REVIEW: Caspian – ‘Hymn For The Greatest Generation’

caspian

Artist: Caspian
Album: Hymn For The Greatest Generation
Genre: Post-Rock
Label: Triple Crown Records

Words can only describe so much. The human condition is not limited to a specific vernacular, though modern society is riddled with sequences of words that when constructed together instill a meaning, or thought. There are things that not even words can describe. An existential hierarchy, or a metaphysical actuality; words have limitations. Letters, and numbers, and signs, these things can get you somewhere, but to truly experience, now that is left outside of the orbicularis oris.

The road is not always a straight path. Curved and windy. C.S. Lewis, a Christian apologetic, devised that Hell is not a place, but a state of being. That of which a life without any roadsigns, no action and no reaction. Close to Lewis’ side, William Faulkner wrote that if there was a choice between experiencing nothing, or experiencing pain, pain would be the only viable option. For what is life if it is not pain? The Epicureans claimed that death, or passing was nothing to fear, because death itself is the release of particles, the absence of pain, and the abandonment of misadventure. It is our road to such ends that yield what we know as the human experience.

While life can be a pitted road at times, let Caspian carry you through it. The unbelievably moving new EP from the Beverly, Massachusetts post-rock band is not a collection of sounds, but, much like their previous album, Waking Season, it is but a soundtrack, or companion to the human experiment. A recurrent pneuma, a condensed enlightenment, Hymn For The Greatest Generation is pain, love, inspiration, and the apotheosis of existence. It will fluctuate with you, and with your ever-changing journey through consciousness, if you let it.

Opener, “Hymn For The Greatest Generation,” is the calm before the storm. A soothing eruption of soundscapes, the opener is an appreciation for those around us, and for the walls that hold us. Never has such vivid imagery escaped my mind, and slipped through the cracks of environmental stimuli, yet somehow managed to bring myself back to homeostatic balance. The gift of music, through Caspian, is one of the most rewarding experiences in my short life thus far.

I say calm before the storm because the following track, “The Heart That Fed” is an upsurge in emotion, that is not as forgiving. Darker, or rather, more burning than before, “The Heart That Fed” is a dynamic journey through distortion, walls of sound, and a flood of light and dark. While the first two tracks are massive in scale, Caspian bring us back to center with “CMF,” an acoustic ballad of peace, tranquility and understanding. Terribly useful in this changing topography of New England, “CMF” is truly the only closing that could have been.

Following the new tracks is a demo of “High Lonesome,” and two remixes, all from the inspiring Waking Season. These variations only show the versatility of Caspian’s music and provide a welcomed escape to journeys we are already familiar with.

Caspian, have once again created a journey without narration, and a story without prose. There are only a few bands who are able to instill such heavy emotion with only the instruments in their hands. While we writers pluck away at our keyboards, and dig into our pens, I dare say Caspian encapsulate everything that needs to be said in a matter of three songs.

SCORE: 9/10

Review written by: Andrew Caruso — Follow him on Twitter

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