No, the Apocalypse is not the end of things; it’s a part of creation and an immanent process in the eternal cycle of becoming and ceasing to be. There is no evolutionary ‘thread’ that leads us to believe in redemption. Even though on ‘Hall of Thatch’, Jérôme Reuter – alias ROME – initially only confronts us with voice and acoustic guitar, one thing is clear from the first note: This is the beginning of something new. Like some dark, powerful storm, the album’s sound draws over the threshold of our perception. Rome much like Vergil, who as with Dante, takes the listener by the hand and leads him through the spheres of our base existence. Terms such as paradise, hell and purgatory, however, would be much too banal to describe the abysses of the present day. ‘Hall of Thatch’ has an enormous impact.
Previously, ROME mainly addressed literary or historical topics, and preferably a combination of both aspects. Each album stood on its own, yet each begat the other. At least superficially, on ‘Hall of Thatch’ he dispenses with that previous metaplane, in order to discover a new arena on the detour of a personal journey. The CD is much more introspective and thoughtful than most previous releases. ROME steers his boat down a dark stream of consciousness. “On the other ten albums (leaving out "Hell Money" here), I mostly used a political, historical or philosophical context in order to disseminate my thoughts. On this one it’s rather more personal, but more on the metaphysical, transcendental plane. Where does the body fit in that realm between the spirit and the world? It’s neither about current events nor politics, but rather about a process of realisation that’s still some way off from being completed.”
There's a history to ‘Hall of Thatch’, however. Some years ago, Jérôme Reuter set off for Vietnam. The country, its history, the culture and its relationship to Buddhism fascinated him just as much as the lifestyle of the people, who really did experience the Apocalypse half a century ago. At regular intervals, he played concerts at the most south-easterly point of the Asian mainland, and afterwards travelled across the land by moped. He himself called it his field recording trip. Many of these chants and prayers found their way onto the album, forming the framework for ROME's new songs.