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Subrosa - No Help For The Mighty Ones
1 March 2011


01. Borrowed Time, Borrowed Eyes
02. Beneath The Crown
03. Stonecarver
04. The Inheritance
05. Attack On Golden Mountain
06. Whippoorwill
07. House Carpenter
08. Dark Country


Gaze in wonder at one of Profound Lore's recent marvels.

Salt Lake City's SubRosa, skillfully avoiding the pitfalls of machismo sludge music, conjure a sound that would likely suit the female vocal aficionado as much as it would the hardened metaller. In fact one could easily recommend listening to it that way as this isn't like most ardent heavy sludge releases, the heaviness being largely replaced with an often psychedelic, dirging quality. The fuzzy guitars take a backseat (unusual for a sludge band) and are the first constituent in a sublime three-way as the grounding foundation between the off-kilter singing (and sparely used growling) and (dis)harmonies in a tug of war with the discordant violin. The real brilliance of every song, though, is the reward that awaits at the end of each. A build up, sometimes intentional repetition, before the component elements meet in crescendo that brings the violin to the foreground in a euphoric and transcendental manner. For this reason approaching SubRosa on a riff basis, which one might often do in the genre, isn't recommended.

Fortunately the single flaw of No Help For The Mighty Ones can be succinctly fingered and quarantined: "House Carpenter" - SubRosa's take on the popular Americanised version on the English ballad "The Daemon Lover" which is quite frankly out of place here, the lack of instrumentation making the harmonies sound flat and awkward. Just skip it.

In a sadly frequent number of cases the inclusion of the female vocal in the more extreme end of metal is typically employed for mere novelty effect (if not for the "crumpet" effect), occasionally adding another shade to the proceedings where it might. Not only do the three-fifths female outfit SubRosa manage, without effort, to waylay this unfortunate paradigm, they succeed in turning the sludge genre on its head and make the unconventional female vocal (think Bloody Panda rather than Nightwish) and the jarring violin (think A Forest Of Stars rather than Apocalyptica) its prime catalyst, creating a distinct and unusual approach to the sound. Both offbeat and dissonant whilst substantially heavy and maintaining itself within set margins (but not without a woman's touch) this is quite possibly the album of the year because of it.


Band profile: Subrosa
Album: No Help For The Mighty Ones


 


written by !J.O.O.E.! | 02.11.2011



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Milena - 02.11.2011 at 12:51  
This sounds like something I'd be interested in.
K†ulu - 02.11.2011 at 18:04  
Love the review. Maybe will check the album.
BloodTears - 02.11.2011 at 19:53  
People should definitely listen to this. What are you waiting for is the question

Props on the review, Joe. I like your signature, btw.
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.11.2011 at 19:55  
Written by BloodTears on 02.11.2011 at 19:53


Props on the review, Joe. I like your signature, btw.

I bet you do Ands cheers!
Slayer666 - 02.11.2011 at 20:09  
You just had to stick it to everyone with this review, didn't you...
Will be checking it out as soon as possible.
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.11.2011 at 20:11  
Written by Slayer666 on 02.11.2011 at 20:09

You just had to stick it to everyone with this review, didn't you...
Will be checking it out as soon as possible.

I felt it was my duty.

Hope you like it. If you don't then you're faulty and need to get sent back to the factory.
Slayer666 - 03.11.2011 at 12:03  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.11.2011 at 20:11

I felt it was my duty.

Hope you like it. If you don't then you're faulty and need to get sent back to the factory.


Just finished it.
Not 'album of the year' by any stretch of imagination, but quite nice nonetheless. Somewhere between 7.5 - 8 for me.
munson - 03.11.2011 at 17:06  
This album is incredible, and I think your review does a pretty solid job at describing some of the more unusual and identifying aspects of the album. I can't guarantee anyone would like it, but I do think that anyone who is a fan of doom/sludge should give this one a listen. I've never heard anything quite like it.
(((O))) - 03.11.2011 at 22:22  
I like this album, an unique take on sludge and the cover art is awesome too.
malaikat - 04.11.2011 at 00:24  
I gave it a few spins and never regret a second of it. It came by a surprise and now it's in my personal TOP10, or even TOP5 for this year.

