handful of solid releases the band has honed the disparate elements of their sound into a impressively potent sonic force culminating with 2013’s More Constant than the Gods.  Now the band is set to return to the fold with For This We Fought the Battle of Ages, an album that finds the band reinterpreting the grand, boundaryless scope of their last release with a crushing sense of focused refinement.

The first thing that comes to mind when listening to SubRosa’s For This We Fought the Battle of Ages (other than the fact that the band shares its namesake with an episode of StarTrek TNG: the one where Crusher falls in love with a ghost) is that the band seems hell bent on shedding any sort of classification as simply just another ‘Doom’ metal band.  While the trademark plodding pace and crushing guitars are still in place, the band has placed a new found emphasis on the doom elements of their sound.

From the slow-build opening of “Despair is a Siren” to the stoically concise (at least in comparison to the rest of the album) “Troubled Cells”, For This We Fought the Battle of Ages is an exercise in graceful artistic indulgence.  Each of the album's five proper songs (there is a brief interlude in there as well) boast gloriously long-winded arrangements that find the band amalgamating just about every sonic direction they've ever previously explored.  The vocals of guitarist Rebecca Vernon, and violinist's Kim Pack and Sarah Pendleton are less buried in the mix than on past releases, and to that point, the band's melodious streak provides a sense of ballast to what is undoubtably the most crushing release of their career.

All of this makes For This We Fought the Battle of Ages an impressively potent follow-up to More Constant than the Gods, a release that will undoubtably satisfy longtime fans while also serving notice to the rest of the metal community that SubRosa has finally arrived.

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  • Rob Taylor

    I saw these guys at the Bowery Ballroom NY 2014 when I was touring the States. They were supporting Boris, so it's was a pretty dynamic evening. I preferred Sub Rosa, who I didn't know. I remember thinking it was some kind of weird bluegrass metal complete with violins and wall of noise. Special.

  • Rob Taylor

    I saw these guys at the Bowery Ballroom NY 2014 when I was touring the States. They were supporting Boris, so it's was a pretty dynamic evening. I preferred Sub Rosa, who I didn't know. I remember thinking it was some kind of weird bluegrass metal complete with violins and wall of noise. Special.