Review: Glaston - Inhale / Exhale


Looking at the discography of a Swiss post-rock four-piece Glaston, it could be said that the group has always been quietly prolific. Back in November the quartet from Zurich launched their first full-length album after a few singles and an EP.

Inhale / Exhale is a revolving cinematic projection of ten different vignettes, each of which shrouded in deep occult fog and gauzy imagery. Though they’ve since moved away from their “doom” (take it with a grain of salt) origins they’ve managed to make this release their “heaviest” to date, as sonic density is maximized Layers of eclectic instrumentation and genres are strung together effortlessly with a connecting thread that makes shifting gears jell without even the slightest of hiccups. From the soundtracks of meticulously planned heists to prog wizardry, Glaston surround themselves with the swelling sounds while exhibiting a muscular and restrained sense of musicianship. Songs such as “Game of Tones”, “Sunnar”, “Implosions and Her,” and “Ritou” conjure up ascetic brood into a maelstrom of longing and demise. Other, more ambient tracks channel more otherworldly sounds.



Inhale / Exhale isn't your typical "ride the rails" post-rock album. Glaston script their own characters, dialogue, and scenes through each of their colossal tracks; content left up to the listener to interpret. Vagueness ends up being the band's best tool, as each song lends itself to the backlight of the listener's imagination. The album wades through the abstract with a strong enough sense of where it's going, making it hard to lose interest in these songs. Seedy cabaret halls lead to manhole steam shrouded alleys, which open up to vast western expanses, and finally, spiritual zenith. It's a visual album, so much so that it refuses to remain ambient. The false climaxes, long buildups, and predictable catharsis of most post-rock acts is eschewed for something more condensed and focused. This isn't to say Glaston doesn't adhere to a particular formula, as most songs follow a triptych composition of distinct movements. Sometimes the band even becomes portentous in these shifts, following moments of airy brevity. However, any criticism at this point is simply nitpicking at what stands as one of the past year’s finest albums. Glaston have honed their craft of eclectic landscape artists by impregnating their vistas with chaos, psychedelia, and art house niche.

Stream / download Inhale / Exhale from Bandcamp here.

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