Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Explosions In The Sky

Post Rock/Math rock

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Explosions In The Sky Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever album cover
3.43 | 74 ratings | 13 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Greet Death (7:19)
2. Yasmin the Light (7:03)
3. The Moon Is Down (10:02)
4. Have You Passed Through This Night? (7:19)
5. A Poor Man's Memory (6:04)
6. With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls (12:04)

Total Time 49:51

Line-up / Musicians

- Mark Smith / guitar
- Munaf Rayani / guitar
- Michael James / bass
- Christopher Hrasky / drums

Note : The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment

Releases information

Artwork: David Logan (Inspired by the Angels of Mons)

CD Temporary Residence Limited - TRR 34 (2001, US)
CD Temporary Residence Limited - TRR 34 (2012, US)

LP Temporary Residence Limited - TRR 34 (2016, US)

Digital album (2001)

Thanks to useful_idiot for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever Music

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever ratings distribution

(74 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Philo
4 stars Taken in the context of their three albums to date, then Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever comes slap bang in the middle on a chronological level, and a growth level. With a better recording it certainly outstrips the debut, yet still lacks the depth of the powerful third release, The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place, but the potential is building that momentum all the while. Post rock? This is pure instrumental guitar driven rock, with emotion and passion by the riff load. Explosions In The Sky build some sweet sweeping changes, crash with some daunting chords and border on the verge of epic. On vinyl, the only way to separate the first side from the second side is by checking the matrix numbers, but this is important. Important because this album follows a pattern, a road. You have to start at the right place. There is a beginning, a powerful beginning with "Greet Death". And if you were to greet death this would be the way to do, head on and just saying "[%*!#] it, I'm ready". From here on in the album takes a formation that is moving in and out through a wealth of guises and emotions, saturated with distortion and purpose. Should become the soundtrack to many self pitying hangovers.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Playing to their limitations‚?¶ but playing well

With a line up consisting of twin lead guitars bass and drums, the immediate assumption of us oldies might be that Explosions in the Sky (EitS) are Wishbone Ash wannabees. That theory is immediately discounted however when you realise that A) there are no vocals here, and B), there are no guitar solos in the traditional sense.

So what do we have instead? The term Post rock is commonly applied to the work of EitS, with their music being compared to bands such as MOGWAI and GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR. DEATH IN VEGAS are another band who immediately spring to mind as fellow journeymen.

This their second album consists of just 6 tracks, ranging between 6 and 12 minutes. It took less than a week to record, the band having driven for several days from their home in Texas to Baltimore, the location of their new label TRL records, to lay down the recordings.

The opening track "Greet death" sets the mood for the album, if it doesn't light your fire you can forget the rest. Chiming guitars precede the sudden crashing in of heavy drums and frantic chords. Throughout the album, the band use alternating quiet and loud passages (as Steve Wilson has been known to favour with Porcupine Tree), to dramatic effect. After a couple of tracks, these alternating phases become rather predictable, and begin to lose their impact.

"Tasmin the light", the second track, continues unbroken from the first, and is very much in the same vein. The closing part to the track even has passing similarities to the more repetitive parts of MIKE OLDFIELD's "Ommadawn".

"The moon is down" has an oriental flavour, the drums here being a bit heavy handed in a Cozy Powell sort of way. The final track " With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls" is slightly more varied, although the ending appears to have been drawn out in order to achieve a track time of exactly 12 minutes!

While far from being an ambient or new age album, the effect is largely the same. The music has a similar relaxing feel, while ultimately in need of more variety. The complete absence of vocals, other than a brief spoken passage on " Have You Passed Through This Night" is brave. However, when combined with a lack of keyboards, or indeed any lead instruments other than guitar, the over effect of the album is diluted by the ongoing predictability.

For those whose ideas of prog are more traditional, the credentials of EitS as a bona fide prog band are dubious. It is however reassuring to find that there are still bands such as this who are prepared to create music which is not simply three minute pop songs aimed at the superficial masses. Explosions in the Sky are clearly a band who take their art seriously. On the face of it with this album, their technical talents are limited, but they appear to recognised this and cut their cloth accordingly. A credible album.

The sleeve probably reflects the easily satisfied demands of the CD/MP3 generation, but it is a pity that more effort was not put in to providing packaging worthy of the album.

Review by GoldenSpiral
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars On this album, the listener can hear a band that is well on their way to making a masterpiece album, but is not quite there yet. Those Who Tell the Truth... contains much of the substance we expect from EitS, but overall the compositions are not as developed as they will become on "The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place".

Now, in my opinion there is not a single rock band in this world with a more pleasant and subtle sense of melody and dynamic than Explosions in the Sky. This strength is evident in every song on this record. However, this album sees the band falling into a more "loud, soft, loud, soft" pattern that one usually associates with Mogwai.

The album starts out with near silence at the beginning of "Greet Death", which seconds later instantaneously explodes into a passage of a slow, heavy riff and very loud guitar layers. The noise becomes more and more intense, until it stops just as quickly as it started, only to slowly build up again. This is a prime example of this group's ability to work beautifully with extreme poles of musical dynamics.

