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GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT

Post Rock/Math rock • Ireland


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God Is An Astronaut biography
GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT is an epic post-rock band with definite links to space rock sounds of bands such as Pink Floyd mixed with the heavy layers of Mono. They are known for their beautiful, heavily layered melodies, ambient vocals, and dynamic songs, as well as their extensive use of lights and visuals for their live shows. The band formed in 2002, and created their own record label, Revive Records, in order to release their first record "The End of the Beginning" the same year. After three years away from the studio, they went back to record the LP "All is Violent, All is Bright" in 2005. Since then, they have released an EP, "A Moment of Stillness" in early 2006, and an internet-only single "Tempus Horizon" in October. The band's lineup has remained the same since its inception, including Torsten Kinsella on vocals, guitars and keyboards, Neils Kinsella on Bass, Guitars and visuals, and Lloyd Hanney playing drums and synthesizers.
The overall sound of GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT has not changed dramatically since the beginning, though their work on "The End of the Beginning" had a ssomewhat more electronic sound than their later works. However, their brand of sprawling, spacey melodies was well in place already at that time. Their second LP, "All is Violent, All is Bright", places more emphasis on guitar layers, and finds a more typical post-rock feel.
This band is highly recommended for fans of instrumental post-rock that emphasizes beauty of form and melody over outright experimentation. They also have a great deal of crossover appeal to space-rock fans.



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Discography:
The End of the Beginning, studio album (2002)
All is Violent, All is Bright, studio album (2005)
A Moment of Stillness, studio EP (2006)

God Is An Astronaut official website

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All Is Violent, All Is Bright (2011 Remastered Edition)All Is Violent, All Is Bright (2011 Remastered Edition)
Revive Records 2011
Audio CD$9.98
A Moment Of Stillness (2011 Remastered Edition)A Moment Of Stillness (2011 Remastered Edition)
Revive Records 2012
Audio CD$9.98
Age of the Fifth SunAge of the Fifth Sun
Import
Revive Records 2010
Audio CD$11.28
$18.80 (used)
God Is An Astronaut (2011 Remastered Edition)God Is An Astronaut (2011 Remastered Edition)
Revive Records 2011
Audio CD$9.98
Far From Refuge (2011 Remastered Edition)Far From Refuge (2011 Remastered Edition)
Revive Records 2011
Audio CD$9.98
The End of the BeginningThe End of the Beginning
Revive Records 2009
Audio CD$8.98
OriginsOrigins
Rocket Girl 2013
Audio CD$11.71
$14.76 (used)
The End of the Beginning (2011 Remastered Edition)The End of the Beginning (2011 Remastered Edition)
Revive Records 2011
Audio CD$9.98
God Is an AstronautGod Is an Astronaut
Import
Ace Records Import 2008
Audio CD$181.86
Far From RefugeFar From Refuge
Import
Revive 2007
Audio CD$19.95
$15.97 (used)
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GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT shows & tickets


  • ArcTanGent Festival 2014 on 28 Aug 2014
  • Overload Music Fest on 4 Sep 2014
  • Overload Music Fest on 6 Sep 2014
  • God Is An Astronaut at Circolo Magnolia, Segrate (MI) on 12 Sep 2014
  • God Is An Astronaut + ELECTRIC SARAJEVO at Orion, Ciampino on 13 Sep 2014
  • Incubate festival 2014 on 15 Sep 2014
  • God Is An Astronaut at Salzhaus, Winterthur on 15 Sep 2014
  • God Is An Astronaut on 16 Sep 2014
  • God Is An Astronaut at Le Ferrailleur, Nantes on 17 Sep 2014
  • God Is An Astronaut + Moonlit Sailor at La Flèche d'Or, Paris on 19 Sep 2014
  • God Is An Astronaut at Principal Club Theatre, Thessaloníki on 7 Nov 2014
  • God Is An Astronaut at Gagarin 205, Athens on 8 Nov 2014
  • God Is An Astronaut at ????Club, Moscow on 23 Nov 2014

GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.82 | 27 ratings
The End of the Beginning
2002
3.92 | 127 ratings
All is Violent, All is Bright
2005
3.84 | 64 ratings
Far From Refuge
2007
3.29 | 44 ratings
God Is An Astronaut
2008
3.48 | 33 ratings
Age of the Fifth Sun
2010
3.67 | 9 ratings
Origins
2013

GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.90 | 16 ratings
A Moment of Stillness
2006

GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 God Is An Astronaut by GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.29 | 44 ratings

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God Is An Astronaut
God Is An Astronaut Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Far From Refuge by GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.84 | 64 ratings

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Far From Refuge
God Is An Astronaut Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Despite the rather bleak cover artwork, God Is an Astronaut's Far From Refuge doesn't exclusively occupy the sort of bleak, post-apocalyptic territory of much post-rock. In fact, there's points on the album where the music sounds downright cheerful. The band distinguish themselves from the post-rock crowd on this one by focusing less on spacey soundscapes and more on tuneful musicanship, with faster and busier compositions than are typical on the post-rock scene. As such, they manage to produce an album which will appeal to those who enjoyed their preceding work whilst at the same time developing their sound enough that the album doesn't feel redundant.

