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COMBAT ASTRONOMY

RIO/Avant-Prog • Multi-National


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Combat Astronomy biography
Beginning as a solo project by James Huggett, Combat Astronomy came to be in 1998 after several years of playing and recording music which incorporated noise, industrial-style music and electronics, later to be changed into the current sound of the band.
Martin Archer was called by James to join the group and with the help of Mick Beck and Charlie Collins they released The dematerialised passenger in 2005. With an expanded lineup that consists of Elaine di Falco, Mick Beck and Mike Ward they released in 2008 Dreams no longer hesitate.

As the band's biography states, James' influences "range from space/krautrock (Hawkwind, Can and Amon Duul), classic rock (Joe Walsh, Queen, ELP) through to French zheul (Magma, Dun, Zao/Seffer), avant metal/doom rock (Sonic Youth, Gorguts, Meshuggah), space jazz (Alice Coltrane, Sun Ra) and a host of others... Fela Kuti, Kate Bush and Electric Wizard being recent favourites.".

Highly recommended for those looking for dark and eerie avant-rock, with zeuhl-ish influences (Magma, The Red Masque (Fossil Eyes)) as well as doom-metal.

Combat Astronomy official website

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COMBAT ASTRONOMY Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy COMBAT ASTRONOMY Music


Dematerialised PassengerDematerialised Passenger
CD Baby 2006
Audio CD$12.26
$7.79 (used)
Time Distort NineTime Distort Nine
CD Baby 2014
Audio CD$17.85
Dreams No Longer HesitateDreams No Longer Hesitate
CD Baby 2008
Audio CD$7.57
$13.53 (used)
Flak PlanetFlak Planet
CD Baby 2011
Audio CD$6.39
$7.05 (used)
Kundalini ApocaplypseKundalini Apocaplypse
CD Baby 2013
Audio CD$6.53
$39.23 (used)
Earth Divided By ZeroEarth Divided By Zero
CD Baby 2010
Audio CD$6.39
$13.54 (used)
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COMBAT ASTRONOMY discography


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COMBAT ASTRONOMY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 2 ratings
Lunik
2001
4.50 | 2 ratings
The Dematerialised Passenger
2005
4.00 | 8 ratings
Dreams No Longer Hesitate
2008
2.65 | 8 ratings
Earth Divided By Zero
2010
3.96 | 7 ratings
Flak Planet
2011

COMBAT ASTRONOMY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

COMBAT ASTRONOMY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

COMBAT ASTRONOMY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

COMBAT ASTRONOMY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Sleeping With The Earth and Combat Astronomy Split
2000

COMBAT ASTRONOMY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Flak Planet by COMBAT ASTRONOMY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.96 | 7 ratings

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Flak Planet
Combat Astronomy RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by SaltyJon
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Combat Astronomy's albums which I've heard all have one thing in common; no matter what else may be present in the band's instrumentation, the crushing, Meshuggah-esque bass and drum interplay which first drew me to be a fan of the group's previous album is still around, and still going strong. That's about where the similarities to Meshuggah end, though. Along with the crushing bass and drums, we're presented with some very interesting free-jazz horn action and some spacey sounds (keyboards, electronics, etc.?). The album is entirely instrumental this time around, no vocals (either wordless or with lyrics) anywhere to be found.

The music on display here calls to mind such groups as Zu, Magma, Meshuggah (I know I've already mentioned them), and could most simply be described as brutal avant-jazz rock/metal. The group's got a formula figured out which works well for me, seeming to meld together bits and pieces of styles from various groups I enjoy, while leaving out some parts which don't quite appeal to me as much (Meshuggah's vocals, for instance). As a bassist and general fan of rhythm sections, I personally LOVE the bass and drum intensity displayed within the music on this album. Polyrhythms abound, the bass has a nice, chunky distorted sound going for it, and together they lay a rock-solid groundwork for the wind instruments/keyboards/etc. to do their thing over.

I'd definitely recommend this album to fans of any of the above groups, especially fans of Zu and Meshuggah, along with any fans of fuzzed-out, distorted, heavy bass. That's one element which you must enjoy, because it will dig its way into your brain one way or another. Another advantage to enjoying this album is an appreciation of free/avant jazz horns, including squonking sax. If you enjoy both of those elements, then I'd highly suggest checking out Flak Planet. Not a flat-out masterpiece, but still a very solid 4-star album.

