Saturday, November 03, 2007

Caspian - The Four Trees

Release Date: 04/10/07
Genre: Post-Rock

I discovered 3 amazing post-rock bands at the start of 2007. Yndi Halda, This Will Destroy You, and Caspian. The first two bands blew me away so much that I set Caspian aside to indulge later. Their EP You Are the Conductor showed a lot of talent and promise so I had lots of expectations.

Review: The album starts in typical post-rock fashion, that slow build up that's joined by a lullaby and the drums enter in later. It's the longest track on the album, but a great opener. There's two climaxes within the song, so waiting for the crescendos isn't daunting. The second song is similar, but more clean in texture and its climax is more emotional driven and chaotic. Their talent is displayed on "Sea Lawn" where it keeps the same atmosphere, but the acoustic guitar is the main focus so it gives a nice warm memory.

"Crawlspace" is Caspian's full on rock out moment in the album. It's just crazy. "Book IX" is another amazing song. It sort of has two sides to it, the first half is more of a continuation of the past songs, but the second half is love. The 6th song shows their ambient side, but "Brombie" gets aggressive, like almost metal. I didn't like it because it's almost generic post-rock, but maybe it's just me.

Then the next two songs are quiet. Like it sounds great, but the pacing for the album makes it dry. 3 out of the last 4 songs are gentle, I would have mixed it around more, considering that the first 5 songs are pure energy. I'm sure they could have just placed these songs in between one of the first 5, or just removed it all together. Thankfully "ASA" gets back on track with more of the good stuff, but the final track "...Reprise" really sucked. It just gets loud. Nothing good about it.

Summary: Great album except for the second half that caused it to slow down. It's already a hour long, if trimmed down to maybe 45 minutes, the album would be perfect. "ASA" already ended the album greatly, so "Reprise" really left a sour taste in my mouth. But overall, it's one of the best post-rock albums of the year and hopefully it influences more bands.

Key Tracks: Moksha, Sea Lawn, Book IX
Rating: 8/10

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