Cellarscape is the project of the multi-talented Paul Terry. Aside from the five albums he has released as Cellarscape, Terry has scored several films and written a number of books. ‘The Act Of Letting Go’ is his latest effort, and clocks in at a rather intense fifty-six minutes.
The most striking thing about the ‘Act Of Letting Go’ is the range and amount of instruments used. Acoustic guitars are draped across electronic beats and violins chase after sinister basslines on Look Backwards, Lean Forwards.The vocals are catchy and fit nicely with the eclectic arrangement.
The chorus of Out Of My Hands sees a guitar riff and earnest vocals emerge out of the slow verse. Like most of the songs on this record though, this song feels a bit long and drawn out. It lacks a sense of urgency and intensity, and lumbers lazily towards its conclusion. Timelapsetiredsky is particularly guilty of being overlong; the 10-minute epic is like an overly-talkative friend that takes forever to get to the punchline of a joke, as you stand there awkwardly wishing to be somewhere else.
Epinephrine, the first single of the album, opens gently yet darkly; thin guitar sounds and a basic but constant beat accompany the gloomy vocals. The sound expands with the introduction of strings and backing vocals but as before lacks a vibrancy and sense of direction. Terry does establish quite a distinctive style over the course of the album with his habit of throwing diminished chords into the mix. This causes the mood of the songs to be almost bipolar, suddenly hopping from one mood to another. The effect is not unpleasant, and forges a strong sense of Terry’s personality into the music.
Despite the fact that listening to ‘The Act Of Letting Go’ is a journey that meanders directionless and slowly, once it reaches its destination the album is quite enjoyable. Although the eclectic instrumentation and the distinctive, deliberate chord changes redeem the album somewhat, ‘The Act Of Letting Go’ is not really ideal for active listening, and serves better as background music.