EDIT: I quite liked the "House Carpenter". On its own it's maybe weak (good to my ears tho), but it contributes greatly to the album atmosphere as a whole, imho.
BlueMobius - 04.11.2011 at 04:02  
I've had this for a few months now and I love it!
Susan - 04.11.2011 at 05:03  
I can't believe you don't like "House Carpenter"!!! I think it's a great song on its own but ALSO in context. The lyrics and harmonies are appropriately creepy and nostalgic at the same time, and it's a nice sort of "rest" in the pacing of the album; it gives us a break from the onslaught without dropping the energy level and emotion. Plus, it's a nice surprise and just damn fun

Agree with the rest of your review 100% though!! I'm so glad you reviewed this one. Definitely one I'm glad I heard this year.
Unhealer - 04.11.2011 at 05:21  
Heard a couple of songs yesterday and they were pretty cool. I'll give a listen to the whole cd tomorrow
Mikyz - 04.11.2011 at 07:54  
The album is awesome, the best female-fronted album of the year. I'm a huge fan of "different" metal, and this falls in that category albeit in the different sludge category. Great review.
Daniell - 04.11.2011 at 10:44  
I wish I could write as well as you do...
Anyways, one thing keeps bugging me in your otherwise extremely adept and excellently written review - why did you refrain from rating the album if you like it so much? Because you'd give it a ten and you want to avoid overreactions that the maximum rating will inevitably cause (remember my Nevermore review)?
!J.O.O.E.! - 04.11.2011 at 11:17  
Written by Susan on 04.11.2011 at 05:03

I can't believe you don't like "House Carpenter"!!! I think it's a great song on its own but ALSO in context. The lyrics and harmonies are appropriately creepy and nostalgic at the same time, and it's a nice sort of "rest" in the pacing of the album; it gives us a break from the onslaught without dropping the energy level and emotion. Plus, it's a nice surprise and just damn fun

Agree with the rest of your review 100% though!! I'm so glad you reviewed this one. Definitely one I'm glad I heard this year.

Looks like I totally misjudged the House Carpenter, seems like I'm literally the only one who didn't appreciate it. I think I'm probably just too attached the formula on the other songs and didn't like the deviation.
!J.O.O.E.! - 04.11.2011 at 11:25  
Written by Daniell on 04.11.2011 at 10:44

I wish I could write as well as you do...
Anyways, one thing keeps bugging me in your otherwise extremely adept and excellently written review - why did you refrain from rating the album if you like it so much? Because you'd give it a ten and you want to avoid overreactions that the maximum rating will inevitably cause (remember my Nevermore review)?

Ha, I'm not that good a writer, I get envious of other's reviews quite a lot of the time (some people's ability to use analogy and more indepth modes of discussion that are totally beyond me).

The lack of rating is because I don't really believe in ratings anymore (why I didn't rate the last review I did either). A 10 to me personally is not the same as a 10 I would give to a review. A 10 to me means it's something that I enjoy an extremely large amount. The 10 I gave to this album in the votes section is simply to represent an album that towers above all others for me on a personal basis and one that I feel will belong with all those other 10s I've given out. I don't think this album is a 10 objectively, probably something above or around a 9 but I don't like the sheer arbitrariness of trying to quantify my review down to 100th of a point.
Merchant of Doom - 04.11.2011 at 12:45  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 04.11.2011 at 11:25

Written by Daniell on 04.11.2011 at 10:44

I wish I could write as well as you do...
Anyways, one thing keeps bugging me in your otherwise extremely adept and excellently written review - why did you refrain from rating the album if you like it so much? Because you'd give it a ten and you want to avoid overreactions that the maximum rating will inevitably cause (remember my Nevermore review)?

