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POST ROCK/MATH ROCK

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Post Rock/Math rock definition

POST-ROCK:

The term post-rock was coined by Simon Reynolds in issue 123 of The Wire (May 1994) to describe a sort of music "using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbres and textures rather than riffs and powerchords."

Originally used to describe the music of such bands as Stereolab, Disco Inferno, Seefeel, Bark Psychosis and Pram, it spread out to be frequently used for all sorts of jazz- and Krautrock-influenced, instrumental, electronica-added music made after 1994. Bands from the early 1990s such as Slint, or earlier, such as Talk Talk were influential on this genre. As with many musical genres, the term is arguably inadequate: it is used for the music of Tortoise as well as that of Mogwai, two bands who have very little in common besides the fact that their music is largely instrumental.

The aforementioned Tortoise was among the founders of the movement. After the second Tortoise LP Millions Now Living Will Never Die, the band became a post-rock icon. After Millions... many bands (e.g., Do Make Say Think) began to record, inspired by the "Tortoise-sound" and were often described as post-rock.

In the late nineties, Chicago, Illinois, became the home base of many different groups. John McEntire (of Tortoise) became an important producer for lots of them, as well as Jim O'Rourke (of Brice-Glace, Gastr del Sol and many more). Post-rock began to range from the slow, guitar-based ambience of Boxhead Ensemble to the up-tempo electronica of Stereolab.

Montreal, Quebec band Godspeed You Black Emperor! - later renamed 'Godspeed You! Black Emperor' - brought a political element with anti-globalization movement leanings.

By the early 2000s, the term had started to fall out of favor, while the major artists kept on making high quality recordings. The wide range of styles covered by the term had robbed it of its usefulness almost from the moment it was coined.

Closely related to post-rock is the genre known as Math rock, characterized by more percussive timbres, and more dissonant harmonic gestures.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Post-rock".



MATH ROCK:

Math Rock is a genre that emerged in the late 80's and that was influenced by both the intricacies of progressive and avant-garde rock - King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Henry Cow - and 20th century composers such as Steve Reich and John Cage. The music is characterized by complex structures, angular melodies and constant abrupt changes in tempo and time signature. The name Math Rock is a term that grew out of the Chicago scene and the artists working with engineer Steve Albini in an effort to describe the new style.

The basic building blocks of Math Rock can be traced back to the late 60's and 70's where Progressive Rock artists were making more elaborate compositions than the standard rock bands and were experimenting with song structures. Early Avant-garde groups like Massacre, and artists such as Captain Beefheart and John Zorn were highly influential to Math Rock bands and traces of their music can still be heard throughout the genre. Another big influence to the Math Rock approach was Slint with their album "Spiderland" which showcased many techniques that Math Rock bands will follow in the future. Punk also had significant impact on the sound of Math Rock bands. Other notable influences are: Post-Rock, Heavy Metal, and Jazz.

Although there are Math Rock bands in different countries around the world, most reside in the United States, the Midwest in particular, and tend to be divided by regions: Pittsburgh bands (Don Caballero, Six Horse) Chicago bands (Shellac, U.S. Maple), Ohio bands (Keelhaul, Craw) Louisville bands (June 44, Rodan, The For Carnation, Crain), and San Diego bands (Drive Like Jehu, Tristeza) among others on both coasts. Japan was also an important country in the Math Rock genre with bands like Ruins and Zeni Geva.

POST/MATH ROCK TEAM MEMBERS:
Angelmk (Angel)
Zravkapt (Darryl)
The Truth (Tanner)
Austin (Horizons)
Jason (Second Life Syndrome)

Post Rock/Math rock Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Post Rock/Math rock | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.63 | 30 ratings
CHILDREN OF GOD
Swans
4.32 | 38 ratings
RANDOM AVENGER
Magyar Posse
4.15 | 150 ratings
ENTER
Russian Circles
4.12 | 436 ratings
ÁGĆTIS BYRJUN
Sigur Rós
4.12 | 406 ratings
LIFT YOUR SKINNY FISTS LIKE ANTENNAS TO HEAVEN
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.40 | 22 ratings
THE COLLIBRO
Lis Er Stille
4.29 | 30 ratings
SOUNDTRACKS FOR THE BLIND
Swans
4.23 | 34 ratings
PHANTASIA
Lite
4.05 | 310 ratings
F# A# ∞
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.38 | 18 ratings
BEAUTIFUL
About Tess
4.23 | 29 ratings
FOR LONG TOMORROW
Toe.
4.05 | 112 ratings
IN A COLD EMBRACE
Battlestations
4.07 | 82 ratings
ONE TIME FOR ALL TIME
65DaysOfStatic
4.06 | 77 ratings
THE SEER
Swans
4.55 | 10 ratings
DREAMS THAT COME A THING (PT I) ...NEVER THOUGHT IT MAY SEEM…
Bosch's With You
4.05 | 79 ratings
AMERICAN DON
Don Caballero
3.98 | 247 ratings
YANQUI U.X.O.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.34 | 14 ratings
HOW LONELY SITS THE CITY
Ascent Of Everest, The
4.03 | 66 ratings
CODENAME: DUSTSUCKER
Bark Psychosis
4.15 | 27 ratings
GIVE ME BEAUTY... OR GIVE ME DEATH!
Ef

Post Rock/Math rock overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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Bell Orchestre
WIDOW
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Latest Post Rock/Math rock Music Reviews


 Rave Tapes by MOGWAI album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.28 | 34 ratings

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Rave Tapes
Mogwai Post Rock/Math rock

Review by progadicto

3 stars Mogwai is currently one of the most creative, consistent and honest bands on the post-rock scene. I've listened all their releases during the last years and I got to say that I really like their pretty unique and easily indentifiable style perhaps there are some albums which I don't enjoy much most of their discography is 4 to 5*(following PA ratings).

