Caspian
Dust and Disquiet


4.5
superb

Review

by Masthews USER (5 Reviews)
September 28th, 2015 | 189 replies


Release Date: 09/01/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The sounds of a post-rock band in full swing...

Starting off a review of a post rock album by suggesting that post rock is a dead, flat lined, or otherwise stagnated genre may be just as stale as the genre itself has become, but the notion still holds weight in today’s heavily saturated scene. It’s a truly unavoidable reality, and the basic post rock formula characterized by heavily delayed guitars and lengthy tracks with predictable climaxes has been played out time and time again. What lies beneath tongue-in-cheek attitude from armchair critics is the fact that post rock may be past its glory days, but it’s certainly still alive and kicking. For reference of what it really means to be a relevant post rock band in 2015, look no further than Caspian’s latest LP, Dust and Disquiet.

Dust and Disquiet starts in familiar post rock territory with the introductory track, “Separation No. 2”. It’s a subtle build with subtle instrumentation buried beneath the occasional stark high note, which slowly leads into the second track. At this point, things start to pick up in a way that feels much more calculated than it does immediate. By the time “Arcs of Command” comes around, the listener is hooked. This track is a particular highlight and features a fantastic build with ascending drums behind flurrying guitar notes. Once it hits the midpoint, Caspian is in full swing creating an epic atmosphere made up of distorted guitar riffs and aggressive drumming. The song was a wise choice for a single, and it’s certainly one of the best and most intense tracks to be found on the album.

Once the beginning of the album starts to settle, it becomes evident that the band went the extra mile with perfecting their sound from a sonic perspective. Nothing ever feels buried beneath walls of sound, and everything from the guitar tone to the crash of the cymbals sounds fine-tuned. While it may not have anything to do with the actual songwriting, mixing layer-upon-layer of instrumentation can be a feat and the excellence behind the mixing of “Dust and Disquiet” is something to be acknowledged. This especially shines in the aforementioned “Arcs of Command”, as well as in “Echo and Abyss” and “Darkfield”. Production is one element that could’ve seriously brought down this release, and it’s safe to say that Caspian jumped the shark and then some.

Moving back to the compositional highlights of the record, Dust and Disquiet is a consistent powerhouse until the very end. Nothing is really left to desire when the album concludes, and it’s a welcome return-to-form for a group that has struggled with consistency across their past few releases. Filler is essentially nonexistent, which is appreciable in any album. The second half of the album is a bit more lush than the first, and the movement from “Equal Night” to “Sad Heart of Mine” presents a wonderfully spacy atmosphere that holds back a bit of the immediacy found in the earlier tracks. By the time the eleven-and-a-half-minute epic of a title track comes on to close the album, it becomes evident that the album manages to say everything that it needs to without adding any bonus frill or gimmick.

If there’s one thing that Caspian has managed to prove in 2015, it’s that there’s still a glimmer of hope for post-rock. In all fairness, Dust and Disquiet fails to do anything truly reinvented, but it also doesn’t need to. Songwriting steals the show here, and this stands as one of the best albums that the genre has spawned in recent years.


user ratings (233)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Ranshin (4.5)
Withdrawing post-rock from the quagmire of stagnation....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
September 28th 2015


4921 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pos'd, reads well and is engaging. Really looking forward to listening to this.

minty901
September 28th 2015


3438 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you know its stale to comment on postrock being stale yet you still do it. i find that funny. review wasnt bad. postrock isnt stale im getting tired of that argument. can we start to move on from it now?

IanPhillips
September 28th 2015


22 Comments


Nice review

Artuma
September 28th 2015


28382 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dat title track

Digging: ostraca - last

DinosaurJones
September 28th 2015


5220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely interested in this one. Good review.

VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
September 28th 2015


1352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, though you could do without the opening paragraph, no matter how you dress it up. Will definitely be checking this out.

Ponton
Emeritus
September 28th 2015


6100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2 | Sound Off

albums awesome

zaruyache
September 28th 2015


17037 Comments


Album is way too long to figure out how good it is on as few listens as I've given it, but I've liked what I remember hearing. Need 2 digest. Pos'd.

daBomb88
September 28th 2015


66 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review, although I disagree with the "return to form" comment. Caspian have been remarkably consistent with their releases. This one is right up there though!

Sniff
September 28th 2015


3643 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Title track is beyond what's humanly possible to compose.

brandaao
September 30th 2015


135 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great Review, pos'd.



The crescendo in the final moments of the final track is incredibly beautiful.



Best post rock album i've heard in a while.

minty901
September 30th 2015


3438 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really wish I liked this more.

Sunnyvale
October 1st 2015


574 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really excited to hear this, Caspian is very reliably awesome.

JS19
October 6th 2015


5767 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Minty, give it more listens?

Digging: VASA - Colours

BlackTaxi2d
October 7th 2015


206 Comments


this is the bees knees

favorite post rock release since another language

Digging: Elder - Reflection of a Floating World

minty901
October 7th 2015


3438 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@JS I have listened a couple of times. There's no specific thing that I don't like about it but it just doesn't hit me like their other stuff. Comes across a teeny bit contrived to me. Like the music came from their brains instead of their hearts (cheesy, I know). There are a few songs that I think are awesome but for some reason I'm rarely compelled to listen to them. I do find myself in the mood to listen to the closer now and again but not the full thing. One day I might get it.

Sunnyvale
October 7th 2015


574 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Only listened to this once so far, can't tell yet whether it's truly awesome or just pretty solid.

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
October 24th 2015


4921 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Rioseco, Darkfield and the title track are all pretty much perfect. Shame that it'd cost me nearly $80AUD (so just shy of £40) to get the physical, it looks stunning.

VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
October 25th 2015


1352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Have to agree with Minty here.

minty901
November 2nd 2015


3438 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

seeing these tonight. cant wait for sycamore. seeing mono on friday. this is a very good week.



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