Ice Fleet by Kauan (2021): Artoffact Records

Kauan’s Ice Fleet is a somber, moody album filled to the brim with post-rock sensibilities and a pronounced focus on the atmosphere and texture of the sonic environment the artists are producing.
On its own merits, the album is fantastic.
Those who know me are aware of the fact that my personal musical preference tends to lean the direction of industrial (including most–if not all–of the numerous subgenres and related musical styles). That genre is followed by punk, metal, and indie-rock/pop or alternative.
But, for writing and meditation, post-rock and post-rock adjacent material is my absolute favorite. When I’m in a particular frame of mind or when I want to slide into that space, there’s nothing better. This album is going into the respective playlists where I’ve accumulated days’ worth of similar material to listen to on shuffle.
Primarily instrumental, Ice Fleet builds from soft, melodic tracks to a more harsh, higher tempo crescendo as the concept album (feeling more like one long, seamless track rather than a series of individual songs) reaches its pinnacle before smoothing back out and softening again.
Not satisfied to simply tell a story in the way most concept albums do, Kauan went above and beyond, crafting a tabletop RPG module built on the Into The Odd framework that immerses the listeners into the world of Ice Fleet. The players will have the pleasure of discovering a long-lost steamship frozen in the ice. While they explore the vessel, it isn’t simply man-eating polar bears and peculiar rats that threaten them, but cosmic horrors manipulating both time and space.
This is more than just a CD, it’s an experience designed to last the listener many hours of chilly terror and pleasure.