I was waiting for 'Rave Tapes' expecting some steps beyond the previous and brilliant 'Les Revenants' and even when there are some powerful structural elements present in 'Rave' the truth is that I feel certain lack of inspiration here perhaps is not a bad album. In fact there are some great moments everywhere but (at least for me) not great songs such as in 'Happy Songs'', 'Mr. Beast' or 'Hardcore Will Never Die'' just to mention some of Mogwai highlighted releases.

Into this numerous Mogwai thrilling moments on 'Rave' I got say that 'Remurdered' is one of the jewels of the album perhaps the slow and unnecessary long intro' Same thing 'Simon Feracious', a great song with some unnecessary sections. 'Master Card' surprises me with a very hard and dark atmosphere along with 'The Lord Is Out Of Control' which reminds me some of the best late 90's Mogwai moments.

Resuming: A classic Mogwai album, very enjoyable but not at the top of my favorites but if you like the atmospherical instrumentals fullfilled with guitars and sober effects , this one will be your kind of release' 3*

 Goodbye Enemy Airship The Landlord Is Dead by DO MAKE SAY THINK album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.86 | 15 ratings

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Goodbye Enemy Airship The Landlord Is Dead
Do Make Say Think Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Lear'sFool

5 stars It would make for a delightful conversation to wonder aloud about Do Make Say Think's fortunes when they dropped this, their best album. Did coming out in post-rock's golden age, alongside Godspeed, Mogwai, Tortoise, and Explosions In The Sky's great works, hinder the band's chances of getting more widely noticed, or did they just miss a good chance? Or neither? In any case, looking back now we can dig up this lost gem and enjoy it for what it is, and maybe even for what it could have been. Unique to Think's style is a particular love for more spirited, energetic sections - and so this album could be said to be the post-rock opus for those who think most post is a slog. It doesn't feel wrong to say this is as much a fun listen as it is a relaxing and beautiful one. The sound is also oriented towards guitars and horns, augmented by some well used and well played drums. This sometimes feels like Neutral Milk Hotel on post. And, all in all, the musicianship on the record is altogether great enough to take their sound and make it in its best moments more than half as epic as Godspeed's greatest moments, and that, as postheads should know, is saying quite a lot. See that in effect in the climactic portion of "The Landlord is Dead" and be amazed. Much as it might be prudent to round this album down, the spirit and epic qualities of this work deserve top marks. Check it out.
 Ocean Cosmonauts by JARDIN DE LA CROIX album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.05 | 21 ratings

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Ocean Cosmonauts
Jardin de la Croix Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars The stylistic range is narrow, which could make for an album that wears out its welcome, but Jardin de la Croix overcomes that hurdle through silky guitar textures juxtaposed with the most accented rock compositions around. Rather than creating chords in the traditional sense, the guitarists imply the chords through brisk series of notes. While this guitar style is hypnotic, the drumming demands awareness. Visiting post rock, grunge, metal, and skillful thrash, Ocean Cosmonauts is highly recommended for fans of aggressive but mesmerizing rock.

'Blacksnout Seasnail' An impressive opener, this features mostly clean guitar flickering from note to note in a brisk fashion. The second half of the piece raises a more clamorous side of the band's style, with several crescendos of clanging chords.

'Vostok' A more vociferous beast than 'Blacksnout Seasnail,' this one features the drummer all over his kit, varying the rhythm alongside the bassist. While the blinking guitar passages carry on, there is a strident finale with a heavy dose of bass pedal that fades out in beautiful rapid harmonics.

'Island of Atlas' More layers of chiming guitar and tight, mobile drumming that punctuates the piece in a noticeable and creative way feature here. The ending involves a mesmerizing groove that escalates to a cacophonic conclusion.

'Maelstrom' Delicate sheets of guitar waltz in, but its beauty is devoured by the snarling interruptions that bite through. The expressive snare work adds a dramatic effect to the ever-present ringing guitar.

'Challenger' A more traditional alternative rock instrumental, this one cranks up the grunge, using some predictable chord progressions along the way.

'Math of Vortex' Melodically odder than any of the previous pieces, this second lengthy piece contains all the previous elements with a few derivations. For example, although the bass has been more of a supporting act in the other compositions, in this one, it receives a bit of focus. That signature twinkling guitar after the silence is stellar.

'Caronte' Similar in tone to 'Challenger,' the grunge factor is mixed with a pulsating rhythm, almost a heartbeat. In time, it evolves into full-blown metal, ending with a nice bass groove.

'Japanese Rockets' Although clearly the same band, the guitar players involve other techniques, such as palm-muted phrases, which add subtle variety to what could have easily become a stale listening experience.

 Solitude Rotation by STAR FK RADIUM album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Solitude Rotation
Star FK Radium Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
4 stars US trio STAR FK RADIUM was formed around 2007, and became a performing live unit in 2009. The following year they released their debut album "Blue Siberia". A stable unit at this point, they have kept on being an active live unit since, and in 2012 they also released their second full length album "Solitude Rotation".

Star FK Radium's acoustic excursions exist somewhere in between a triangle of chamber music, chamber rock and post rock, with the violin providing the textured characteristic of post rock as well as the references towards chamber music, the latter also the function of the acoustic guitar that might as well have been replaced by a harp for a classical chamber music performance I guess. Band and album alike merit a check by those with an interest in the types of music mentioned, and in particular by those who have an affection for all of them.

