Release date: August 10, 1998 | Deep Elm Records | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Ah, the ’90s – the decade where previously tight-knit genre boundaries began to splinter and where the seeds for many current trends in alternative music were sown. A fertile time for creatives of all persuasions, but especially in rock music. Into this time of diversification fell the rise of genres like emo, post-rock, and post-hardcore; if you thought I picked those three at random, think again! The Appleseed Cast, formed in 1997, pulled from those strands of emotionally charged, musically forward-thinking guitar music to create their own path. Their début album The End Of The Ring Wars (1998) marked an early highlight for the Kansas four-piece, and for its 25th anniversary, we thought a celebration was in order!

Dylan Nicole Lawson

The Appleseed Cast are a band that could arguably be consider post-rock staples. Putting raw emotion at the forefront, the esoteric soundscapes the band projects match the intensity of the same energy put into production of the albums they release, generally speaking. I personally became aware of (and, subsequently, a fan) much later into their legacy. But, all the same, having walked briefly through their discography, it is no surprise that their music would leave a considerable impression on all fans of post-rock music with a cinematic atmosphere.

Today, we recount such with 1998’s The End Of The Ring Wars. A well-praised and fondly remembered work of art with infinite replay-ability factors to it – tracks like “Marigold & Patchwork”, “Stars”, and “Portrait” would set the stage for a fine combination of grit and grace, with clean, melodic guitar passages leading way into heavier, grungy chord strums as the songs build upon themselves with each passing second. The album haunts decades later in the best way possible. Not to mention, many post-hardcore acts of the modern days would find plenty of inspiration from this era of The Appleseed Cast as well.

Songs alternating between mid-tempo to up-tempo, one particular track, “Untitled 1/2”, gives me hints of similar energy to Haste The Day’s “Autumn” track. I cannot personally speak to The Appleseed Cast being a direct point of inspiration to Haste The Day, but the attention to build-ups and creating this emotive wave of sound that creeps under the skin into the nervous system in such a visceral way is quite evident as well as familiar between the two. While The Appleseed Cast doesn’t seem to necessarily go for the same type of heaviness displayed in bands like Haste The Day, you still get a decent rush listening to the album as the tracks run almost parallel to a rising action arc in a devastating work of film, or story told.

Perhaps that is the biggest takeaway of The End Of The Ring Wars; it is a story told that listeners never seem to get tired of hearing. Beauty is truly in the details, and given the band presents such a detailed sound to their work, its cinematic nature checks out. At any rate, regardless of being a fan of post-rock, emo, or post-hardcore, it’s difficult to deny this piece being at least relatively impactful for what it is. The Appleseed Cast create their own universe by way of waveform.

Dominik Böhmer

Dominik Böhmer

Pretentious? Moi?

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