Review Summary: A culmination of a sound that's been dressed anew, though remaining unaltered in its core
The wisest advice for a review about a post rock album is probably to get past the whole death-of-the-genre-thing. Passing it by only by mentioning the fact that it's maybe after its own funeral that post rock will really become post-rock
, seems quite sufficient. So, bearing this in mind, and knowing Caspian's past, the listening experience of Waking Season
was inevitably predetermined to exclude thrills and goosebumps. However, a close listen will probably convince that what we have here is not a totally generic post-rock album, but a culmination of a sound that's been dressed anew, though remaining unaltered in its core.
substantial element is the climaxing density that's present from the very first listens. Standing on a massive sound's shoulders, the album progressively delivers the quite standard palette of moods a proper post-rock record must showcase. From the mellow ramblings of "Akiko", to the airy and relaxing atmospheres of "Gone In Bloom And Bough", and from the brooding power of "Porcellous" to the exhilarating catharsis of "Fire Made Flesh", it seems that the same old story can still endure with some minor alterations. Far from shaking grounds, the drumming, the guitars and the synth brushstrokes intertwine efficiently enough to produce a coherent and tight album with typical songwriting that's usually enhanced by scarce and clever additions of programmed voices, beats and tuneful guitar leads placed throughout the compositions.There is also a general change of tone, that's clinging to a more subtle aesthetic, enriching the sound with fluidity.The undoubtedly rewarding built-ups are also guaranteed, yet, it is unlikely that any careful post-rock dweller will find anything really exciting in Caspian's latest Lp.
Caught inside a vortex of bulky strumming and and melodic polyphonies, silence barely finds its way out, and when it does, it is hastily passed over. The use of dynamics is careful at times, but the songwriting fails to bring it forth by unfolding too early. The same thing applies with the instrumentation which is by no means flawed, but rather impatient and undecided with which riffs or melodies to insist on and build upon. Unfortunately, all these leads back to the exhausting "post-rock's-dead!" discussion and the ability of bands tagged with such a label to be creative in an environment that is seemingly free of rigid forms. Apparently, it seems that we're still far from creating a fruitful dialogue between innovation and consistency. Until then, I'm sure we can at least enjoy many instrumental rock albums, and Waking Season
happens to be one of them.