 Blue Siberia by STAR FK RADIUM album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Blue Siberia
Star FK Radium Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars US trio STAR FK RADIUM was formed around 2007, at least if the opening year of their MySpace page is an indicator of such matters. In 2009 they became an active live unit, performing in 11 US states, and 2010 saw them embarking on a tour of the US West Coast. "Blue Siberia" is their debut album and was issued just prior to the aforementioned tour in 2010.

Personally I found "Blue Siberia" to be an album just a bit too singular in nature overall to warrant a description as a great production. There are a fair few gems there however, and those who have a general liking for melancholic, mournful acoustic music will most likely regard this disc as something of a treasure trove. In particular if they love the dynamics you get when the acoustic guitar is paired off with the violin.

 Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.62 | 104 ratings

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Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Post Rock/Math rock

Review by JJLehto
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Released silently while on tour, I didn't actually know this album was out until I was in the lobby waiting to see the band live. Needless to say this album was huge news for fans, GY!BE's first release in 10 years. What to make of this new release?

The album consists of two long songs, and two short ones. The long ones are redone versions of songs the band has played live before, while the shorter ones are more ambient, soundscape pieces...very droning and minimalist.

This makes the album difficult for me to review, as it feels more like two songs and filler, rather than four actual songs, and while I have no issue with "Their Helicopters Sing" and "Strung Like Lights at Thee Printemps Erable" and would even say I enjoy them, they fail to "do much" for me as part of the album. While the long songs, "Mladic" and "We Drift Like Worried Fire" are both pretty brilliant.

"Mladic" runs the gambit of everything we've come to expect from GY!BE: Mind scratching samples, lengthy, slowly building, ascending and descending songs with lots of power and fury. There are the sounds of what I can only describe as guitars crying, pounding, hypnotic drums and a superb Middle Eastern melody that much of the middle of the song builds around, and some absolutely frantic parts. The song moves into a powerful droning section, just to build again to another climax and finishes with the sounds of protesters, clanging pots and pans.

It actually is quite beautiful in its sound and harmony, especially punctuated with car horns and people chattering. It's beautiful in sound and meaning, people getting together to fight for their beliefs. As always, GY!BE is making a political statement, but one that requires research. I being unfamiliar with Quebecois politics...had to look up "Le Plan Nord" and "La Loi 78" which are colorfully protested against in the album's liner notes. I think understand these things make the album even more meaningful, but I don't want to digress so basically these are two bills that are being criticized for limiting the rights of protesting, and for opening up large areas of protected land to mining. I do believe knowing this facts and keeping them in mind add depth to the album.

"We Drift Like Worried Fire" is again pretty charted waters for GY!BE though as always, superbly done and features a wonderful bass heavy, powerful drumming finale.

Final thoughts on this album? It is a fairly standard GY!BE album. This is not a bad thing, standard godspeed is better than most other bands and the same is true here. The soundscape songs are pretty good, though don't feel quite like they add to the album, and while the lengthy songs are superb they are, apparently, not wholly original. Still, this is great stuff and this album was a bit heavier and a good bit noisier than typical GY!BE, with a little more use of drone as well. As always it is both overtly political while not explaining it to you. It fact it may be their most political album yet: the back cover features a poem involving "plague of policemen" and lost dreams. Inside is a picture of a dead bird, (peace?) and an empty drive through sign, perhaps signifying the loss of "old days" and a snapshot of a crumbling economy. One can speculate for ages, all I know for sure is this is a very solid album that may not break any new ground, but is superbly done and very welcomed. Let's hope there will be new material in the future.

Three and a Half Stars BUMP: FOUR STARS

 Home Alone by TOTORRO album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Home Alone
Totorro Post Rock/Math rock

Review by progadicto

— First review of this album —
3 stars This french post-rock band has some very interesting elements perhaps not enough surprises into the 8 tracks which give form to this album even when it's a solid and very enjoyable piece.

Based on structured mixture of syncopated rhythms and complex guitar scales, the album starts with "Home Alone" and "Chevalier Bulltoe", two songs which shows the strong musical bases on which the rest of the album is constructed perhaps most of the time is redundant in inffluences of seminal post rock bands such as Tortoise and Bark Psychosis even when in songs such as "Tonton Alain Michel" we find some brilliant epic moments leaded by strong guitar sections.

If I got to pick some other great tunes here I go with the soaring and almost delicated "Motte-Rock" and "Eric Colson" which sounds really great because starts with a floating guitar melody and derivates into a sum of almost proggy textures which build an epic grand finale.

No surprises here but definetively a good album. Maybe just for post rock compromised fans but I give "Home Alone" 3* because I can feel in every song a strong and sincere effort that points to make a superb album and in some minutes, these guys achieve that goal... Anyway, if you want to listen the complete album is very easy to find on bandcamp... Enjoy!!!

