When the words “Caspian” come to mind, many may think of the famous Sea that rests in between a series of countries in the Middle East. And much like the Sea itself, Beverly, MA band Caspian, are as freely moving as the set of water that they were presumably named after. However, despite this obvious connection to the patch of water, Caspian are a band that become hard to write a review after; especially without dropping down words like: “cinematic” and “atmospheric.” Presumably though, after listening to their third self-titled release, Waking Season, I’m sure you can imagine why.
For over a week now I have been dabbling around ideas on how to write a review for the seemingly breathtaking album, but for the life of me I have found it impossible to attempt to capture the feeling and expression that the album professes. Between the bell-chimes, rushing guitars and climactic build of the drums in the eminent single “Waking Season,” to the gazing ambiance of the filler track “Collider in Blue,” and finally to the deep thrashing — almost cataclysmic — sounds of “Fire Made Flesh,” Waking Season touches on a number of different frameworks throughout.
What is most notably distinguishable about this album though, is the ways in which it sways from the cookie-cutter post-rock format. Progressing from the quietest of instrumentals, Caspian builds many of its tracks around a separated — drum built — rise. What is different of Caspian’s builds though are the ways in which they leave you breathless and gasping for that last final note.
Another characteristic that also became quite pronounced was the collision of verses — a notable feature on “Halls of Summer” and “Hickory ’54.” Layering of guitars and crashing cymbals steer you into an open door full of gleaming vocals on the horizon, while a throttling push send you out into the thrashing calamity.
But what track takes the cake?! Being that Waking Season is such a greatfully composed album — on all ends of the spectrum — defining the best single is more of a task than with most albums. The decision does however pass the resplendent breakdown of “Long the Desert Mile,” and the mercilessly captivating progression of “Gone in Bloom and Bough,” thus leaving us with the highly engrossing, “Waking Season.”
While I’ve already stated it many times before, Caspian have been able to piece together many different areas of post-rock, and while most of it is much harder than that of bands like Balmorhea, the complexity and attention to detail seem noticeable amongst the spectacle and range of instrumentation. To put it simply, if there’s an album this year that exemplifies the power of the collective effort, Waking Season has got it.