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 Earth Divided By Zero by COMBAT ASTRONOMY album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.65 | 8 ratings

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Earth Divided By Zero
Combat Astronomy RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

3 stars My first taste of Combat Astronomy. This group goes for that 'brutal' sound that some modern avant bands are into. The dominant instrument here is the loud distorted bass. It gets a bit much after awhile; it would have been nice if there was a little more variation. In addition to the bass there is some drums, wordless vocals and wind instruments(saxes, clarinet). There is also some electronics added as well.

The album begins with a female voice that reminds me of Il Balleto di Bronzo's Ys album. "Parallax Of One Arc Second" opens with a nice mix of acoustic piano and electric piano. Then the bass and drums come in and drown that all out. Things get better with the wordless female vocals and the saxes. "Eating Backwards" has a cool title. Starts with some good spacey effects. Some sax skronking at the end. The title track is divided in three parts, the second part being the most interesting. More mellow than the other two parts. The vocals in the third part are pretty good. "The Atrocity Commission" is the longest song. Starts out with a 'brutal' sounding part, and then a long less intense section with winds, piano and effects. Goes back to the 'brutal' part later. Interesting percussion sounds near the end.

Sometimes the music sounds like a slowed down Ruins. The bass and drums are in your face and rarely let anything else breathe. Recommended to those who like the heavier, noisier end of modern avant-prog. A good effort but nothing spectacular. 3 stars.

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 Earth Divided By Zero by COMBAT ASTRONOMY album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.65 | 8 ratings

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Earth Divided By Zero
Combat Astronomy RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

2 stars I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from something called like that. Some kind of Dark Space Prog. And from the first seconds of quite monotonous (but haunting nevertheless) song Astralized, we know what this will be about.

After all, Space is dark place, isn't it ?

Monotonous, hypnotic riff remains in these songs. What is the most interesting for Avant lovers, well, probably nerve scratching saxophone which really shines in some songs (needed spicing of them). Title suite Earth Divided by Zero starts like very Hard Rock riff with some keyboards joining later. It creates haunting combination (and saxophone kicks in soon afterwards), because number of instruments used on this album grants either big weird chaos, or new horizons of music (it's up to you and your likings).

Oriental like rhythms are available when noisy music calms down (so you can hear them) and this all sounds very interesting, only that I cannot find it as enjoyable as I would like. Because this album takes strong personality (or special persona with special tastes) to like it.

3(-), maybe in future.

EDIT: Maybe shot (not).

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 Dreams No Longer Hesitate by COMBAT ASTRONOMY album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.00 | 8 ratings

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Dreams No Longer Hesitate
Combat Astronomy RIO/Avant-Prog

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))).

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 Dreams No Longer Hesitate by COMBAT ASTRONOMY album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.00 | 8 ratings

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Dreams No Longer Hesitate
Combat Astronomy RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by brainerd

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 horn arrangements of UK jazz musician Martin Archer.

There are a few lazy comparisons you could draw to other bands, but this is really a group with its own sound. While nominally situated in the RIO/avant-prog genre, comparisons could also be drawn to the relentless odd-meter pummelling of Meshuggah, the relentless industrial groove of Godflesh (if they turned prog of course) and the upfront double-tracked bass would also not be out of place in many zeuhl bands.

There is a hypnotic quality about this disc; there is a momentum to the longer tracks ('Sentinel' especially) that you rarely hear outside of space-rock/jam bands. The off-kilter riffs repeat and twist on themselves often for minutes at a time, with the vocals and horns 'on top' of the mix. The result is often thrilling. There are a few moments of respite, though - my personal favourite from this album 'Touch The Moon' and piano-led closer 'Ordinary Miracles' are quite beautiful pieces of music.

This album comes reccommended for anyone looking for something unique; brutal, rhythmic, ethereal and actually quite tuneful at times. A little more variation wouldn't go amiss for their next album, but I look forward to hearing anything from this band in the future. The only thing I can imagine that would turn off some listeners is free-jazz element to the group.

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