 This Is The Third Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank by ADEBISI SHANK album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.54 | 4 ratings

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This Is The Third Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank
Adebisi Shank Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Lear'sFool

5 stars Wow, just wow. In a good way! This is a review of the third album of a band called Adebisi Shank, and I'm shedding a few tears as I type this review [...] because the band called Adebisi Shank has broken up. The band [...] played manic math rock that's crazed both as a piece of fiercely played math and as a statement of musical wierdness and whimsy. To an extent, Gong on speed and the SNES. Not the best comparison, but they certainly had the fun and the quality. Their unique sound comes from adding some neat electronic and video game soundtrack influences, distant but tasted. And they had the chops to pull off the whole formula with ease and freshness. This just makes for an enjoyable listen. Perhaps the biggest indicator of the wonder of the band called Adebisi Shank is that some of their fans considered this a slight disappointment compared to their first two efforts, for somehow. Not sure how, as this is about as masterful as it gets, like those two, but there you go. Highly, highly recommended.
 F# A# ∞ by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.05 | 310 ratings

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F# A# ∞
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This album is one of the most essential albums in the sub-genre of post rock. It is beautiful, stark, ambient at times and explosive in others. It is by all rights a modern art masterpiece. I remember being captivated by it the first time I heard it, and I thought at the time that my love for it would slacken after hearing it several more times. I have put this album to the test and have even grown to love it more, and that is after hearing countless times now. Simply beautiful and pensive, yet complex and explosive. So much emotion throughout the album that even the loudest passages can make you feel overwhelmed with emotion to be close to tears. And different passages touch me differently each time I hear it.

The original album was comprised of 2 long tracks which were in turn divided into multiple movements. The vinyl album was only distributed privately by the band and through their concerts. However, word of mouth got out and the band was signed to a label and the band was honed down from 15 or more members to 10, the label re-issued the album on CD and the band created one more track ("Providence") to expand the total time to over an hour. The music was rearranged a bit for the CD, but the vinyl copy remains as it was. The beauty of the vinyl copy are the many "extras" that come with it, including a penny crushed by a moving train. (I love those extras when they are added to vinyl albums.) Also, the vinyl copy has a locked groove at the end of the final track that can play until infinity, or until the listener lifts the needle from the record. I do have the CD copy also though, and I love both of them almost as 2 separate albums.

Starting out, you get "The Dead Flag Blues" which is probably the highlight of the album, even though I love the entire album. It is divided into 3 sub sections on the CD and 6 sections on the vinyl copy. The Intro section on the CD is slightly longer than the vinyl edition, but it's hard to tell the difference between the two. This section features a beautifully composed and read poem about the apocalypse which has a long instrumental break in the middle. The instrumental feels like part of the complete poem and is a slow burning beat with a violin leading the instruments with a slight crescendo and then it cools back down for the last of the poem. The second section is called "Slow Moving Trains/The Cowboy..." On the vinyl, these are separated into two tracks, but are still the same playing time. You hear the train with some awesome ambient descending/ascending drone underneath it. So beautiful. Finally, a melody comes along in the form of an almost spaghetti-western sounding melody on guitar. It works as a great soundtrack to any Cormac McCarthy book or even "The Gunslinger" series by Stephen King. Such a great apocalyptic sound. At this point, the CD ends the track with a two minute outro of the song while the vinyl takes one of the movements from the "East Hastings" track called "Drugs in Tokyo" and places it here before doing the Outro. Then the vinyl also adds another short "Untitled" movement to close out the track completely.

The next track is called "East Hastings" on the CD and called "Bleak, Uncertain, Beautiful..." on the vinyl copy. The first movement is called "Nothing's Alrite in Our Life/The Dead Flag Blues (Reprise)" on both CD and vinyl, but the vinyl version is 1/2 minute longer. This is a track that features a street preacher with bagpipes playing the reprise. This fades and is replaced by "The Sad Mafioso..." on both editions, but the CD version is over 10 minutes where it is just over 5 minutes on the vinyl version. This has a very nice drone which is manipulated to be warped up and down in tone to a very nice effect while a building guitar pattern is played for a while before breaking into a improvised solo based on the pattern. This builds to a climax which is released, the drone quits and a fast percussion pattern starts. A new crescendo starts with a new guitar pattern which also breaks into improvisation, builds to a climax and then releases again. At this point on the CD, the next movement is "Drugs in Tokyo/Black Helicopter" which ends the track in electronic noise and ambience until the end of the track. The vinyl version at this point takes the movement known as "Kicking Horse at Brokenhill" which is part of the "Providence" track on the CD version, then ends the track with "String Loop Manufactured While Downpour", also part of "Providence" on the CD. The track plays through until it comes to the locked groove which is where the album gets it's title as the music alternates from an F# chord to A# chord played until infinity. I usually can't wait that long, so I life the needle off the record after about a 1/2 minute or so.

The last track on the CD is about a half hour long, and except where noted above, does not exist on the vinyl version. This track starts out with "Divorce & Fever..." which is a field recording of an interview. The next movement takes over with "Dead Metheny...." which is led by a cello playing a melody with several other instruments floating around the melody which builds to a climax and then passes into the next movement "Kicking Horse at Brokenhill" which has a military type rhythm. At the end of that, a piece of a sampled song from the musical "Godspell" plays repeatedly and fades into "String Loop...." which is a beautiful ambient piece of sound effects, drones and accompaniment. This fades to silence for about 3 minutes and then moves into the last movement "J.L.H Outro" which is named after John Lee Hooker. I'm not sure if this is a sampled piece of music that has been electronically altered or not, but the track plays a repeated sound with ambience swirling around it.

So, I have tried my best to describe this masterpiece of an album, but it is so hard to express the emotions of destitution, loss, loneliness and hope that this music conveys. It's not all bleak as it may sound, because there is a feeling of hope and beauty that is threaded throughout this music. I feel it as a tribute to the human spirit, that even though all may seem lost, the spirit always finds a way to survive. I could never hope to express how wonderful this music is in words, you must listen for yourself. And it is not truly listening by playing it as background music, the best experience is when you can be uninterrupted and have a pair of great headphones on. Then let yourself get lost into whatever images your mind conjures up. This is such a wonderful example of rock influenced neo-classical music....or post rock.

