Title: The Dying Lights
Artist: Cousin Silas
Release Date: 2014 Nov 14
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: Petroglyph Music
One of the more prolific ambient artists has been at it again. This time we have Cousin Silas in The Dying Lights up for consideration.
Silas In The Dying Lights
I thought I had let this release sit around for a while in the review queue at CerebralRift Manor. But apparently my mind is playing tricks on me. Most likely this is attributable to hearing early release versions of several of these tracks on Cousin Silas’s SoundCloud page.
But this goes to show an important side to Cousin Silas’s work. Listening to a release that you have been familiar with for a while is like slipping on a pair of warm slippers and curling up with a good book by the fireplace. It’s warm, cozy and comforting.
But while you the listener may be tempted to treat his work as if it were sonic wallpaper, you will be equally rewarded when scratching the surface to listen to what is happening within each piece.
The Dying Lights is a study in the contrast between bright and dim; warm and cool; sparse and dense. The pieces on this work float freely along the air, mixing these contrasting elements to create an ambiance that is ever shifting and changing. Even in the darkest work on this release, ‘Urban Desolation’ there are times when the sounds are densely layered and times when there is much breathing space between the elements.
Another of my favorite tracks on this release ‘Gratitude (For Michael)’ might seem to be a simple wandering solo guitar against a wash of synthesizers. But, listen more closely, and it becomes clear that this is a pastiche of progressive rock style guitar work ala Pink Floyd or Steve Howe (of Yes) set in an ambient style.
It’s this kind of reward that keeps me coming back to Cousin Silas’s work. There is so much to hear in these pieces that it’s almost always a journey of discovery listening to them
This is another work from Cousin Silas that is as rewarding on the first listen, as it is on the twentieth or one hundredth listening. It can feel quite comforting like curling up next to a warm fireplace, yet there is always more to discover within.
I’ve made this appeal before, but I’ll make it again… If you aren’t already familiar with Cousin Silas, you really should be. Check out some of the other reviews and interviews on the CerebralRift: The Place It Used To Be, Cousin Silas Interview, Sound of Silas; Hello Darkness? And, if you are ready to dig further into his impressive catalog, check out his website, and SoundCloud.