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 All is Violent, All is Bright by GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.92 | 127 ratings

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All is Violent, All is Bright
God Is An Astronaut Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars God Is an Astronaut's All Is Violent, All Is Bright combines the stark and emotionally devastated soundscapes of Godspeed You Black Emperor or Mogwai with delicate piano work reminiscent of Sigur Ros to create a post-rock sound which is very much rooted in what by 2005 had become fairly well-established traditions of the subgenre - but though their post-rock approach is slightly cliched, they pull it off so well that I can't bring myself to hold it against them. And truth be told, the band find enough new twists to add to the old formula that I think they get away with using it.

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 All is Violent, All is Bright by GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.92 | 127 ratings

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All is Violent, All is Bright
God Is An Astronaut Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Turillazzo

2 stars This is the first album I listened to by God is An Astronaut, and I think I won't dig any deeper in their discography. The whole album (with the exception of the title track) sounds like they are trying to be very deep, but they are just using some spacey sounds and some repetitive (though sometimes nice) riffs. Of course it has all a nice sound, but if you don't strictly use it as a soundtrack you will just find if very boring. If you like this kind of post-rock give it a try, but it really isn't my cup of tea.

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 Far From Refuge by GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.84 | 64 ratings

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Far From Refuge
God Is An Astronaut Post Rock/Math rock

Review by thesleeper72

5 stars God is an Astronaut's third album definitely leans to the "rock" side of post-rock. This is not to say that they have completely abandoned their classic spacey sound. The drums seem to be more prominent and the guitar has more of a voice as well, yet they never resort to the generic power chords to get their point across.

Two personal favorites of mine are the title track and Grace Descending. The former starts off in the traditional GIAA format but its surprise comes at the end when it unexpectedly uses a distorted guitar for rhythm. While this is unexpected, it is a delightful surprise. Grace Descending starts off with a piano riff that continues to build into a great climax. All the other songs on here are fantastic as well. Songs such as Tempus Horizon, New Year's End and Beyond the Dying Light showcase the style GIAA is well-known for. Radau and Sunrise in Aries have a slight 90's rock feel to them. A unique little surprise comes in the transitional song Lateral Noise. Essentially, the song is mostly strange electronic noises yet at the end, the song gives a very apocalyptic feeling not out of place of The End of the Beginning.

This album is good for getting people into the group should they be interested (as well as AIV, AIB). However, if one does not like this group, this album is not going to change their mind.

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 Age of the Fifth Sun by GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.48 | 33 ratings

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Age of the Fifth Sun
God Is An Astronaut Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Age Of The Fifth Sun' - God Is An Astronaut (7/10)

Along with Texan breakthrough artists Explosions In The Sky, the enigmatic Irish group God Is An Astronaut essentially dominate the instrumental post-rock sphere. Not unlike many of their contemporaries, the band is known for their soaring atmospheric sound, ethereal guitar arrangements and brooding compositions. While the band's fifth album 'Age Of The Fifth Sun' sees no revolution in the band's sound, God Is An Astronaut does deliver here, making for a pleasant, if not completely engaging listen.

Something that may differentiate God Is An Astronaut from other post-rock bands such as the aforementioned Explosions In The Sky is their use of electronics in their soundscapes, and in their songs for added atmosphere and effect. 'Age Of The Fifth Sun' may show the band progressing a little more into using electronic equipment in the mix, but existing fans of this band should expect nothing different from previous albums. Melancholic, yet uplifting, beautiful guitar work, lush backing ambiance and some of the most technically accomplished and tasteful drumming the genre has to offer are all staples of the music heard on 'Fifth Sun'.

The compositions are fairly minimalistic, which will inevitably lead to some finding the music somewhat boring, should they be looking for something a bit more to the point. However, each track here does retain some memorable qualities, and parts even reach the point of being 'catchy', in a pop sense. The opener 'Worlds In Collision' for example; while being far from the strongest track on 'Fifth Sun', it has a very engaging, energetic melodic section that seems to act as a 'chorus', and the rest of the track seems to meander around the peak, before trailing off into a beautifully done piano outro. However, the most stunning track here may be 'Shining Through,' which ironically is the most typically post-rock oriented piece of music on the album. Soaring and steadily building lead work from the guitar flies overtop the rest of the mix, before breaking down in a heavier climax. While many of the songs here appear to follow a similar formula, 'Shining Through' holds the most sway with me.