A lot of post-rock bands use the basic construction of quiet, crescendo, climax for the pattern to develop their songs. Unfortunately, they forget to add effective use of dynamics, emotion and ingenuity and end up with a lot of half-hearted music. Many bands like Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor know how to do things right in this respect. But this album is a perfect example of what post-rock should be. For that reason, this is an essential album in every sense. If you listen to one post-rock album, this should be it. 5 glowing stars.....but it's a perfect 6 star album, and I don't give out the extra star very often.

 All is Violent, All is Bright by GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.93 | 127 ratings

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

Review by Gallifrey

3 stars 10 Years On: God is an Astronaut's All Is Violent, All is Bright

I completely and utterly understand why the entire world of post-rock hates God is an Astronaut. Even more than Explosions in the Sky, who simply packaged down Godspeed You! Black Emperor into predictable burst of constant crescendo, God is an Astronaut dare to take post- rock, and instrumental rock in general, to riskily accessible levels. I can see purists getting mad whenever some uneducated music fan says 'I normally don't like music without words, but I really like God is an Astronaut', because their music is so safe, and trying so hard to be as accessible as instrumental music can physically be, as if they're trying to push post-rock into the radio market. But above all of my intellectual knowledge that these guys are watering down a genre known to be epic, inaccessible and pretentiously grandiose into bite-size segments for the mass market, I still actually enjoy them, even if only a little bit.

Although they would shift their sound a bit in the future, in both good ways and bad, towards ambient, electronic, and shoegaze sounds, All Is Violent, All Is Bright remains the definitive God is an Astronaut album, in terms of their skills at condensing post-rock into memorable, tight, and melodically dressed four-to-six minute jams. The ambient and the electronic parts are here (not really any shoegaze until later), but they take a back seat to the sounds of streamlined, ultra- melodic third wave post-rock. And even then, I regularly feel the ambience and electronics are some of the weaker elements here, 'Forever Lost', despite its wonderfully uplifting melody line, utilises way too many casio synthesisers to make its ambience, sounding straight out of a 14- year-old's 'ambient' bedroom project. Later on in their career, the electronic elements would become a positive side to their music, but on this album, let's just say they're pretty poor. I'm particularly not a fan of when the drums come in and completely ruin the mood of 'When Everything Dies'

But basically, when you throw out the fact that this has none of the raw emotion of Godspeed or the innovative sounds of early post-rock, you can really start to appreciate it as one of the most memorable and accessible takes on instrumental rock music to date, without relying heavily on intense crescendos. Similar to many pop artists, these songs are short, have distinct repetitions, and focus heavily on memorable melodies, usually played on guitar, although piano features regularly, and the opening track even has some Sigur R's-esque distant vocals carrying its lead hook.

And then there are the crescendocore tracks. If you can give points to God is an Astronaut for anything else on this record, it's that they didn't go full-on explosion in every single track, like some of their imitators do. 'Suicide by Star' has an absolutely gripping piece of explosion-core, bringing in the tremolo guitars in mounds and ramping up the intensity to true post-rock levels, although its brief length does make it a bit of an anti-climax.

But what this album, and this band in general, is missing from its formula is the vastness of post- rock. Without huge tracks and monolithic soundscapes, these guys sound a bit too weak underneath their cousins, because even though they interject ambient passages into the structures, and many of the songs have a slower and more laid-back mood, with their formula of short and cheery, God is an Astronaut miss out on so much depth in songwriting. It's not as if they need 20-minute tracks to be good, but oftentimes this album feels like a stack of songs, one after another, that are just the same thing played in a different key with varying degrees of loudness. I wouldn't go as far to call it derivative - these guys certainly have their own sound, it's just that it's not a sound that lasts all too long, even within an album. This could have been cut to a 5-song EP (doesn't matter which ones, just pick a few) and it would have the same effect.

Repeat listens don't do this good either, I'm afraid. I liked every song on this when i first heard it, and now several absolutely drive me up the wall, mostly because of how simple the melodies are, again in a similar way to vapid pop music. The melody in 'Fire Flies and Empty Skies', it just feels so lazy and basic, and obviously without the crescendocore of Explosions in the Sky, they haven't even got the 'emotion' to back it up. And in its follow-up, 'A Deafening Distance", we get one melody repeating ad nauseam, with an equally dull drum beat underneath, but that song fortunately saves itself by giving it a bit of punch with the final few rounds. Many of these songs feel so incredibly underdeveloped, and I don't mean that they are too short, I mean that some songs are entirely based around a very simple idea, and four minutes of one melody does wear thin after a few listens.

This is a good album. It's good background music, I feel - not emotional enough to be distracting, but captivating enough to not feel bored. They certainly have a knack for memorable melodies without the need of a vocalist, which is something that is vital in an instrumental band, but without the enormity and emotional power that a band like Godspeed has, the music becomes a bit nondescript, a bit pedestrian. And in combination with many of the songs being a bit lazily written An enjoyable record, I feel. Certainly far from a classic, and it certainly deserves a lot of the flack it takes for being a bit dull and song-centric, but I do enjoy it a little bit. Just don't play it more than a couple of times, or it will start to dig into you.