Ha, I'm not that good a writer, I get envious of other's reviews quite a lot of the time (some people's ability to use analogy and more indepth modes of discussion that are totally beyond me).

The lack of rating is because I don't really believe in ratings anymore (why I didn't rate the last review I did either). A 10 to me personally is not the same as a 10 I would give to a review. A 10 to me means it's something that I enjoy an extremely large amount. The 10 I gave to this album in the votes section is simply to represent an album that towers above all others for me on a personal basis and one that I feel will belong with all those other 10s I've given out. I don't think this album is a 10 objectively, probably something above or around a 9 but I don't like the sheer arbitrariness of trying to quantify my review down to 100th of a point.


well, it's a cop out! Half the fun is the rating... if you remove it, then it gets pretty boring... Also, the rating gives an immediate overview of the album and of the reviewer's opinion. Without it, we don't really know where we are standing. It also serves as discriminatory function for the reader. Not everybody has the time to read all the reviews. Personally, I don't bother with some, if I don't know the band or if it's a genre I listen to infrequently... and then it gets a 5!

BTW, I hated the Carpenter's song too... completely out of place and it disrupts the flow. Having said that, for me the album is in the top 10 this year...
Spirit Molecule - 04.11.2011 at 12:51  
My post was supposed to be following your review, but for some weird reason it ended up on the album page, anyway thought I would share it here as well

Definitely one of my favourites for this year as well.
The best thing about music is that not everyone needs to like it. If everyone liked it, it would probably be shite I'm sure.

Not sure if I agree with you about house carpenter being out of place. I actually liked the sudden change, but for some reason the album still keeps the dark atmosphere.

The best part of the album is the dark atmosphere throughout the whole thing, probably why I like violins so much. And about the vocals being off, I think they are meant to be slightly off. Its something like torche and made out of babies, where the vocals are sung purposefully slightly off, which I think is a lot tougher than normal vocals.
!J.O.O.E.! - 04.11.2011 at 12:58  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 04.11.2011 at 12:45


well, it's a cop out! Half the fun is the rating... if you remove it, then it gets pretty boring... Also, the rating gives an immediate overview of the album and of the reviewer's opinion. Without it, we don't really know where we are standing. It also serves as discriminatory function for the reader. Not everybody has the time to read all the reviews. Personally, I don't bother with some, if I don't know the band or if it's a genre I listen to infrequently... and then it gets a 5!

BTW, I hated the Carpenter's song too... completely out of place and it disrupts the flow. Having said that, for me the album is in the top 10 this year...

Who hasn't got time to read a 350 word review? And also who would listen to an album based entirely on album art, band and album name and review score? No one. A review without a score is still a review. A rating without contextual words is just a personal vote. If you don't know where I stand when I said "this is quite possibly the album of the year because of it" then I doubt a random number tacked on will help give an impression of what I think of it.

Lets called my score the "Merchant of Doom Paradigm" - if Merchant of Doom actually likes it then that means that vast majority of others probably will too This album gets Merchant of Doom / 10
Merchant of Doom - 04.11.2011 at 14:05  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 04.11.2011 at 12:58

Written by Merchant of Doom on 04.11.2011 at 12:45


well, it's a cop out! Half the fun is the rating... if you remove it, then it gets pretty boring... Also, the rating gives an immediate overview of the album and of the reviewer's opinion. Without it, we don't really know where we are standing. It also serves as discriminatory function for the reader. Not everybody has the time to read all the reviews. Personally, I don't bother with some, if I don't know the band or if it's a genre I listen to infrequently... and then it gets a 5!

BTW, I hated the Carpenter's song too... completely out of place and it disrupts the flow. Having said that, for me the album is in the top 10 this year...

Who hasn't got time to read a 350 word review? And also who would listen to an album based entirely on album art, band and album name and review score? No one. A review without a score is still a review. A rating without contextual words is just a personal vote. If you don't know where I stand when I said "this is quite possibly the album of the year because of it" then I doubt a random number tacked on will help give an impression of what I think of it.

