ALBUM REVIEW: Rolo Tomassi – Where Myth Becomes Memory

They say no band is really an “overnight success” in the music industry. Like most cliches, that one has been ridden into the ground by lazy people. Rolo Tomassi has been a band for over fifteen years at this point, and if their ascent to the top of the underground metal genre has taken you by surprise, you just weren’t paying attention. The band has been DIY (with some proper distro mixed in) the entire way, making music on their own terms, gathering forces of fans and waves of respect. Wearing many musical masks and expertly jumping from Grindcore, to Thrash, Hardcore, Pop Rock and even Blackened extremism, the band has always sported loads of talent and great songs. For their debut album for MNRK Music, Where Myth Becomes Memory, the band is determined to change your perception of the band, even if you are a longtime fan.

Starting with the gentle ‘Almost Always’ – the band don’t tear the lid off as much as softly make their presence known. They have had plenty of releases with barn-burner opening tracks, but sometimes if you want listeners to pay attention, you don’t have to bludgen them into submission to get there. Just from the first few minutes of the first track, I knew this album is going to be unlike any Rolo Tomassi release that has come before it.

Second track ‘Cloaked’ is a proper ripper, both Metalcore/Djent and proud Rock all at once. The entire band has stepped up their game on this album, especially vocalist Eva Korman. Just when you think she has peaked, she busts out another incredible nuance or phrase. The blackened dirge of ‘Mutual Rain’ has harrowing vocals, Gothic piano, and all sorts of moods and emotions to back it up this dusky track. This is likely the best overall vocal performance of her career and one of the best songs of the young year so far.

‘Labyrinthine’ is a throwback to some of their older material with its snarling vocals, churning riffs, and smashing beats. Korman’s long standing sparing mate James Spence jumps in with the twisted backing vocals. Be it harsh or chill, their voices match perfectly, and a welcome balm to the unease of the rest of the song.

One of the lead singles of the album is ‘Closer’ and really you don’t have a box of tissues soft enough to comfort your face after the ugly cry this is going to put you through. Pastoral chiming guitars and keys underneath Eva’s resplendent tones. Another beautiful jam. The album careens back and forth between these vibes, but in a natural way. ‘Drip’ returns to the rageful moments. After simmering to a boil over with an eternity of angry snare hits, the track is like if the bands earlier grindy inclinations from their first releases were remixed by Perterbator. The band does have a penchant for electronics too and they are no less prominent than in the past.

For your most brutal moods, check out ‘Prescience.’ With its hyperactive riff and Black Metal discordant guitar licks, the track opens up to a completely different mode in the chorus, while keeping the vocals bleak and unforgiving. This track is like the darkest timeline of your life in an under five minute song. Slowing down the pace to a crushing climax, be careful not to break anything important as you mosh around your bedroom.

The shortest track here is the somber respite cut – ‘Stumbling’ which evokes a Tori Amos or Amanda Palmer style vulnerability. Flipping the switch right back on high, ‘To Resist Forgetting’ returns to the blunt force aesthetic and more stunning vocal lines and contrasting harmonies. Closing out the epic album with a triumphant and grand ‘The End of Eternity’ we find ourselves somewhat back at the start. Grappling with the existential storm of questions we face internally, and fighting against the exhausting external world daily. “What do you do when you’re lost” is the energy that sums up this entire era of humanity.


Where Myth Becomes Memory came in with a lot of expectations and the band could have easily banged out another Grievances or Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It and fans and critics would have been sated. However, this album really shows a group that put in the work to grow, break down and build back up everything they were to show where they might go next. Every member came with their “A” game as writers and players. It will be exciting to see what this band does in the future.

Buy the album here:


9 / 10