6.4

Originally written for my Facebook page/blog: www.facebook.com/neoprogisbestprog

Data cached

Post Rock/Math rock bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
*ANCIENTS Multi-National
100 ONCES United States
1099 Norway
12TWELVE Spain
33.3 United States
37500 YENS France
3ND Japan
417.3 Russia
52 COMMERCIAL ROAD United Kingdom
65DAYSOFSTATIC United Kingdom
A. ARMADA United States
ABOUT TESS Japan
ACTARUS Luxembourg
ACTIVITIES OF DUST United States
ACTUAL MUSIC QUARTET RSM Russia
ADEBISI SHANK Ireland
AERIAL Sweden
AESTHESYS Russia
AFFORMANCE Greece
AIUA United States
AL SABO United States
ALBINOBEACH South Africa
THE ALBUM LEAF United States
ALFHEIMR United States
ALL ANGELS GONE France
ALL WILL BE QUIET Finland
ALL YOU'VE SEEN Switzerland
THE ALLSTAR PROJECT Portugal
ALRIGHT THE CAPTAIN United Kingdom
AMBIENTE Mexico
THE AMERICAN DOLLAR United States
ANA NEVER Serbia
ANALECTA United States
ANATHEME France
AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR Ireland
AND STARS COLLIDE United Kingdom
ANOICE Japan
ANTARCTIC United States
THE ANTARCTICANS United States
ANTENNAS TO HEAVEN United Kingdom
ANTETHIC Russia
APRICOT RAIL Australia
ARBOR LIGHTS United Kingdom
ARCTIC PLATEAU Italy
ARROWAY France
ART.FICIAL Brazil
AS THE POETS AFFIRM Canada
THE ASCENT OF EVEREST United States
ASTRO SONIC Norway
ATTILION Indonesia
AUSTIN TV Mexico
AUTO!AUTOMATIC!! United States
AUTOMASSAGE Slovenia
AUTUMN MOONLIGHT Argentina
THE AUTUMN PROJECT United States
BAFFODORO Italy
BALMORHEA United States
THE BALTIC SEA United States
BANGLADEAFY United States
BARK PSYCHOSIS United Kingdom
BATTLES United States
BATTLESTATIONS Belgium
BEAST PLEASE BE STILL United States
BEATEN BY THEM Multi-National
BECAUSE OF GHOSTS Australia
BELEGOST United States
BELL ORCHESTRE Canada
BELOW THE SEA Canada
BELYE FLAGI ZAZHIGAYTE MEDLENNO Russia
BEWARE OF SAFETY United States
BEYOND FREQUENCY Brazil
LA BIBLIOTECA DESERTA Italy
BILL IN THE TEA Italy
BILLY MAHONIE United Kingdom
BLACK FOREST/BLACK SEA United States
BLUEBRIDGE QUARTET Sweden
BLUENECK United Kingdom
THE BODY LOVERS United States
BOSCH'S WITH YOU Russia
BOXHEAD ENSEMBLE United States
BRAINBOW United States
BRASS KNUCKLE SURFER United States
BREADWINNER United States
BRONZE FAWN United States
THE BRONZED CHORUS United States
BROUGHTON'S RULES United States
BULLETS IN MADISON United States
THE BURNING SEA Australia
BY THE END OF TONIGHT United States
C Czech Republic
C'EST MORTEL United States
THE CALM BLUE SEA United States
CANYONSOFSTATIC United States
CARTA United States
CARTOGRAPHER Netherlands
CASPIAN United States
CAUDAL Germany
CAVES OF STEEL Norway
CECILIA::EYES Belgium
CELESTIAL WOLVES Belgium
CHARTS AND MAPS United States
CHEVAL DE FRISE France
CHICAGO ODENSE ENSEMBLE Multi-National
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE United States
IL CIELO DI BAGDAD Italy
CINEMATIQUE Austria
CINEMECHANICA United States
CLEAN OF CORE Japan
CLESSIDRA Italy
CLEVER GIRL United States
CLOUD ARCHIVE United States
COALA PASCAL Ukraine
CODES IN THE CLOUDS United Kingdom
COLLAPSE UNDER THE EMPIRE Germany
CONCENTRIC United States
THE CONQUERING LIGHT OF FLORA AND FAUNA Denmark
COPTIC LIGHT United States
CROMBIE United Kingdom
CUE United States
CUL DE SAC United States
DATURAH Germany
DAY FOR AIRSTRIKES United Kingdom
DAYCAST United States
THE DEAD SEA Australia
DEADFILE Greece
DEADHORSE United States
DEL REY United States
DESERTSHORE United States
DETWIIJE United Kingdom
DEXTRO United Kingdom
DIANOGAH United States
DIETRICH Argentina
DIRTY THREE Australia
DISCO INFERNO United Kingdom
DISPOSITIVOPERILANCIOBLIQUODIUNASFERETTA Italy
DO MAKE SAY THINK Canada
DON CABALLERO United States
DON'T LOOK BACK France
DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS Croatia
DORENA Sweden
DRESDA Italy
DROP ELECTRIC United States
EASTSTRIKEWEST United Kingdom
EATEN BY TIGERS United Kingdom
THE ECHELON EFFECT United Kingdom
EDGAR (ANIMO) Belgium
EF Sweden
EFRIM MANUEL MENUCK Canada
EFTERKLANG Denmark
EIMOG Italy
EKSI EKSO United States
ELLIS THE VACUUMCHILD Sweden
ELOHYMN United Kingdom
EMPHASIS Croatia
EMPTY SILOS ECHO WAR United States
EN PLEIN AIR Italy
ENABLERS United States
ENGRAMA ([ENGRAMA]) Multi-National
ENVY Japan
EPIGRAM Canada