'Age Of The Fifth Sun' is nothing new for God Is An Astronaut, so those who dislike the band will keep on disliking. For anyone else though, the album stands as being a very good piece of work, despite the fact that the band has arguably done better for themselves in the past, and there isn't much here that we haven't already heard.

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 God Is An Astronaut by GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.29 | 44 ratings

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God Is An Astronaut
God Is An Astronaut Post Rock/Math rock

Review by js (Easy Money)
Special Collaborator 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.

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 Age of the Fifth Sun by GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.48 | 33 ratings

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Age of the Fifth Sun
God Is An Astronaut Post Rock/Math rock

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars GIAA fifth studio album, released at May 17,2010 is almost what you expect from this band. They never were big experimentalists or innovators, and their music attracted more by its atmosphere, spacey sounds and melodic.

This new album is generally similar. But main difference in sound is ( as it happened earlier this year with 65dos new album) more electronic, mellow and rounded sound. It looks trend to go to more electronic sound (sometimes even danceable rhythms) is this year fashion for many post-rock bands. It's understandable - post-rock is stacked in the same place for too long, so need changes just to survive.

Anyway, like you or not, I believe we will see more bands mixing classic post-rock and modern electronic this year. Happily, GIAA saved their keyboards and piano sound(not very usual instrument for post-rock band) and big part of ambient soundscapes. Yes, music became warmer, softer, even more polished, so not every band's old fan will be happy with this release.

But for me their new sound is not better or worse , it just a bit changed. And the change itself, as well as the result of that change, is positive. Evolution, not revolution. And as result - slightly better than average album.

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 God Is An Astronaut by GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.29 | 44 ratings

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God Is An Astronaut
God Is An Astronaut Post Rock/Math rock

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator 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+.

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 All is Violent, All is Bright by GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.92 | 127 ratings

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All is Violent, All is Bright
God Is An Astronaut Post Rock/Math rock

Review by BrufordFreak

5 stars Though I am a relatively new- and late-comer to the "Post Rock/Math Rock" and seemingly related "Experimental/Post Metal" Progressive Rock sub-genres, I am fascinated and enjoying these two areas immensely. IMO, here is where "progress" is truly being made in music--where boundaries are being challenged, the envelope being pushed. The work of Sigur Rós and Toby Driver alone lead the way in what I call the groundbreaking, mind-opening progress happening in music recently. The 60s saw The Beatles, Lou Reed, and King Crimson pushing the envelope. The 70s had Robert Fripp, Brian Eno, and Christian Vander exploring untested territories. The 80s saw the compositions and productions of the likes of David Byrne, Mickey Hart, Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel and others trying to bring attention to and appreciation for musics, instruments and musicians of the world. (The 80s also saw the advent of the computer age with things like 'midi,' 'sequencing,' 'sampling' and the Fairlight exerting considerable influence, while on the quiet artists like David Sylvian and Robert Fripp continued to test sound in the forms and structures that we call 'music.') In the 90s we saw Mark Hollis, Sigur Rós, and Radiohead pushing boundaries. Which brings us to the most recent decade, the first of the 21st Century, in which we were witnesses to the innovation, courage, and artistry of Toby Driver (an asterisk of mention to the members of Animal Collective.) While my diatribe admittedly reflects an Anglo-American-centricity, I hope you readers will accept the fact that, for good or not, most of the music made publicly accessible through commerce has been able to rise to the public eye (and ear) through Anglo-American corporate endorsement. With all of this in mind, my review of God Is An Astronaut's "All Is Violent, All Is Bright" constitute's my first in this sub-genre. The reason being, it is the first "Post Rock/Math Rock" album that I have heard that I absolutely love start to finish, every song in the collection. No album from Sigur Rós, Red Sparowes, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Russian Circles, Mogwai, Mono, Don Caballero, 65Daysof Static, Do Make Say Think, or Explosions in the Sky has captivated me so well as "All Is Violent, All Is Bright." ULVER's "Shadows of the Sun" is the only one yet I've heard that I like more, but it is a very different experience from the Post Rock/Math Rock experience I receive from the others mentioned. I would not even place "Shadows of the Sun" in this category, it is so different. Some are Post Rock/Math Rock album/artists are a bit too harsh/too metallic for me (Russian Circles, Godspeed come to mind), some too repetitive or formulaic in their patterns and structures (Mono, Explosions, even, at times, Sigur Ros). A few are less consistent with the high standard/quality (Mogwai, Do Make Say Think, and 65Days). For some reason I prefer Red Sparowes (especially "Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun"), much of Sigur Rós ("AB," "Takk," and "( )" [untitled]), and this God Is An Astronaut album. What I like so much about this album is its diversity. While Post Rock/Math Rock does seem to have its formulaic structures, the songs on this album each have their own identities, each have disparate styles and 'influences.' Plus, I have to admit, I rather like their relative brevity. The tendency within this subgenre is to go a bit long. Once or twice an album is great, but every song eight to twelve minutes? No thank you. Unfortunately, I just don't have time to listen to songs like that all day. I also quite enjoy GIAA's use of vocals. Like a fifth instrument--another keyboard or a violin or something.

