Gregor Samsa Rest

It would be a mistake to warp the title of this gorgeous album into a pun that frames Gregor Samsa’s music as "sleepy.” Yes, it’s slow and measured and rarely rises above a whisper but, like when you rest, it’s also completely at peace with itself and quite Zen. This is less post-rock than orchestral due to the great reliance on piano and other instruments, along with the swelling, subtle changes in volume. Take "Abutting, Dismantling,” where the hushed vocals, droning clarinets and repeating piano are stunningly hypnotic, not boring. The perfect realisation of Gregor Samsa’s intentions comes on long centrepiece "Jeroen Van Aken,” with its two perfect movements. The first part is actually quite poppy, with the layered vocal chant of "It seems the devil’s got a grip on me,” but halfway it changes gears as a creepy, undulating bass beat dominates and those haunting female voices return with a resigned chorus of "We won’t break,” though your heart certainly will. The restrained tone that Rest emanates does require patience but once you put those headphones on and close your eyes, this is a journey you won’t soon forget. (Kora)