EQUUS Switzerland
EROICA United States
ESMERINE Canada
EUPHORIA Japan
EVERSHAM Australia
EVERYTHING IS MADE IN CHINA Russia
THE EVPATORIA REPORT Switzerland
EXHAUST Canada
EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY United States
FALCONBROOK United States
FARAQUET United States
FAREWELL POETRY France
FATHER FIGURE United States
THE FIERCE & THE DEAD United Kingdom
FLARES Germany
FLIES ARE SPIES FROM HELL United Kingdom
THE FLOWERS OF HELL United Kingdom
FLY PAN AM Canada
FLYING SAUCER ATTACK United Kingdom
FOLLOWED BY GHOSTS United States
FOR A MINOR REFLECTION Iceland
FORM AND FATE United States
FORM OF AN ICE WAVE United States
FORSQUEAK Italy
FOXHOLE United States
FRAGILE China
FRAGMENTS OF AN EMPIRE Austria
FRENCH TEEN IDOL Italy
FRIDGE United Kingdom
FROM MONUMENT TO MASSES United States
GANGER United Kingdom
GASTR DEL SOL United States
GEORGE DORN SCREAMS Poland
GHOSTS AND VODKA United States
GIANTS United States
GIARDINI DI MIRO Italy
GIFTS FROM ENOLA United States
GIRAFFES? GIRAFFES! United States
GLASS AMERICA United States
GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT Ireland
GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR Canada
GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE United Kingdom
GRANDE DUKE United Kingdom
GREGOR SAMSA United States
HAIDA United Kingdom
THE HALIFAX PIER United States
HAMMOCK United States
HANGEDUP Canada
HANNIBAL MONTANA United States
HARBORING GHOSTS United States
HAZARDS OF SWIMMING NAKED Australia
HEARTS OF ATLANTIS Russia
HELIOS United States
HELLA United States
HELSINGFORS United Kingdom
HENRY GALE United States
HER NAME IS CALLA United Kingdom
HERMITAGE Italy
HEROD LAYNE Brazil
HIBERNAL Australia
HITCHCOCK GO HOME! France
THE HOSEMOBILE United States
HOW COMES THE CONSTELLATIONS SHINE Portugal
HRSTA Canada
HUA LUN China
HUME United States
HUNGRY GHOSTS Australia
HURTMOLD Brazil
THE HYLOZOISTS Canada
I AM THE ARCHITECT Germany
I AM WAITING FOR YOU LAST SUMMER Russia
I HEAR SIRENS United States
I LIKE TRAINS United Kingdom
I WILL KILL CHITA Russia
IF THESE TREES COULD TALK United States
IMMANU EL Sweden
IN THE WAKE OF GIANTS United States
INDIGNU Portugal
INFINITE THIRD United States
INTERNATIONAL KARATE Australia
IOSEB Sweden
JAKOB New Zealand
JARDIN DE LA CROIX Spain
JENIFEREVER Sweden
THE JOE K-PLAN Spain
JOHNNYTWENTYTHREE United States
JOVENABUELO Chile
JOY WANTS ETERNITY United States
JUNE OF 44 United States
JUNG PEOPLE Canada
JUNIUS United States
KAKAOKAMKAMI Finland
KAMMERFLIMMER KOLLEKTIEF Germany
KEPZELT VAROS Hungary
KERMIT Spain
KERRETTA New Zealand
KILLINGTON FALL United Kingdom
KIMIKA Canada
KINDER Peru
KLEVER Russia
KOKOMO Germany
KOMAS MIDA Sweden
KOMATSU Finland
KONTAKTE United Kingdom
KOVLO Switzerland
KRAENE Germany
KROBAK Ukraine
KUATO Canada
KWOON France
LA MAR Venezuela
LA MUNECA DE SAL Spain
LABIRINTO Brazil
LABRADFORD United States
THE LADIES United States
LARSEN Italy
LAURA Australia
LAZONA Italy
LEBANON Israel
LEECH Switzerland
LET AIRPLANES CIRCLE OVERHEAD United Kingdom
LIGHTS & MOTION Sweden
LIGHTS AT SEA United States
LIGHTS OUT ASIA United States
LIKE BELLS United States
A LILY United Kingdom
LINDA MARTINI Portugal
LIS ER STILLE Denmark
LITE Japan
LONG DISTANCE CALLING Germany
LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS United States
LORAINE United States
LOSS OF A CHILD United Kingdom
LOST IN THE RIOTS United Kingdom
LOST REVERIE Mexico
LOVELY GIRLS ARE BLIND France
LOWERCASE NOISES United States
THE LUNA MOTH United States
LUNAR Croatia
LUZPARÍS Argentina
LYMBYC SYSTYM United States
MAGYAR POSSE Finland
MAN MOUNTAIN United States
MAN ZERO Croatia
MAPS United States
MAPS & ATLASES United States
MARRIAGES United States
MASERATI United States
MAYBESHEWILL United Kingdom
MEANWHILE BACK IN COMMUNIST RUSSIA United Kingdom
MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS United Kingdom
THE MERCURY PROGRAM United States
MESCALINER Netherlands
MIAOU Japan
MIGALA Spain
MILHAVEN Germany
MINIMUS Portugal
MINIONTV United Kingdom
MIRROR Japan
MOGWAI United Kingdom
MŘN France
MONO Japan
THE MONROE TRANSFER United Kingdom
MOONCAKE Russia
MOONLIT SAILOR Sweden
MOTEK Belgium
MOTIONLESS United States
MOUNTAIN MEN ANONYMOUS United Kingdom
MOVING MOUNTAINS United States
