Slow, reflective, oddly haunting: These are some of the best ways I can described Ghost Halo's cielo 1. Released in early March, this exquisite album marks the fourth release on the Disintegration State label and builds perfectly upon Ghost Halo's established style.
The album's opener "return to a time and place when you last felt truly loved" instantly sets the highly refelcive mood of the album with a plucked string playing a repetitive sequence that seems inspired by traditional asian music. While repetitive, the loop never becomes monotonous as it morphs through delays and the slightest changes while being accompanied an uplifting pad, eventually replaced by a different pattern that carries us to the end of the song.
Throughout the rest of the album, Ghost Halo continues to create reflective and serene moods but utilizes a number of different textures and sound, never returning to the plucked loops but keeping with the serene and simultaneously uplifting pads. Another beautifully haunting moment comes with the track "the future was closer than anybody realized." This track continues to utilize the textured pads heard before, now accompanied by a mallet instrument being played almost as if it were a more deeply pitched wind chime.
What stands out most about cielo 1 is the seemingly cold atmosphere that all the tracks seem to reside in. It is a heartfelt and evocative album, but it never feels warm. Each track is masterfully crafted to be an ambient piece that has just enough to latch onto so that it doesn't fade completely into the background. When there is no plucked string or struck mallet, there is always some faint melody that grabs your attention, such as the string driven pad-lead hybrid that appears in "October" and the slow-pulse lead present in "and everybody went to the rapture." All of this creates the perfect atmosphere for being lost deep in thought.