The 2nd track, "Yasmin the Light", is in my opinion the best song on this record. Never before has a band made playing so fast sound so mellow. This song undulates through dynamics and layers. Each member of the band adds just a little touch to each section to make it something special.

Other key moments in this album include the drum introduction at roughly 3 min into "Have You Passed Through this Night?" and the visceral explosion near the end of "A Poor Man's Memory". Explosions in the Sky have a keen ability to create a lot of music with very few notes, which may turn off many prog fans. I, however, think it is brilliant, so I give this album 4 stars. It is very strong, but cannot match their next release.

Review by OpethGuitarist
3 stars A marked improvement.

This is actually my preferred EITS album because of the rawer feel the album has to it, while still being a great improvement from the first album. I also feel it has a bit more variation from The Earth... Drums are certainly more forward in the mix here, and can be noticed throughout much of the record.

Their are many dynamics in play here, and while remaining relatively simple and subtle, their is a distinct quality and feeling as a result of the dynamics (which weren't really present on the first album). The tracks tend to build from a soft, genial nature towards more chaos at the ends when the concept is fully realized (a trademark of the genre). So, if you don't like a track, give it time to develop before hitting the "skip" button. As such, it makes it increasingly difficult to merely "sample" a section of the work as it is all essential to the atmosphere of the music.

The latter part of the album is more "aggressive" if you will in demeanor, overlapping itself into post-metal terminology. This is certainly an album more suited for younger fans or for more "rock" fans as it lacks many of the trademarks associated with the prog/symphonic prog genre. If you give it time, however, it can be a very engaging experience.

Review by Prog-jester
3 stars I still don't know how to rate this one. 3.5 stars would be perfect match, because the first 3 tracks are almost flawless - enjoyable, melodic, energetic and in the same time mellow - paragons of guitar-driven Post-Rock! But the further we go the more usual things we're facing. The second side of the album fails to amuse as much as the first one did; it's still enjoyable, but you seem to lose attention and just take it as a background accompaniment to what you're doing now. OK, 3 stars will be OK, I think. Not bad, but certainly not the essential Post-Rock CD (have to try better ones from them). Recommended for band's/genre's fans mostly.
Review by TRoTZ
4 stars Explosions in the Sky's vision of post-rock assents in a less intense, peaceful and more contemplative one. Unlike the other band's of the genre, their music is mainly not for the tragedy, not entirely centered on the realization of the world's opprobrium (although invariably elicited in "Have You Passed Through This Night"'s beginning), but instead, preoccupies more in recreating a parallel, elevated, and common place, ie, their Pandora world. And so, while incorporating many of the post-rock cliches, we could say they sound almost a Mogwai interpretation of Godspeed You! Black Emperor's music, their aesthetics end to be more relieving, while adding some celestial nuances with the use of high-pitched guitars.

"Greet Death" recreates for the first moments the ideological/physical ruin of Humanity, while "A Poor Man's Memory" an almost reciprocal funereal nostalgia. The rest of the album relies on this somewhat ethereal, high-above relief contemplation, from the beautifully distorted minimalism of the end of the first track, to the gracious peace of "Yasmin The Light", the extenuating and intriguing suite "The Moon is Down", ending perhaps with the best elegy, the multifaceted conformation recital "With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept".

Touching foremost by its minimalistic sensibility, the true cornerstone of this movement, and incorporating some of their own, it is plain to justify as a good release and imposing enough not to consider "just one more" band in the genre. 3,5 stars.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Explosions In The Sky , differently from more usual for me European post-rock sound of Sigur Ros, are based on twin guitars plus drum plus bass formula. For good and for bad.

From very first song (there are just 6 compositions on their album with such a long name), you understand, that their music has it's energy. But don't expect guitar solos there, this instrumental music is very balanced and has very regulated sound.

Drums have their moments as well, but all sound is emotionless and kind of frozen. I believe it's a rule of genre, but to have all instrumental album without keyboards, soloing instruments, with the same mid-tempo very sanguine sound is a risky business.

Level of musicianship isn't as high as could just make the music attractive by itself. But some melodies occurs, and all music builds some atmosphere. In fact , this album reminds me average art rock from 70-s, adopted for modern world.

Listenable and pleasant in moments, still not interesting enough to be noticed as new era band.

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die...' - Explosions In The Sky (6/10)

My first experience with Explosions In The Sky came with their magnum opus and undisputed classic, 'The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place.' Having moved me beyond words (literally; the band's music is almost entirely instrumental) I took it upon myself to look into this band more, and see what other great music they had done. Being firmly rooted in the post-rock genre and sounding like they have found a tight niche for themselves, I knew what to expect going into Explosions' earlier material; something that still had the same sort of emotional resonance and direction, with alot less finesse and polish. Turns out; that's exactly what I got with this album.