Lets called my score the "Merchant of Doom Paradigm" - if Merchant of Doom actually likes it then that means that vast majority of others probably will too This album gets Merchant of Doom / 10


Lots of people haven't got the time... and all I was trying to say is that review + rating give an immediate idea of the reviewer's stance and it might encourage to read the review, especially if you usually agree with the reviewer. Nobody was talking about just checking the rating or the artwork out. Yes, a review is still a review without the score, but that wasn't my point. I would like to know where you stand straightaway... and it's not a 10 for me... 8,5...
!J.O.O.E.! - 04.11.2011 at 14:13  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 04.11.2011 at 14:05

Lots of people haven't got the time... and all I was trying to say is that review + rating give an immediate idea of the reviewer's stance and it might encourage to read the review, especially if you usually agree with the reviewer. Nobody was talking about just checking the rating or the artwork out. Yes, a review is still a review without the score, but that wasn't my point. I would like to know where you stand straightaway... and it's not a 10 for me... 8,5...

I don't think I have the ability to accurately represent the words with a number, and I don't think anyone else does for that matter; the arbitrary 7.8s and what have you (why not a 7.7? Where's that 0.1 difference and how would you identify it, let alone write about it? It's entirely up to the reviewer how they conduct their review). Numbers in the contexts of reviews are loaded with meaning that go beyond simple ratings and are prone to emotional "baggage" shall we say. A 6.9 has vastly different connotations to a 7.0 because of how people associate with it. A 6.9 in people's minds = bad, where a 7.0 would mean decent. I just choose not to give people the opportunity to be swayed by confusing and mis-representative numbers. If they'e too lazy to read what I wrote then that's entirely their problem (though often they have the time to find new and unusual ways of complaining on such reviews). I'm not even going to go into the endless debates that have gone on on the reviews here where the rating didn't match the review, or where the "objectivity" card has been drawn because people disagree with a score.
Merchant of Doom - 04.11.2011 at 14:41  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 04.11.2011 at 14:13

Written by Merchant of Doom on 04.11.2011 at 14:05

Lots of people haven't got the time... and all I was trying to say is that review + rating give an immediate idea of the reviewer's stance and it might encourage to read the review, especially if you usually agree with the reviewer. Nobody was talking about just checking the rating or the artwork out. Yes, a review is still a review without the score, but that wasn't my point. I would like to know where you stand straightaway... and it's not a 10 for me... 8,5...

I don't think I have the ability to accurately represent the words with a number, and I don't think anyone else does for that matter; the arbitrary 7.8s and what have you (why not a 7.7? Where's that 0.1 difference and how would you identify it, let alone write about it?). Numbers in the contexts of reviews are loaded with meaning that go beyond simple ratings and are prone to emotional "baggage" shall we say. A 6.9 has vastly different connotations to a 7.0 because of how people associate with it. A 6.9 in people's minds = bad, where a 7.0 would mean decent. I just choose not to give people the opportunity to be swayed by confusing and mis-representative numbers. If they'e too lazy to read what I wrote then that's entirely their problem (though often they have the time to find new and unusual ways of complaining on such reviews). I'm not even going to go into the endless debates that have gone on on the reviews here where the rating didn't match the review, or where the "objectivity" card has been drawn because people disagree with a score.


