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Caspian sleeve

Dust and Disquiet

25th September 2015 – Triple Crown Records/Big Scary Monsters

01. Separation No.2
02. Ríoseco
03. Arcs Of Command
04. Echo and Abyss
05. Run Dry
06. Equal Night
07. Sad Heart Of Mine
08. Darkfield
09. Aeturnum Vale
10. Dust and Disquiet

It’s been three long years since Caspian‘s last full length Waking Season and in that time they’ve not had issues occupying their time and following the magnificent 2013 EP Hymn For The Greatest Generation. It’s high time we had something new to spin.

Opening numbers “Separation No.2” and “Ríoseco” birth the juxtaposition of stylistic balance on this record, a theme that continues throughout. The first is a melancholic yet inherently beautiful jumble of strings and brass that ebbs and flows into its follow up. The seven minute “Ríoseco” is a pensive dream state, surging and bounding with heavy guitars and naturalistic harmonies – like a breath of fresh air whilst watching waves crash on an autumnal beach.

Echo And Abyss” is probably the most vocal-oriented track Caspian have ever put out, but with it comes a change in dynamics that feels ever more simplified. This cathartic mix of clean and heavy vocals ride a wave of ever-present danger, and the crushing guitars and a restrained yet powerful drum performance really shine here. This is really that last flash of lightning as storm fades back into the night sky.

That storm passes as the acoustic delights of “Run Dry” play through. Retrospective and passive, this vocal heavy track turns on the charm. It’s simplistic and almost folky, and feels like a nod to the band’s previous EP, and like a disenchanted lullaby, it serves as a welcome break before the album’s next act begins.

Shoegazey number “Sad Heart Of Mine” – the first track the band released from the record – is all keyboards and electronics feels almost Sigur Rós-esque; its ever building crescendos are powerful and the cymbal heavy procession are simply breathtaking. It leads comfortably into the electronic and brooding “Darkfield“, a crushingly emotive piece that treads the line between post-rock and industrial with stuttering guitar lines injected between the electronic shadows that lurk and ensnare in a multitude of ways.

Aeternum Vale” and “Dust and Disquiet” finish up the album, and although the former serves as an intro to the latter, its title translates to “farewell forever”, which makes its slow acoustic meanderings all the more potent. The title track is a slow burner, which after the storm of the record’s first half, means this calm is both necessary and welcome. Undertones of brass, strings, and reverb add flavour, further proving that Dust and Disquiet has a balance running throughout that makes for a somewhat solemn departure from what feels like an old friend.

Caspian’s latest output feels more expansive than its predecessors: its vast dynamics and variation from track to track really gives the feeling of something far greater than yourself. Packing in a variable heap of emotions and timbres, Dust and Disquiet feels both complete and entirely palpable. It’s really not too much of a stretch to say that this record is Caspian’s finest work to date.

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