So when I noticed the "out now" picture on Meniscus' facebook page, I lightspeeded to bandcamp in order to get my hands on a copy. I bought the album, dragged it into my media player and pressed the play button. Opener 'Doom' started playing and immediately pulled me into a mature, varied and massively immersive post-rock album. "Hm", I thought, "this sounds nothing like 'War Of Currents', but it's still a mesmerizing piece of work". Eventually, I ended up playing the album several times in a row, allowing it to grow on me.
It's true, this new album is definitely not an updated version of their previous one, like some bands seem to record. Instead, Meniscus evolved and perfected their sound into a vintage post-rock classic. All the tracks here are meticulously written and performed pieces of music, extremely loyal to the traditional post-rock anthems. They continuously alternate between calm passages of cinematic music and outbursts of distorted guitars and pounding drums. Each one seems to tell some sort of story, which suddenly reminds me of Smetana's 'Die Moldau'.
I've always admired the narrative approach of post-rock, and on this album Meniscus certainly mastered that skill. A track like 'Overhang', has the power to remain stuck in your head for a long time, not only because of the recognizable guitar play, but also because it's quite easy to imagine a story while listening to it. 'Head Rush' certainly has that quality, being a massive track, a possible soundtrack for a beautiful adventure. You can really lose yourself in the immersive nature of decent post-rock, and in that aspect, 'Refractions' is a marvelous piece of work.
If you're a fan of the acts I mentioned earlier - yes, even Smetana - you should give this album a shot. I'm sure you won't regret it. In my collection, this one will soon appear on the top shelf of my post-rock collection, somewhere between Russian Circles and Explosions in the Sky, I think, and certainly right next to 'War Of Currents'. Of course, I'll still treasure the latter, but from now on 'Refractions' will blast to my speakers on regular occasions. I suggest you do the same and also join me in hoping that this quartet will be touring Europe soon, hopefully appearing on Dunk! Festival where they would exceed all expectations, again.