With the poetically titled 'Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever,' Explosions In The Sky show that they were still in the process of developing themselves as a band, and working on realizing their talents as a four-piece. However, while the great atmosphere and resonance that post rock generally aims for is here in good supply, it certainly feels inconsistent in comparison to the following album, which would take everything to a level of perfection. Parts of the album (specifically, the first half) are really beautiful and acheive the beauty that first attracted me to the band. The second half; while certainly pleasant, does not seem to have the same sort of impact however.

The song 'Greet Death' is a superb way to start out the album, although many of the albums problems are evident from the start. While the composition itself is spectacular, Explosions In The Sky really do not do the 'heavy' thing well at all. It always comes as a system shock to have such a drastic change from quietness to blistering loudness. Perhaps it is the fault of the mixer, but the overall, raw feeling of the album does not treat the band's dynamic switches well at all.

The album hits it's high point with 'The Moon Is Down,' which takes a while to get going but hits a streak of aural beauty once the percussion kicks in and the ball starts rolling. From this brilliant composition, the foundation for greater things was certainly in place; but the band just needed this record to work out alot of the kinks in their execution. The latter half of the album is not much to comment on in comparison. There doesn't seem to be the same careful attention to building the romantic feeling of awe that Explosions is so good at doing. 'A Poor Man's Memory' for example, does not feel like it goes very far; ultimately sounding like a few musical ideas thrown together than sound like they could have had potential with a bit more tweaking.

'Those Who Tell The Truth...' is definately not the album you want to start with if you're looking to get into the band or the genre. While it is definately a competent piece of work, it shallows in comparison to many of the more polished and more meticulously produced albums in the post rock realm, especially the album that Explosions In The Sky would make after this one. However, for all intents and purposes, this album was but a stepping stone for the band it seems, helping them to gain some more exposure and gain the band maturity needed to make masterpiece as stunning as 'The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place' would end up becoming.

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars Their 2001 album wasn't the first by Explosions in the Sky. But I'm willing to bet they wish it had been, in retrospect. After an underwhelming debut the year before, the Austin quartet rebooted their career and inaugurated the new millennium by doing something more than simply recording and packaging another album. They succeeded in creating a lasting mystique for themselves, in the evocative Angel of Mons artwork and in the radiance of the music itself suggesting ideas of redemption, transcendence, and prophetic vision...classic Prog, in other words, despite the usual Post Rock trappings.

The aesthetic was inspired in large part by the films and philosophy of (kindred Texan) Terrence Malick, showing a similar deep reverence for natural beauty, inner truth, and a spiritual harmony far above and way beyond the petty metaphysical straightjacket of religion. The CD booklet includes a quote from Sean Penn's world-weary Sgt. Welsh in Malick's 1998 masterpiece "The Thin Red Line" ("...there ain't no world but this one"). And the filmmaker's influence becomes explicit in the song "Have You Passed Through This Night", with its awkward appropriation of a key voice-over monologue from the same movie (which already had its own emotive soundtrack, and didn't need any extra help).

That's a lot of thematic freight for one fifty-minute album of instrumental music to carry...even when divided into complimentary halves, corresponding (in vinyl terms) to Sides One and Two but here named "Die" and "Live Forever" (I doubt either was intended literally, or in a trite Born Again sense). Considering the band's uncertain track record at the time it may have been too much baggage, a little too soon. But they were learning on the job how to be more patient, in both composition and performance, slowly building their own wide-screen musical language using only electric guitars and very loud drums.

Later albums would articulate the band's collective vision better. The vernacular here was still a bit crude (Christopher Hrasky's cymbal-abuse borders on sadism). But this was where EitS found its voice. And that discovery might have been expressed in the unspoken reflections of another Malick voice-over, heard on an outbound troop transport as the battlegrounds of Guadalcanal recede over the South Pacific waves:

Oh, my soul...let me be in you now. Look out through my eyes. Look out at the things you made. All things shining...

Latest members reviews

4 stars What one might consider a stupid and non-sense title for an album is now what I consider one beautiful title. Sure it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, but it is a very pretty sentence, and is beautiful to hear it said. Now with the music: Explosions In The Sky were here yet to release their ... (read more)

Report this review (#260371) | Posted by JTP88 | Monday, January 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is a little more polished than HSI but still raw compared to TEINACDP. It starts off with a cymbal dominated track (Greet Death) and then moves into the more familiar guitar dominated style. Then we eventually run into 'Have You Passed Through This Night?' which is mellow but it al ... (read more)

Report this review (#173155) | Posted by digdug | Friday, June 6, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Have you passed throuh this night?... While I dare not call this album a masterpiece of prog music, it definately is a masterpiece in its own right and is vastly underrated. Admitted, their follow-up album is much more cohesive and even more refined, but it loses some of the raw emotion this o ... (read more)

Report this review (#91474) | Posted by Asphalt | Saturday, September 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A somewhat overlooked band in the post-rock scene, Explosions In The Sky's second instrumental album TWTTTSD,TWTTTSLF (yes that's an abbreviation) is full of beautifully dramatic brooding songs created by the band's fantastic twin guitar work. Now this is not twin guitar in the sense of Wishbo ... (read more)

Report this review (#81256) | Posted by Equality 7-2521 | Friday, June 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY "Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.