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Amplifier - The Astronaut Dismantles Hal CD (album) cover

THE ASTRONAUT DISMANTLES HAL

Amplifier

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.84 | 52 ratings

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Tristan Mulders
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Amplifier - The Astronaut dismantles HAL

Albeit it is no full-length album, Amplifier have outdone themselves with the release of the successor of their in 2004 released self titled debut album. With the release of this year's (2005) "The Astronaut dismantles HAL" EP, the Manchester based Amplifier have continued their sonic journey alongside the boundaries of conventional (hard) rock.

In contrast to their debut album, the songs on this EP give a more coherent first impression. They are lesser atmospheric and more easily accessible than the ones on their previous release. This does not necessarily mean that the songs are of lesser value based on their compositions. the songs have their own charms. because they are more straightforward this gives a more instant attraction to the music, but in the background there are lots of subtle things happening, mostly, as typical for this band, these are amplifiers used over Sal Balamir's guitar. Sounds of water and echoes of space travel are not unusual on this mini-album.

I experience this album as one dynamic trip through blurred spaces, at least, that is how I can visualize the soundscapes accompanying the lyrics. The instruments sometimes keep repeating the same patterns which causes them to create some kind of trance to listen to. The songs feature a natural progression if looked at the EP's title. The epic opening track Continuum starts of with what sounds like the launch of some kind of space traveling machine, whereas the closing song Live Human gives an impression of a space traveler longing back for his planet Earth and his disillusion of the emptiness of space.

As a last remark I'd like to say that the hidden track at the end of the disc shows Amplifier in a way never heard before, mostly acoustic guitars with omnipresent drums.

Tristan Mulders | 4/5 |

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