Rising of the Lights Dark Ambient, Industrial ROZKOL Industrial, ambient, and electronic project ROZKOL seems to have started this project around 2016 as far as Bandcamp tells me. His debut album "I" released in May of 2016, and he has since been rolling out album after album. Altogether, he has twelve albums released to date. His influences include the likes of Chu Ishikawa, Trent Reznor, David Bowie, Tom Waits, and Philip Glass. His work has also been featured in the film M.O.M., in the video game Everhood, and in a couple of podcasts such as The Adventure Zone: Ethersea. In 2022, ROZKOL has put out his latest album, "Rising of the Lights". “Rising of the Lights” themes include that of “transhumanism, the dehumanizing effects of capitalism, and the profound contradictions of the modern world”. However, most of those themes were lost on me as I did not appreciate the music found within the album. The opening track ‘Covers the Sun’ isn’t bad. It’s a glitchy, noisy, seemingly middle eastern inspired track that lasts for one-minute and twenty-two seconds. Though I do not think it adequately prepares the listener for what’s coming next. Rising of the Lights by ROZKOLHowever, before I continue, I would like to state that I am not a fan of ROZKOL’s voice. I’m stating this here and now so I don’t have to repeat it a dozen times throughout the review. This opinion became apparent on ‘When I Leave’ and my opinion was not altered throughout the run of “Rising of the Lights”. It became doubly apparent on ‘We’ve Been Here Before’ when he attempts to sing during the chorus. He’s completely off-beat and it sounds awful. Even when he tries to experiment with his vocals, such as on the title track ‘Rising of the Lights’ does it come off awkward. It’s more like a pathetic whine than a singing voice; how it comes off strong and constantly fades away the next moment wasn’t the best choice either. I always try to give artists the benefit of the doubt and find something to compliment about every aspect of their music, but this is one area where I think ROZKOL needs to make a major improvement by either shifting his focus entirely or by working with guest vocalists. Musically, ROZKOL is all over the place on the album. This is never a bad thing but spreading your focus can sometimes result in a messy product. Take ‘Hitchhiker Effect’ as an example. ROZKOL seems to dive into punk rock influences on the single, but the mix is fairly abhorrent. It’s not necessarily that there’s too much going on at once, but it’s the fact that each layer seems to melt into one another rather than standing out on their own. This is the case on other songs such as ‘When I Leave’, ‘In Your Mind’, and ‘It Wants You’. One of the few songs I appreciate on “Rising of the Lights” is ‘Cold Eyes’. It begins off with fairly serene, lo-fi electronics and ambiance before diving into some chill drum’n’bass. Though a tad bit repetitious through its five-minute and thirteen-second duration, it is a breath of fresh air amidst the other tumultuous tracks I experienced. ‘Backsliding’ also isn’t that bad. It’s a fairly minimal ambient song for the most part, but its delicate touch provided me a positive experience. It could have been a bit more daring in its sample design, as the light ticking drums that looped through the song were rather boring. But it was better than most on the album. Despite the few, sparse moments I did enjoy on “Rising of the Lights”, the overall product is unsatisfactory. It is one that I struggled to get through on the first listen and continued to struggle with on my three or four replays of it. If an album feels like a chore to get through than that is never a good sign. As always, however, I recommend that you give it a listen on your own. See if you like it, and if you disagree with me, then you’ve just found yourself something new to listen to. However, for me, this is not something I ever wish to have my ears listen to again. Three out of ten. This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page. 250
Brutal Resonance

ROZKOL - Rising of the Lights

3.0
"Terrible"
Released off label 2022
Industrial, ambient, and electronic project ROZKOL seems to have started this project around 2016 as far as Bandcamp tells me. His debut album "I" released in May of 2016, and he has since been rolling out album after album. Altogether, he has twelve albums released to date. His influences include the likes of Chu Ishikawa, Trent Reznor, David Bowie, Tom Waits, and Philip Glass. His work has also been featured in the film M.O.M., in the video game Everhood, and in a couple of podcasts such as The Adventure Zone: Ethersea. In 2022, ROZKOL has put out his latest album, "Rising of the Lights". 

“Rising of the Lights” themes include that of “transhumanism, the dehumanizing effects of capitalism, and the profound contradictions of the modern world”. However, most of those themes were lost on me as I did not appreciate the music found within the album. The opening track ‘Covers the Sun’ isn’t bad. It’s a glitchy, noisy, seemingly middle eastern inspired track that lasts for one-minute and twenty-two seconds. Though I do not think it adequately prepares the listener for what’s coming next. 


However, before I continue, I would like to state that I am not a fan of ROZKOL’s voice. I’m stating this here and now so I don’t have to repeat it a dozen times throughout the review. This opinion became apparent on ‘When I Leave’ and my opinion was not altered throughout the run of “Rising of the Lights”. It became doubly apparent on ‘We’ve Been Here Before’ when he attempts to sing during the chorus. He’s completely off-beat and it sounds awful. Even when he tries to experiment with his vocals, such as on the title track ‘Rising of the Lights’ does it come off awkward. It’s more like a pathetic whine than a singing voice; how it comes off strong and constantly fades away the next moment wasn’t the best choice either. I always try to give artists the benefit of the doubt and find something to compliment about every aspect of their music, but this is one area where I think ROZKOL needs to make a major improvement by either shifting his focus entirely or by working with guest vocalists. 

Musically, ROZKOL is all over the place on the album. This is never a bad thing but spreading your focus can sometimes result in a messy product. Take ‘Hitchhiker Effect’ as an example. ROZKOL seems to dive into punk rock influences on the single, but the mix is fairly abhorrent. It’s not necessarily that there’s too much going on at once, but it’s the fact that each layer seems to melt into one another rather than standing out on their own. This is the case on other songs such as ‘When I Leave’, ‘In Your Mind’, and ‘It Wants You’. 

One of the few songs I appreciate on “Rising of the Lights” is ‘Cold Eyes’. It begins off with fairly serene, lo-fi electronics and ambiance before diving into some chill drum’n’bass. Though a tad bit repetitious through its five-minute and thirteen-second duration, it is a breath of fresh air amidst the other tumultuous tracks I experienced. ‘Backsliding’ also isn’t that bad. It’s a fairly minimal ambient song for the most part, but its delicate touch provided me a positive experience. It could have been a bit more daring in its sample design, as the light ticking drums that looped through the song were rather boring. But it was better than most on the album. 

Despite the few, sparse moments I did enjoy on “Rising of the Lights”, the overall product is unsatisfactory. It is one that I struggled to get through on the first listen and continued to struggle with on my three or four replays of it. If an album feels like a chore to get through than that is never a good sign. As always, however, I recommend that you give it a listen on your own. See if you like it, and if you disagree with me, then you’ve just found yourself something new to listen to. However, for me, this is not something I ever wish to have my ears listen to again. Three out of ten. 

This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
Feb 22 2022

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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