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

THE EARTH IS NOT A COLD DEAD PLACE

Explosions In The Sky

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.92 | 185 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Sticking to the knitting

There was a gap of a couple of years between the release of "Those who tell the truth.." and this album. During that time the band paid their dues and developed their sound. "The Earth is not a cold dead place" retains the MOGWAI, GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR, and DEATH IN VEGAS similarities, while moving on slightly from their previous release. I say "slightly" because the basic sounds and structures are very much the same. Two lead guitars backed by decent bass lines, but rather clumsy drumming make up the sum total of what is on offer. No vocals, no keyboards, indeed no soloing to speak of, of any description.

The album consists of just five lengthy pieces, all around 8 to 10 minutes long. If you were to hear one of these in isolation, it would be a challenge for most people to identify which of the five it was, such are the similarities between the tracks.

The opening "First Breath After Coma" benefits greatly from coming first. It builds through successive phases, each phase falling back to a soft, ambient melody with mandolin like guitar picking. " The Only Moment We Were Alone" emphasises my previous comment about the drumming. It is just to phonetic at times, as if drummer Christopher Hrasky is trying to play the principal melody, rather than lay the foundations for it. The track has several false endings before a wonderful cacophony of guitars to end.

"Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean" and "Memorial" are comparatively unexciting tracks, although the latter did bring to mind some of PORCUPINE TREE's older material such as "Voyage 34" and "The sky moved sideways".

By the end of "Your Hand in Mine", you're wondering why they bothered to split the album into five tracks at all, especially in view of the fact that they segue together anyway. The end of this track could link into the start of the album quite easily, taking us around again.

Explosions in the Sky deserve credit for resisting the ubiquitous commercial pressures, and sticking to the knitting. They do what they do well, and clearly recognise their own limitations through operating well within their own boundaries. If they are to progress though, they will need to be prepared to push those boundaries, and investigate more divergent sounds. You can after all, only go to the same well so many times, before it runs dry.

Once again, the presentation of the package is let down by poor artwork on the cover. There is little of no band information, with even the track listing being something of a challenge to spot.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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