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God Is An Astronaut

Post Rock/Math rock

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5 stars God Is An Astronaut are well known for their pounding tracks mixed with electronic themes, which are done amazingly well. This album doesn't stray from this formula. Their previous album, All Is Violent All Is Bright, for me, was a masterpiece. It had everything I wanted in an album, and still holds my favourite God Is An Astronaut song (Fragile). This album has 10 pounding songs, each heavier than God Is An Astronauts previous efforts. This album lasts an impressive hour, and you won't want to miss a minute of it. As before, this album is completely instrumental.

The songs on this album are extrordinary. They are done amazingly well and so professionally, and both genres of electronic and post rock mix as if they were meant to be that way in the first place. The album starts with "Shadows", which to me is an omen to a far heavier effort. It is one of their heaviest songs to date, but in making it so heavy, amazingly didn't lose the God Is An Astronaut atmosphere. Since to me, this band makes an amazing atmosphere.

Post mortem is extremely similar, heavy and pounding, but with moments of softer tones. The melody on this song, is stunning. Same with Shadows. Trully a masterpiece in Post Rock. Echoes is very similar, faster than the other songs. Then probably one of my favourites on the album, Snowfall. This song is amazing. It's quite sadder than other songs, and slightly longer than other songs. The melody is excellent, it's unbelievably well done, and the ending to the song just makes you want to play it again and again.

Now for a change. First Day Of Sun, it's utterly different. No drums, just guitars and synth. It is the most relaxing song i've heard in my life. Honestly, i'm not lying. An utter change, but a welcome change. Then then, No Return kicks in. This song is stunning. The elctronic side of this song is utterly superb, moreso than some other songs. And this trully is a great song. Then a complete change from the God Is An Astronaut norm, this song, Zodiac, is very wierd. It almost sounds indian at the start, you have to give this song a chance to shine. If you give it a chance, it will amaze you. Another relaxing song, Remaining Light then kicks in. I won't spoil anything, this song will surprise you completely. Now a similar song to Zodiac, which remains to me one of my favourites on the album, Shores of Orion. Absolutely excellent effort, an excellent song. And of course the album ends on an amazing note, with Loss.

I have no reason to give this album less than 5 stars. Simply because it's a masterpiece. Nothing more nothing less. Buy this album! It's the best post rock with electronic effort ever made. I said All Is Violent All Is Bright was a masterpiece, and this surpasses it. Though that album still holds my favourite song, this album is a better album as a whole. I highly recommend to the point of exploding.

Report this review (#214160)
Posted Thursday, May 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars So this is what I figure as post-rock would be if it were played by robots. This is quite bad actually, I find it lacking any emotion (what is post-rock without emotion?), any dynamics, any variety and originality. Well, the musicianship is quite fine actually, but, I would not want a crazy fast-paced drummer for my post-rock band, this is too fast! This is like the post-rock soundtrack for a James Bond movie, and that does not please me at all.

Every song in here is too heavy, it stops sometimes and gives way to some melodies, but even those melodies won't move me, also we have some electronic futuristic moments, well, I love This Will Destroy You's electronics, it's simple and fitting, but here it just increases the confusion and the robotic feeling. There are some beautiful moments like "Remaining Light" but I'm just so tired and disturbed about all that speed drumming and pace that I find very hard to enjoy,

I won't do a track by track review, I think it's pointless in post-rock, and also, I would repeat myself too much. Basically this is so emotionless that I would only recommend this to people who actually can't get into regular post-rock.

Report this review (#243567)
Posted Thursday, October 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album is a bit mixed bag for me. It opens with few very stereotypic post-rock compositions. Well played, they brings nothing new at all, and in fact could be recorded by any of hundred other post-rock bands.

Somewhere in the middle some music became more personalised, with warmer sound ,interesting keyboards and some influences from nu.jazz (Jaga Jazzist,etc). Then music returned back to quite professional, but almost faceless sound, with rare exceptions.

In all, band musicianship's level is really higher than average, and it's good. But the main problem is compositions. In fact, you will hardly find there song, which you can remember or recognize later.And because of that all album sounds at the end of the day as collection of quite professional but characterless post-rock, without signature of personality.

Not a bad album for post-rock maniacs, but will hardly attract less dedicated listener. Something like 3+.

Report this review (#278499)
Posted Monday, April 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
Easy Money
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars On this 2008 release God is an Astronaut stands on the verge of greatness, but they can't seem to shake the limitations of their chosen 'post-rock' genre. Like so many excellent modern progressive rock bands Astronaut needs to make that leap of faith that carries them into a more diverse and inventive musical path devoid of pre-determined formulas such as math-rock, neo-prog, various metal genres or post-rock.

Its certain these guys know how to set up a nice melancholy chord sequence during the verse and then blast that sequence with full majestic power for the chorus. Their melodies and chords are excellent, but the repetition of the loud then soft formula gets a little predictable after a while. Their whole compositional setup reminds me of when I was teaching several teenage guitar students during Nirvana's Teen Spirit ride on the hit charts. I believe the constant repetition of that song on the radio forever etched the soft verse/loud chorus structure into the receptive minds of our youth. A particular group of my students who could barely play the three chords to Wild Thing prepared a major opus for the school music assembly by playing those three chords very softly with mostly bass for four reps and then blasting the same three chords very loudly for four more reps. This went on and on for this particular school performance and the kids in the audience loved it. Thus post-rock was born.

To their credit though, Astronaut's dramatic choruses hearken back to the glory days of progressive rock, a feeling they enhance by occasionally adding some string synth for that massive faux Mellotron effect. Likewise, their melancholy verses carry a lot of emotional impact and occasionally channel Eno's world weary 70s ambient rock. Eno's presence is strongly felt here, but not so much as fellow Irish rockers U2. The likeness is so strong that on some tracks you half way expect Bono to come bellowing over the dramatic changes. Certainly guitarist Torsten Kinsella has picked up a lot from U2's highly original (at one time) Edge.

On the chorus to Shores of Orion you can almost hear something that sounds like a synth or guitar solo. Now there's a great idea, why doesn't someone just rip a solo now and again. It would also help if Astronaut would change up their predictable song structures occasionally as well. There is a very talented band here that is restricting themselves with the rules of their genre, but if you are looking for damn good post-rock, here it is.

Report this review (#291828)
Posted Saturday, July 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars God Is an Astronaut's self-title album is fairly straight-down-the-line post-rock. It's pretty good if you listen to a couple of tracks here and there in isolation, but as a 1 hour album it gets rather tedious fairly quickly. By the time you've hit the third song and realised you can't tell it apart from either of the first two, you know you've got a problem, and despite some jazzy influences creeping in here and there it's a problem that persists for the duration of the album. On the whole, it may be a pleasant enough listen to those who haven't heard much post-rock before, but post-rock fans will already have plenty of superior albums and newbies to the genre will soon leave this rather unsatisfying piece behind.
Report this review (#733077)
Posted Thursday, April 19, 2012 | Review Permalink

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