well, it's your choice, obviously, but I just see the rating as an indication... if people are so stupid to attach such importance to it, then it's their problem. I just find it useful because sometimes it allows me to select which reviews to read. For example, if I see that the new Dream Theater got a 9, I might read the review, if it's a 5, I will definitely skip it! So, to me, it has a role to play. I can see you hate the endless debate about the ratings, but they are part of the fun...
Susan - 04.11.2011 at 15:05  
Many of us don't rate albums that we review. JOOE is in good company in that aspect. If someone doesn't have time to read a review then that is their personal loss.
Spirit Molecule - 04.11.2011 at 15:22  
I think the ratings are quite pointless if there isn't any text to go with it. A 10 for you might be a 7.5 for me. But with a review you can always see why the reviewer gave the album that particular rating. Just a rating without a review is pointless, but a review without a rating doesn't really matter, coz you can still judge the album based on a reviewers opinion of it. A good review always makes the reader want to check the album out.
I think the review JooE has put up is good enough to give the reader what to expect from the album. I never get why people take reviews so seriously. I mean a review is never a collective opinion, but the opinion of one person. So either you like it, or you don't. Nobody is asking you to think the same way.
Grimskallen - 04.11.2011 at 19:13  
The vocals reminds me of the non growled vocals in Thorr's hammer.
deepwithin - 04.11.2011 at 22:43  
Thanks for a good review and for taking your time to bring this to the surface. I bought this some time ago, listened to it a few times (didn't dislike it, but it didn't really stick that long) and put it away. This made me take the cd back out and listen to it.
malaikat - 05.11.2011 at 03:07  
This album gets better with every listen.

Also, why am I hearing Jefferson Airplane more and more (in a good way), especially concerning haunting female vocals and bizzare-psychodelic folk ambiance? This guys rock so hard.
Eidwlon - 09.11.2011 at 01:27  
Yes! Thanks for the review, this album really was one of my greatest finds this year.

On a side note, there are actually two female singers, and sometimes also two (simultaneous) violin parts. They did a really good job making that sound appealing to metal people.
Kamitsukenu - 17.11.2011 at 10:07  
I registered with this site just to say how good this album is; I was recommended this by one of the guys out of band with a female vocalist, and I've been playing it at least a couple of times a week.

Bloody brilliant...
Slinky666 - 08.12.2011 at 02:29  
I must say that I finally find the female vocals to be in the right place... with the music - not above it and not behind it so to speak. Haunting and beautiful album!
M C Vice - 09.12.2011 at 14:26  
Written by Eidwlon on 09.11.2011 at 01:27

Yes! Thanks for the review, this album really was one of my greatest finds this year.

On a side note, there are actually two female singers, and sometimes also two (simultaneous) violin parts. They did a really good job making that sound appealing to metal people.

Actually, all 3 chicks sing. The guitarist does most of the lead vocals, one violinist, Pendleton, does some backing vocals, some death vocals, the lead vocals on House Carpenter and the Russian speaking part in Stonecarver. The other violinist does backing vocals.
Mikyz - 07.03.2012 at 12:16  
After reading the lyrics, I'm positive that they were heavily inspired by Cormac McCarthy's The Road, which makes me admire this album that much more.

Borrowed Time Borrowed Eyes is right out of "Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it." - Cormac McCarthy - The Road.
!J.O.O.E.! - 07.03.2012 at 13:01  
Written by Mikyz on 07.03.2012 at 12:16

After reading the lyrics, I'm positive that they were heavily inspired by Cormac McCarthy's The Road, which makes me admire this album that much more.

Borrowed Time Borrowed Eyes is right out of "Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it." - Cormac McCarthy - The Road.

Nice, as it happens that book is sitting only a few feet away from me at this moment. Still unread though.
Mr. Doctor - 07.03.2012 at 14:53  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 07.03.2012 at 13:01

Nice, as it happens that book is sitting only a few feet away from me at this moment. Still unread though.


Did you get the book because of this cd or it's just a coincidence?
!J.O.O.E.! - 07.03.2012 at 15:23  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 07.03.2012 at 14:53

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 07.03.2012 at 13:01

Nice, as it happens that book is sitting only a few feet away from me at this moment. Still unread though.


Did you get the book because of this cd or it's just a coincidence?

I had no idea there was a relation between the two actually. The book is my ex's. Will read it at some point.
Fritillaria - 29.07.2013 at 16:28  
Really an awesome review and type of writing. I just don't agree with the House Carpenter part, I didn't know it was an English Ballad though it sounded like a ballad obviously,and I think it's well performed.I'm really looking forward to their next album.

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