Eight years ago was the start of the new instrumental era for post-rock; Caspian, a fresh faced band ready to explore the boundaries of instrumental music. Just like Sigur Rós, the band have built up a rapid fan base with their atmospheric sound. This year sees the release of their follow-up to 2009’s ‘Tertia’; ‘Waking Season’ is an album compromised of symphonic sounds and melodic arrangements which embrace the post-rock genre. Their style differs from other instrumental bands, through their sculpturing of their own sound, but this is a release where the band fully come into their own.
The record erupts to ‘Waking Season’, a fresh and melodic five-minute opener which ventures through oceanic and echoing sounds before storming its way into ‘Procellous’. A tidal wave away from the relaxing opener, it erupts into fuzzy guitars, which are surrounded by overtones and the thudding beat of the drums.
It isn’t like Caspian to do anything in half measure and with ‘Gone In Bloom And Bough’, the ten-minute track of the release, it emphasises the band’s first set of vocals expelled around the beat of the drums between the deep instrumental mix. The track is cleverly layered, exploring different elements of instrumental play.
‘High Lonesome’ is introduced with high angelic choruses, swamped by the sound of static buzzing throughout. It sounds like the soundtrack to the start of a new sci-fi film, which then flows directly into ‘Hickory ’54’, but is only differentiated by the heavy pounding drums and the soft backing of a xylophone.
Penultimate offering ‘Collider In Blue’ is the shortest track on offer here. Compromising of two and a half minutes, it’s the beginning of the end; a dark, yet relaxing end to a record swooned with delicate, symphonic sounds. But, finally, ‘Fire Made Flesh’ concludes proceedings, building itself to an automatic high with crackling static and indulging sounds that bring it to its finale.
The album ends of a cold note, harsh and dead but it portrays the control the band now have over their music. It’s a powerful ending to a brilliant release.
Written by Yasmin La Ronde