1. "Fragile" is the album's introductory piece that reminds me very much of an older SIGUR RÓS song. Nice slow beat, building slowly, with a very SIGUR RÓS-like use of voices, even through the requisite slam of drums, cymbols, bass and synths which arrives at the 2:40 mark and then disengages a minute later for a very slow and peaceful fade. Short, sweet, and to the point.

2. "All Is Violent, All Is Bright" is right out of a CURE playbook: rolling bass, guitar effects, background keyboard effects, same drums, Cure cords and definitely a Cure pace. Beautiful song. Awesome finale beginning at the 3:15 mark. Go crazy, Robert! I mean, Kinsella brothers! This one could've bee a little longer. 8/10

3. "Forever Lost" is BUDD/ENO meets MASSIVE ATTACK. Great soundtrack music. Great atmospheric piano and synths. Typical build and climax. 8/10

4. "Fire Flies and Empty Skies" begins with more fast-tempo CURE-ish bass and guitar until the drums enter followed by the song's melody played on sliding up and down a guitar's fretboard. Something is so pleasantly familiar about this song and its melodies. The isolated distorted bass beginning at 3:15 mark and flowing to the end as the song's outro section is a great touch. Some OCEANSIZE feel here, too. 9/10

5. "A Deafening Distance" slows the pace down until the drums and guitar power chords double time at the 2:40 mark. Great synth melody eeking its presence out from behind the rhythm section. 7/10

6. "Infinite Horizons" slows it down to an almost ambient pace with a very ROBIN GUTHRIE-like feel and sound. Nice. 7/10

7. "Suicide by Star" Begins like an ominous yet intriguing soundtrack song. A Jason Bourne theme or something. Builds with the drums and lead guitar moving up to the foreground at the 1:30 mark. Great song, great feel, my favorite song on the album. Reminds me of U2's early experimental work with BRIAN ENO and DANIEL LANOIS--like "Boomerang" and others from the "Unforgettable Fire" period. Awesome. I love the end/climax where the bass drum is pumping frenetically while the ride cymbol paces calmly along at the same slow pace with which it started. 9/10

8. "Remembrance Day" begins with quite a different feel than the rest of the album--like a CHROMA KEY piece--with piano, bass keyboards and very treated/synthesized vocals. Then at the 1:48 mark the woofer-low synthetic bass, drums, and sliding guitar sounds enter. Wow! Space has never felt so cool! Then the 2:48 mark sees the song take a different turn into a more upbeat, uptempo, up-power level with a new melody line introduce on synths(?). The song finally decays back to the echoed piano. Cool and unusual! 9/10

9. "Dust and Echoes" again begins with such a different feel. Kind of pop-mainstream with weird synth washes flowing, floating behind the rhythm section. If you've ever heard the great music of PERPLEXA and/or WEST INDIAN GIRL, this has that same awesome, upbeat psychedelic feel. The song builds by the 2:40 point, vocals again serving a very cool and important role, before interestingly decaying early into an unusually long (for this genre) fadeaway. Great song. Another fave. 9/10

10. "When Everything Dies" is the album's only real long song (10:00 minutes). Beginning with another HAROLD BUDD-treated by BRIAN EMO piano, the main difference is the eerie and unsettling presence of a synth bass. A shift occurs at the 3:00 mark into a more pounding, speedy version of the intro piano them joined by a very treated, almost electronic MASSIVE ATTACK-like drum riff. Some FRIPP-like guitar arpeggios join at the 4:25 mark as the background rhytmitists build the intensity of their chords until 5:20 everybody drops out save the drums, bass and synth-wash, which then also drop out and fade until from 5:55 to 7:30 we are left without sound! Everything has apparently died! The first sounds to reenter our aural atmosphere are synthesized waves on a beach sound followed by a computer-robot sounding synth riff floating around the L-R aural screen. By 9:00 a piano, very distant drum beat, and new synth make their presences known before finally all fading away in the end. Weird, eerie and interesting. Not as heavy as ULVER's "Shadows of the Sun" LP and message, but interesting. 7/10

11. "Disturbance." Another ENO-BUDD sounding piece--as if from the "Apollo" album, or from the 2001: A Space Odyssey soundtrack--definitely presents as if we are in space or on a space journey. More of a concept finisher than a song with it's own interesting presence. 6/10

Great album; my favorite yet from this subgenre. 9 out of 10 becoming 5 stars for the sake of it's high consistency and for being "the standard" by which I will measure other albums from this sub-genre.

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