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Combat Astronomy


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Combat Astronomy Dreams No Longer Hesitate album cover
4.00 | 12 ratings | 3 reviews | 25% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Lightning in Her Eyes (3:51)
2. Touch the Moon (6:43)
3. I Can't Breathe (7:31)
4. Alive Inside Eternity (12:35)
5. Sentinel (16:48)
6. Fragmented Degrees (13:59)
7. Ordinary Miracles (2:55)

Total Time 64:22

Line-up / Musicians

- James Huggett / bass, drums, keyboards, electronics & programming
- Martin Archer / saxophones, clarinets, recorders, electronics
- Elaine di Falco / vocals
- Mick Beck / bassoon
- Mike Ward / flute, bass flute

Releases information

Zond 001

Thanks to ? for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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COMBAT ASTRONOMY Dreams No Longer Hesitate ratings distribution

(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

COMBAT ASTRONOMY Dreams No Longer Hesitate reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Crushing music. Ever heard that term? Probably yes and in most instances, you'd figure, the adjective refers to whatever sort of metal music, hardcore, deathcore, grindcore. Well that is a term I would use for some of these and several recent albums I listened to from these styles do in fact seem to crush down upon you with blistering guitars and drumming, threatening to pulverize your ears. In this case however, we are not talking about a metal band, but about a band that is as heavy sounding and boasts a crushing quality to their music. James Huggett is the American musician who started combat Astronomy. Before that, James was recording electronic music, incorporating noise and industrial styles, which would be incorporated into the sound of Combat Astronomy. Lunik from 2001 is the first release from the band. A limited CD-R release in a DVD box, it was a harsh sounding record with tribal patterns, loops and noise. In 2005 the album, The Dematerialized Passenger, was released. In here James resumed guitar playing, and the foundation of the compositions became the sound for which Combat Astronomy is known for: a rough and granular bass sound around which revolve the rest of the wide range of instrumentation: guitar, electronics, saxophones, clarinet, violin, bassoon and flute with programmed drums. This album was the beginning of the collaboration with Martin Archer, a British multi-instrumentalist and composer. Mick Beck (bassoon; also plays on Dreams No Longer Hesitate) and Charlie Collins (flute) also took part in the recording. In 2008, an expanded lineup released Dreams No Longer Hesitate. From Caveman Shoestore, came Elaine di Falco (vocals, piano), Mike Ward (flute, bass flute), Myrrhia Resneck (baritone saxophone) and the aforementioned Martin Archer and Mick Beck. The live band has had several lineups, which can be seen on the band's myspace page.

Coming back to the crushing matter, this is evident from the very start of the album. Be prepared to play with the bass knob on your system. The music doesn't wait for any introduction; it just goes straightforward and immediately punches its way through your ear canals. Aside from the layers of instrumentation here, there are wonderful noises added to the mix that makes the music creepy and eerie. Listen to this album late at night in the dark, and you've got yourself a recipe for nightmares. Elaine's voice goes perfectly hand in hand with the spooky and bizarre sound of the music; her voice is determined and yet soft in a way and thus complementing the aggressiveness of the music in its most ferocious parts and also its more dreamy segments (which are as powerful, such as in Touch The Moon). The music, taking as much from fusion and zeuhl as it does from rock and metal, is an amalgam of styles, combined very well into one cohesive approach. It is not, however, an endless series of sonic blows to the head. There are moments where it ponders, where it seems to expand horizontally and not only move forward unmercifully. At times this may even remind of shoegaze-styled bands with the slower pace and with a hypnotic endless sound or repetitive sequence. Perhaps the most crushing part here is I Can't Breath. The bass will sound as if it's about to come out of the speakers and break everything in its path. If ever a song gave the exact impression of its title, this is it. The repetitive extremely heavy pounding is a fascinating musical rendering of suffocation (whether mentally or physically). As the song moves on, the drumming gives a highly rhythmic pattern and Elaine's vocals are played with to overlap and thus creating a weird otherworldly sound, with a hypnotic characteristic. This is high-energy shoegaze music. In Alive Inside Eternity, there is wonderful free-jazz saxophone playing with wonderful weird sounding ornaments by the flute and the familiar hyperactive rhythmic drive and dominant (or rather ruling) bass. As the music progresses, it becomes more and more intense, faster and roams unapologetically throughout. It gets more and more insane by the minute, more powerful. The repetitive nature can give an impression of a dark and malevolent ritual going on. This is brutal music.

I think you get the idea by now, right? While upon initial listening it might sound all the same and the songs a repetition of themselves, repeated concentrated listening is required. The nuances and individuality of each song and composition will then be revealed and will allow for a greater satisfying listen. I for one highly enjoy this album and recommend getting the previous one, The Dematerialized Passenger, as well. Highly recommended for those looking for dark and eerie avant-rock, with elements of doom-metal, shoegaze, fusion and zeuhl; for fans of Magma, The Red Masque (especially Fossil Eyes) and Sunn O))).

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars A big thanks to Ian who has recommended this band at different times over the years. COMBAT ASTRONOMY play an Avant style of music, quite dark with bassoon. This gets tagged with "Brutal Prog" as well with those heavy, distorted sounds that are quite prominent at times here. What a pleasant surprise it was to hear Elaine Di Falco's voice who many will know from THINKING PLAGUE and HUGHSCORE. Plenty of electronics, programmed sounds, horns which are usually dissonant, flute and bass flute, electric piano and the usual rock instruments. A 5 piece band out of the USA this album really scratched an itch for me a few weeks ago and has received lots of spins as a result.

The first two songs really start the album off the right way in my opinion with Elaine's reserved vocals not sounding as RIO as with THINKING PLAGUE. "Lightning In Her Eyes" with the brutal sounds as vocals join in. Just a catchy sound believe it or not with vocals standing out with the heaviness. "Touch The Moon" is even better in my opinion. More laid back with plenty of vocals again and I like the vocal arrangements here. Oh and the electric piano is a nice touch. "I Can't Breathe" is quite heavy with reserved vocals and electric piano standing out. I like the vocal melodies late.

"Alive Inside Eternity" opens heavily with spoken words then dissonant horns take over along with some experimental sounds. It settles some after 4 minutes but there's these screaming sounds. It turns heavier again as a loud humming arrive then more horns, bass and electric piano. It kicks back in again. "Sentinel" is the longest at almost 17 minutes. This is such a trip. High pitched horn sounds cry out of the dark atmosphere. Pretty cool. Heaviness around a minute with vocals in tow. It settles right down after 6 1/2 minutes before rising up again before 8 minutes. Horns to the fore after 9 1/2 minutes. Lots of dissonance here and vocals return a minute later. It settles again around 11 minutes, slow and heavy before picking up with vocals, flute and more. Check out the bass horn too.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This album's main sonic signature consists of some pretty hefty math-metal riffs played on a ridiculously downtuned fretless bass (James Huggett, who also provides the various keyboards textures and drums) augmented by the ethereal vocals of Elaine di Falco (of Hughscore 'fame') and bleating hor ... (read more)

Report this review (#210694) | Posted by brainerd | Tuesday, April 7, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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