Friday, May 30, 2008

Gregor Samsa - Rest

Gregor Samsa
(05.2008, Kora)
Verdict = A sweeping, majestic epic

Gregor Samsa has always dealt with music on the grandest scale. In some ways I think the band is just about the closest thing that America has to Sigur Ros. Rest, their third full length album finds the band still entrenched in classical, minimalistic, swelling orchestrations, but this time composing from a different angle. As the bands key members seem to have splintered away from Virginia to DC, Chicago and New York, Rest became (possibly because of necessity) a product of modern technological phenomenon of electronic mail (AKA e-mail). Ok, so email is pretty familiar now, however, the idea of composing an album as complex and classical in nature as Rest via recordings passed between members of the world wide web must have been as daunting as it must have been exciting. The results are breathtaking and as much, if not more, cohesive than their previous releases. Gregor Samsa maintains their signature slow paced, lulling beauty on Rest, drifting from song to song like a dream. The instrumental focus has changed slightly, incorporating more piano and less guitar. The change has created a more pristine, fragile feel to the songs as if they were constructed of the finest porcelain. It is this fragility that requires an unfettered attention, giving the feeling that any false move might crack the otherwise perfect glacial document. Rest is a glowing testament to patience and, when the tones are this perfect, the power of volume. Rest deserves to be listened to at full volume which is not something I can recommend for every album. Simply gorgeous.

-Mr. Thistle

Gregor Samsa - "Jeroen Ven Aken"

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