Gespenst – The Bloodline – Review

Post-rock – when it’s done right, it can make dreams for the daydreamer, give an escape for the escapist and bring new thoughts to the thinker.

                     

It’s musically flexible, somewhat abstract in nature with an emphasis on atmosphere and tends to have simple and accessible themes if any at all – and all of that also makes it a universally-friendly style of music. Across the world post-rock has flourished, and Malaysia is no exception. Gespenst were formed in 2009 by two brothers in Kuala Lumpur and the result of their work has culminated in debut record ‘The Bloodline’.

The album is quite a rewarding experience for anyone massive on following post-rock, but not essential to avid collectors. The duo are more Mono than Sigur Ros and their best moments come in title track ‘The Bloodline’ – gradually mustering a typical post-rock build-up with intricate, overlapping guitar picking but importing a heavier edge with some refined metallic riffs. ‘Memoir’ is another favourite that – around the midway point – shows what this band is capable of, with a dreamy break of echoing female vocals backing their careful piano playing.

The key for Gespenst to return with a stronger emotive album next time round is to employ less keyboard strings and more actual strings. It’d add that extra layer of sound and affirm a more professional finish. Then they can start throwing punches with the post-rock heavies.

6/10

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