Caspian, oh Caspian…. you guys are in a league of your own. Their latest release Dust & Disquiet is a quintessential Postrock album that will be remembered for years to come within the genre. It’s a testimony that Postrock continues to amaze. Find out why in this review!
Personal drama is great fuel for music and Caspian had their share last year. We all know the tragic story about their former bass player and the inevitable doubts as a band to continue. As a manner to reminisce, Caspian tells their story with this release. It’s a gut-wrenching, emotional tour-de-force with lots of humanity and in the end…. an important positive message.
Fair warning: this album is *so-much-better* when you listen to it as a whole. There are some great tracks to listen to individually, but the emotional kick is definitely there when you listen to the full package.
Opener Separation no2. feels like a melancholic but respectful goodbye. A small and sparse track that should not quite fit as an opener of an album, but it sets the stage for the other tracks and damn, it works. Ríoseco is the first fleshed-out track of the album and takes its time to add layer after layer. After the 5 minutes mark, the track picks up more drama and sounds like a person in despair…. When the lead guitar kicks in at the 6 minutes mark, that’s the high point of this track. There’s confusion all over, what to do?
Well, third track Arcs of Command gives the listener the answer: Some things in life are just too much. All your energy and struggles in vain: you don’t want to lose your sanity, you don’t want to give in but you know it’s unavoidable… sometimes in life you’ll break. It’s a beautiful but quite disturbing track with a constant siren-like sound and some heavy, heavy parts. The ending is mesmerizing: after a huge finisher, all is quiet but the drums that pounds every few seconds: it’s the haunting sound of one clinging to life but unable to do so.
Echo and Abyss marks a turnaround of Caspian’s music: it’s a vocal-focused track. Due to the important vocal segments, the whole structure of the track is a bit different but nevertheless fantastic. It’s a track with a jarring atmosphere. One questions life but there are no answers, there’s no resolution and acceptance to everything that happened. Track no 5 Run Dry is an atmosphere shifting track: After everything that happened, you have to start accepting the way it is. It’s a minimalistic and full vocal featured track that differs from everything that Caspian has ever made. Although it’s totally different, it’s one of the highlights of the track: you just feel the need of the band to come to accept the facts: Weep ‘till you drown…we’re wide awake now” . It’s as if the band tells us that you may take time to grief and let your feelings go. Finally, there’s some clarity. After the heavy thoughts of this track, there’s a quiet but positive interlude titled Equal night that ease your mind a bit and calms you down.
Sad heart of mine sounds pretty depressing, but actually: it’s a much higher spirited track then all that came before. There’s still a lot to go for in life: people that left us, leave some great memories to constantly remember and reminisce…..After this we’re on to the biggest beast of this album: Darkfield. Goddamn, what a track this is. It’s as if Caspian tells us there’s a lot to live for: get on your feet and give it your all: dance motherf*cker! Distorted elektro synths and heavy guitars are blasting their way out of your speakers. During the story this album tells you, this is what you’re aching for: it’s as if it injects buckets of life into the listener….. energetic and one mammoth-like track this is, fantastic!
After the high-energy state of Darkfield, there’s a time to slow it all down. Track no 9. Aeternum Vale does that for you. Plucking away at an acoustic guitar gives you the time to calm down and get a realistic view of life again. Album finisher and featured title track Dust & Disquiet tells us that balance has been restored: 11 minutes of fantastic true-to-heart Caspian music that proves the band has found its bearings again. They found a way to deal with everything that happened and onward is the way to go. Music can heal your mental wounds and Caspian surely shows with this album. An album that wears you down and later: picks you up and brings you to an all-time high… an amazing job.