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Explosions In The Sky - The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place CD (album) cover


Explosions In The Sky


Post Rock/Math rock

3.90 | 222 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Progmatist
4 stars This is a tough four-star rating for me. Because while I definitely feel that this album is an excellent addition to any prog-lover's collection, I'm not entirely sure whether this music can be appropriately labeled "prog." Regardless, the powers that be have deemed that Explosions in the Sky is indeed a progressive band, so I'll treat the music as such. Semantics aside, this truly is a beautiful piece of work. Can I understand how some reviewers have found it boring? Sure. A part of me has to wonder whether these reviewers have grown so accustomed to the avante-gardish meanderings of the post-rock scene that they've found the simplicity here to be uninspired, but I'm also willing to admit that the musical developments here can often sound formulaic and a bit safe.

On the other hand, I also feel that the emotions that the band is trying to convey require a certain amount of musical domestication. It would be difficult to see how a heartbreaking piece of nostalgia like "Your Hand in Mine" could be expressed with shifting time signatures and double-take-inducing instrumental asides. In this way, I think one could reasonably make the argument that the members of Explosions in the Sky are less musicians than they are artists. I had the privilege of seeing these guys in a tiny venue in St. Augustine, Florida, and I understood this argument that night more than ever. Seeing the guitarists playing with their eyes closed throughout most of the show, swaying with their rhythm and taking turns playing their guitars while laying down on the floor, we could all understand how straightforwardly personal this music is to them. None of them had to prop one leg onto any of the guitar amps in order to perform any mind-blowingly complex solos, and I'm pretty sure Christopher's drum set wouldn't have even made up a quarter of Mike Portnoy's percussion circus. Plain and simply, these guys are making their living out of creating pictures with their sounds, and I think they're doing a damn good job of it. Hrasky's hearbeat drumming at the beginning of "First Breath After Coma" may not be completely original, but you'll probalby look back at it as almost entirely necessary after being pulled into the wonderful melody that rises from a wrinkled hospital bed into the world of second chances.

In short, if you're looking for music that ventures into unforeseen territory while scoffing at traditional convention and form, you may not be that excited with Explosions. If, however, you're looking for passionately honest music that looks to open up doors to memories and emotions (both painful and beautiful), this album is simply excellent.

The Progmatist | 4/5 |


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