This new EP is glorious and haunting, encapsulating emotions and memories of fallen brethren through slow builds and incredible explosions.
Triple Crown Records, 2013
7.0 / 10
Hymn For The Greatest Generation IS the best name for this new EP by Caspian. Following last year’s full length Waking Season, the band has gone through some heavy changes since bassist Chris Friedrich died unexpetedly this past August. Taking time to mourn and raise money for Chris’ wife, the band has continued to move forward. This new EP is glorious and haunting, encapsulating emotions and memories of fallen brethren through slow builds and incredible explosions.
The “Greatest Generation” is often quoted as being the one that suffered through World War Two. I don’t disagree with this title, but also see it as a valuable and uplifting metaphor. When our friends and family, the ones that have owned up and helped to fight the good fight pass on, we remind the rest of the world about their contributions big and small. Chris Friedrich played a vital role as bassist for Caspian, and its possible they may never have existed or progressed to this degree without him. Many people continue to honor Chris in their own ways. Click here to learn how you can contibute to the Christopher Friedrich Memorial.
Long passages of layered guitar work atop clouds allude to greater heights on much of the EP. Strings group in magnificent harmony, always synchronizing at the perfect moment before separating again into their own traffic lanes, traveling different distances. The title track opens up with the kind of soothing instrumental epic that Caspian is known for. Consistently finding times when it could be reasonably adequate to end a song, and instead choosing to expand upon it is just one of the reasons I enjoy this EP. The next song, “The Heart That Fed”, shows us a darker side of Caspian, with heavy soaked distortion, and riffs that occasionally leak over onto the metal spectrum. Being a fan of both The Appleseed Cast and Sunny Day Real Estate at a younger age, I’m inclined towards enjoying this sort of droned out, alternative form of Rock (not to be confused with Alternative Rock, ahem, note the CAPS). That being said, although they do occasionally remind me of Explosions In The Sky, Caspian never bore me with that sound. Having another instrumental epic is a bit more valuable than settling for yet another Hollywood Undead makeover.
“CMF” is a beautiful classical guitar composition with shimmering strings that hover above the guitar in the mix. A soothing ending bring feelings of both happiness and sadness with its final notes letting go. With the three new songs, a fuzz-drenched demo of “High Lonesome”, and two other remixes whose sources also originally appeared on Waking Season, the half hour run time is a lot. Personally I find myself skipping over Arms & Sleepers’ remix of “Procellous”, instead jumping straight to Lazerbeak reimagining “Halls of the Summer”. The tension and release used in the original is magnified by a sophisticated beat that quickly devolves into a happy hardcore dance break. The nostalgia works better than a Postal Service beat and leaves us in good spirits.