It's been three years since Helios graced us with a full-length album and in that time, those who followed him on social media may have seen the many soundtracks and scores he's been working on for the likes of Facebook, Apple and Google. A fitting job for such a talented artist and good on him for paying the bills through his talent, but it's been at the expense of his fans, craving new material under the Helios name.
A successful Kickstarter campaign this year helped kick Keith's newest album into gear and we're now once again graced with his gentle, post-rock, ambient-blanketed touch.
Die-hard Helios fans will be pleased to know the sound we grew to love hasn't departed. A slightly more confident approach and some subtle experimentation and depth across instruments is more present; perhaps brought on by his recent soundtrack work. Uptempo tracks such as Pearls, and slow-burning melodies in Sing The Same Song Twice, are balanced against the grainy warm colors of album-ender, Embrace - my favorite track of the bunch, and Sonora Lac; featuring a gentle, teasing climax that so many Helios tracks sign off with.
Keith's style is echoed in many of the artists we hear today and rightly so, from classical soundtrack influences, to guitar-licks, Helios' music continues to reign supreme. It's weird listening to this three years after his last album and thinking of all the artists I've listened to in this period that ring true to his sound. It's not to say Helios coined this style, but he was definitely one of the first influences for me, personally, in accessing the more post-rock / instrumental side of ambient music. I'm still to see him live, and live by his Live At The Triple Door, recording.
I'm still a firmer admirer of his lighter, more textured ambient music such as Vargtimme, and his more recent Moeity, but there's no denying Helios still has the power to transcend genres and pull together a wide-encompassing, perfected sound that touches the soul.
Available on Bandcamp in Digital and CD formats, with vinyl coming soon.