2013 was a tumultuous year for Massachusetts-based post-rockers Caspian. Following the 2012 release of their highly rated third album Waking Season, the band spent much of the following year on a string of successful tours throughout Europe and America, hitting the festival circuit and building their hard-won momentum. With new material already being recorded and a fall tour booked, Caspian were dealt a huge blow with the sudden, tragic death of their longtime bassist Chris Friedrich. Emotionally wounded, but soldiering on, the group released the six-song EP Hymn for the Greatest Generation in late 2013. Comprised of three new tracks, plus one demo and two remixes from Waking Season, the EP builds on the haunting, instrumental, ambient rock of their previous output. The title track begins with an austere acoustic-guitar line, slowly coming to a full-band boil before the bottom drops out into a lovely, mournful string section. The second track, "The Heart That Fed," develops similarly, but moves into an all-out angry roar as the band flexes its experimental might. While these full-ensemble tracks are representative of the band at its finest, the lovely, solo acoustic guitar track "CMF" is a somber and moving tribute to their fallen bandmate and best reflects the introspective mood of the EP. Even the included remixes of "Procellous" and "Halls of the Summer" both take on a more subdued, ambient quality than their Waking Season versions. Hymn for the Greatest Generation captures Caspian's power to build moods through wordless, long-form pieces of music, and this release is understandably tinted by the loss of their friend and collaborator.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger