dw010 - Samsa - Return of the Sofa King

Bryan (c) 2008
"Return Of The Sofa King" is one of my favorite ambient albums to listen to. This album, along with Samsa's "A Forest Without Trees" and Caul's "Apophasis" helped me transition from a diehard metalhead into an guy who listens almost exclusively to ambient music now. I was in the mood for something darker, and this album delivers big time.

To me, ambient music is special in that it can paint a vivid picture in your mind, and most ambient albums that I have listened to have a "theme." "Return of the Sofa King's" theme is water. You can hear water rolling everywhere in the first two parts (tracks 1-3,4-6), giving off a feeling of claustrophobia and isolation, and then the third part (tracks 7-10) gives you a feeling of hope and relaxation, especially "Unyou" and "Close The Eyes". There are a couple parts that make this album really stand out to me. The first is the percussion on "Plastic Echoes," which works so well in contrast to the drones. Usually percussion doesn't really impress me in ambient music, but the percussion is in the background, and do not really have a lot of rhythmic structure, which makes it unpredictable, so it works well. The second part is the background drone (if you can call it that) that runs throughout the entire third part. It sounds like a wave (as in water) that keeps going up and down, and works well with the theme of the album. It works especially well in "Unyou" and "Beyond Brightness", where, like I said earlier, it gives you this big feeling of hope and relaxation, especially on "Unyou."

This album as a whole is great, especially the third part, but you need to listen to the whole album to get the most out of it. Nowadays I listen to the big ambient artists like Robert Rich and Steve Roach, but I still put this on if I want to listen to something extremely dark and uplifting at the same time. It's a free download, so you can't go wrong. I love not just this album, but the majority of Dark Winter, for helping me to appreciate music even more, and basically defining my taste in music now. Thank you, Dark Winter.

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