Album Review: Capstan – Separate

21 Jul, 2021

With new album, Separate, Capstan seemingly found themselves at a crossroads and opted for a slightly unfamiliar path in which they challenge not only themselves, but also the listener. Their new full length definitely signals at a departure from their tried and tested post hardcore formula, instead incorporating more pop or progressive elements and yet, they’ve not abandoned their roots entirely. 

‘pretext’ and ‘shattered glass’ are both brilliant examples of Captan’s commitment to the genre that put them on the map, and actually, a lot of Separate remains that at its very core. Fans would be the first to acknowledge the Florida five-piece have always been a little more versatile, a little more theatrical than the average post-hardcore band and on this album, they just indulge that side a little more. 

You’ll find more technical mathy riffs, electronic elements, classic rock and metal solos (don’t miss what we can only describe as a Santana-like solo on ‘take my breath away noose’) and it all aids in making this album feel just different enough to the rest of their discography that it showcases their progression without estranging an entire fanbase. 

There are also a few ace features including Charlene Joan on this album’s acoustic number, ‘sway’, one of post-hardcore’s favourite sons, Shane Told (Silverstein) on ‘alone’ and a brilliant saxophone solo from Saxl Rose on our standout track, ‘blurred around the edges’. The latter is so steeped in emotion that the ache carries across the airwaves, multiplied by the depth of the saxophone. Lyrically, like most of the album, it’s honest and vulnerable. 

Apart from their obvious technical ability, this album is also a tell of a band with creativity in spades and an understanding of themselves so firm that they’re able to genre-bend without losing themselves entirely in the process. 

Separate is an album that challenges. Hold on, it isn’t a bad thing. Challenge is what makes us sit up and take note and a band’s ability to still grab attention in an age where it feels like everything has been done, and redone already, is a good thing.

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