One-man bands like the Poland's GRU or Norway's famed EMPEROR (let's face it, Ihsahn essentially was the band) almost always turn out as something special. Pennsylvania musician Patrick Maccia started THE ROSETO UPRISING with a passion for intellectual Metal and is currently solely a recording project. "Pain and Protest" is his debut full-length release; all instruments and vocals composed and performed by himself; I hereby declare it turned out as one hell of a blast. The older, heavier of Progressive Metal influence are rife within this record, including a couple of my favorites in QUEENSRYCHE and FATES WARNING.
The crusty intro riff to "Walk the Plank" implanted a strong NWOBHM vibe in my ears, but was soon weaned onto a smooth, multi-layered groove that alternatingly broke waves upon some tripping, syncopated rhythms laid over interesting time-signature choices. The classic FATES WARNING influences are screamingly clear to me. Patrick adopts a vocal style not too unlike that of Devin Townsend, most of the time opting for dramatic, spoken-word passages and 'raucously exclaims' the lyrics, at times drawing on vocal styles found in Thrash Metal. Much different to previous tracks was the deep and moving "To Die For". It opens with a hauntingly beautiful lead guitar melody those transitions into a slowed-down, heavy and groove-based chug that is often found dissected and strewn around a proggy drumming soundscape. Lyrically, this track proves that Patrick is equally as good at story writing as he is at songwriting; I'm left feeling as if I'm listening to a multi-structural, enthralling and winding novel being read to me by wailing guitars.
Alas, that is the trump card of this album; intended or not, to me it plays like a concept album; the soundtrack to the movie of life, for want of less melodramatic and cheesy wording. "Starline" was, by a thread, one of my favorite tracks on the release. It begins with the illusion of a ballad, but progresses (pun totally intended) into a realm that fuses foreboding emotion with intriguing wanderlust. Strangely enough, much of this song reminds me of my favorite act, ANUBIS GATE, in the arrangements and vocal melody patterns. This trend is somewhat continued in the track "My Apology"; set at a consistently solid Blues Rock rhythm, it is embellished with a thick, yet intelligible timbre lavished with atmospherics and gorgeous guitar licks.
Bands (musicians?) set the proverbial bar high for solo composers; hardly ever would I expect an album composed with this amount of depth and intelligence to come out of the mind of one person, so much as a collective pool of a 'traditional' band. While non-veteran listeners of Progressive Metal may find some of the music inaccessible… Well, who listens to Prog for Pop hooks or breakdowns? I'll stop that sentence there. This is Progressive excellence with a heavy, classic twist.
1. Walk the Plank 2. Empty Ever After 3. Mouth Of War 4. To Die For 5. Believe Nothing 6. Starline 7. Peace Awaits 8. False Flag 9. My Apology 10. The Wandering
Patrick Maccia – Guitars / Vocals Achim Welsch - Bass Sebastian Bruachle - Drums