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Close Your Eyes and Watch: Sillian Rail Live in Seattle

Posted by April 5th, 2011 No Comments »

By Ben Allen 

If you close your eyes, take a deep breath, and completely relax your mind, you can almost see a short film unfolding as you listen to Parhelion, the full length debut by Bay Area band Silian Rail.

Completely instrumental, each intricately arranged composition feels like a narrative to the best film you’ve never seen. There’s a sense of familiarity in these tunes, like you’re listening to a song you’ve heard a million times but had forgotten.

But while many bands that fall in to the “post-rock” or “math-rock” category pride themselves on masturbatory arrangements flaunting their technical prowess, Silian Rail maintain a level of accessibility to be enjoyed by all.

In other words, they are one of the rare acts that make ridiculously complex compositions that can be enjoyed by those who may not ordinarily seek out “math rock” bands. One example is Parhelion standout “Death Should Know Better,” a rollercoaster joyride with an optimistic feel.

Silian Rail is also an incredibly active and driven band.

Parhelion, their debut, was released to critical acclaim nine months ago by Parks and Records and recently re-released by a small Italian label on beautiful colored vinyl with gorgeous accompanying artwork. Since that time, they have recorded a digital split with Chico, CA band Red Giant, toured and played constantly, recorded a collaborative acoustic EP and immersed themselves in rehearsals, writing and arranging an album to be recorded this summer. If that’s not enough, guitarist Robin Landy and drummer Eric Kuhn find time to expand their compositional range in side projects.

On stage, Silian Rail is a joy to watch. Their songs are so full of twists and turns you’re left with no choice but to submit full attention to their arrangements. Last time I saw them I left sweaty and with a slight buzz ringing in my ears, but incredibly inspired.

This band, their live show and recordings are a revelation. They offer a glimpse into not only the future of post-rock, but where music in general should be headed.


Close your eyes for Sillian Rail’s inspiring pseudo-film score Sunday, April 10th at The Black Lodge along with By Sunlight and Sigfried the Giant.

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