I'm not sure if I exactly understand what post-hardcore is supposed to be, but I do know what Capsule's sophomore effort No Ghost sounds like. It sounds like tech death if the guitars were layered more densely than the population of Monaco, the head songwriter accidentally started writing while under the influence of paint thinner, and his dog accidentally turned the 'confusing as fuck' knob up to eleven. By which I mean: it sounds pretty damn awesome.
Well, the first time through, anyway.
I am really quite loath to be too hard on this album, especially because the first time I listened to it, it blew my mind. I was quite surprised with how it sounded, and it really was one of the greatest things I had heard in a very long time. However, on subsequent listens, it lost a lot of its power. After listening to it around eight or nine times (like I usually do to prepare for a review), I had grown frustrated beyond belief with this album.
And that's when it really hit me: the biggest issue with the album is that it really isn't that memorable. Despite how much there is going on in the music, there is surprisingly little depth to it. It presents everything it has to offer to you at first listen, and it doesn't exactly leave you with any reason to go back to it afterwards. By listening to it over and over and searching for depth that wasn't there, I was really diluting the appeal of the album.
This is really unfortunate, because it is clear that Capsule are very talented musicians. Imagine that Don Caballero got drunk one night and accidentally wound up in bed with Atheist, and you'll get roughly what these guys are capable of. Not only are they impressive musicians, but their writing is just as chaotic and complex as you'd expect, perhaps even to a fault. They have bouts of true musical brilliance, but by the time you've had the chance to appreciate it, the piece has moved along about five musical ideas further into the piece. And as I said before, for all of the complexity, there is very little depth to the music. There's a lot to appreciate here; there is much less to actually enjoy.
Of course, there are a few places on the album that were still pleasant after many listens, most of them at the end of the album. “Gown of Frost” and “Miscology” are both particularly standout tracks. But I feel quite terrible knowing that the only track I'd really want to listen to again was the closing instrumental, “_,” which was clearly written to be a throw-away outro.
I would still recommend that you listen to No Ghost. Once. I guarantee you'll enjoy that first listen. I'd keep away from it a while afterwards, however. Its weaknesses have a habit of becoming glaringly apparent with each passing listen.
3.5 / 10
Posted June 17, 2015, 12:42 p.m.
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