Roadburn Festival clearly keep good archives of what goes down at their annual heavy music occurrences, because the live albums keep on popping up on their Roadburn Records imprint. This one is SubRosa’s set from the 2017 festival, with the band running through seven of their tracks in what some attendees reckon was the highlight performance of the festival. CD edition.
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8/10 Tom Customer review, 22nd May 2018
Formed in Utah in 2005, SubRosa are somewhat unique in the doom metal world for making extensive use of strings in their records, a feature which gives their music an emotional undercurrent sometimes lacking in the genre as a whole.
Having already performed their 2016 album For This We Fought the Battle of Ages in its entirety at Roadburn Festival 2017, SubRosa then played a career spanning semi-acoustic set in a church. Now we can all hear why it was widely touted as the best performance of the festival.
In this new context, the stoner riff of ‘Whippoorwill’ (from 2011's No Help for the Mighty Ones) becomes a pastoral blues mantra, and if you’re not moved by the stunning rendition of epic closer ‘No Safe Harbor’ (from 2013's More Constant Than the Gods) you should probably check for a pulse. SubRosa have long been considered masters of sorrowful sludge and majestic doom, but removed from the distortion and bombast, their songs gain a heart-breaking clarity that only lends to their beauty.
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