MOYA Belarus
MR. MAPS Australia
MUDDY WORLD Japan
MUDY ON THE SAKUBON Japan
MY BELOVED Denmark
MY DAD VS YOURS Canada
MY EDUCATION United States
NEGEV United Kingdom
NEIL ON IMPRESSION Italy
NEW CENTURY CLASSICS Poland
A NEW SILENT CORPORATION Italy
NICE WINGS ICARUS! Ukraine
NO ONE WISHED TO SETTLE HERE Poland
NOVA SCOTIA United Kingdom
NUITO Japan
O QUARTO FANTASMA Portugal
O.RANG (.O.RANG) United Kingdom
OAQK Japan
OBSTACLES Denmark
OSTINATO United States
OVUM Japan
OXES United States
PAIK United States
PANTHER ATTACK United States
PARABSTRUSE United States
PAWA UP FIRST Canada
PEACH PIT Croatia
PELE United States
PERHAPS United States
PERTEGO Italy
PETROGRAD IN TRANSIT United States
PG. LOST Sweden
PHEWWHOO Japan
PIGLET United States
THE PIRATE SHIP QUINTET United Kingdom
PLAIN FADE Finland
PLANETS United States
PLOKK Germany
PNEU France
PORT-ROYAL Italy
PORTRAIT OF A DROWNED MAN United States
PREA HRADA Russia
PRECIOUS FATHERS Canada
PRESENCE OF SOUL Japan
PVT (PIVOT) Australia
QUALIA United Kingdom
RADIO FREE ISAAC Croatia
RAISED BY SWANS Canada
RED SPAROWES United States
THE REDNECK MANIFESTO Ireland
REMINDER Sweden
RESERVE DE MARCHE Russia
RETROVERTIGO Venezuela
RIDING PÂNICO Portugal
RIDING THE DIPLODOC Russia
THE ROCK OF TRAVOLTA United Kingdom
ROCKET MINER United States
ROSA PARKS Hungary
RUMAH SAKIT United States
RUSSIAN CIRCLES United States
SADDLEBACK Australia
SADGAYERS United States
SALARYMAN United States
SALVATORE Norway
THE SAMUEL JACKSON FIVE Norway
SARAX Chile
SAVAGE LUCY South Africa
SAWHORSE United States
SAXON SHORE United States
SCIENCE IN THE CAVE United States
SCRAPS OF TAPE Sweden
SDNMT Germany
THE SEA LIKE LEAD United States
SEAWORTHY Australia
SEMIOSIS Romania
SENNEN Netherlands
SEPTEMBER MALEVOLENCE Sweden
SEQUENCE PULSE Japan
SET FIRE TO FLAMES Canada
SGT. Japan
SHALABI EFFECT Canada
SHAPES STARS MAKE United States
SHORA Switzerland
THE SHY TRAFFICKER United States
SICKOAKES Sweden
SIGUR RÓS Iceland
SILENCE KIT Russia
A SILVER MT. ZION Canada
SIOUM United States
THE SIX PARTS SEVEN United States
SKY ARCHITECTS Denmark
THE SLEEP DESIGN United States
SLEEPING PEOPLE United States
SLEEPMAKESWAVES Australia
SLEEPSTREAM Greece
SLOW SIX United States
(THE) SLOWEST RUNNER (IN ALL THE WORLD) United States
SOLKYRI Australia
SOMMA Russia
SONNA United States
SONNÖV Spain
SOULS VIBRATING IN THE UNIVERSE United Kingdom
SOUNDS LIKE THE END OF THE WORLD Poland
SOUVARIS United Kingdom
SOUVENIR'S YOUNG AMERICA United States
SPACES United States
SPARROWS SWARM AND SING United States
SPEAKER GAIN TEARDROP Japan
SPURV Norway
STAR FK RADIUM United States
STEARICA Italy
STERLING United States
STORMS Croatia
THE STRANGE DEATH OF LIBERAL ENGLAND United Kingdom
STUBBORN TINY LIGHTS VS CLUSTERING DARKNESS FOREVER OK United States
SUNLIGHT ASCENDING United States
SWANS United States
SWEEK Belgium
SWEEP THE LEG JOHNNY United States
SWEET MOTHER LOGIC Canada
SWIMS United States
SYBAX France
TAN FRIO EL VERANO Venezuela
TANGLED THOUGHTS OF LEAVING Australia
TARANTULA AD United States
TARENTEL United States
Japan
TENA NOVAK Croatia
TENEBRE United States
TERA MELOS United States
TERRAFORMATION United States
TERRAFORMER Belgium
THE BEAUTY THE WORLD MAKES US HOPE FOR France
THE BEST PESSIMIST Ukraine
THE END OF THE OCEAN United States
THE GLUTTON Norway
THE RETALIATION FOR WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO US United States
THEM, ROARING TWENTIES United States
THESE MONSTERS United States
THETA NAUGHT United States
THIS IS A PROCESS OF A STILL LIFE United States
THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN SPEAKING Australia
THIS WILL DESTROY YOU United States
THREE TRAPPED TIGERS United Kingdom
THREEMOVEMENTS United Kingdom
TIDES OF MAN United States
TIME COLUMNS United States
THE TIMEOUT DRAWER United States
TO DESTROY A CITY United States
TOE. Japan
TOMAN Belgium
TONE United States
TORCH THE BRIDGE United States
TORNGAT Canada
TORTOISE United States
TOTORRO France
TRACER AMC Ireland
TRANSIT Belgium
THE TRICKLE-DOWN EFFECT United States
TRISTEZA United States
TULSA DRONE United States
TUNA LAGUNA Norway
TUNDRA LIGHTS United States
TUNTURIA Canada
TURING MACHINE United States
UFAJR Czech Republic
ULAN BATOR France
ULVER Norway
UNDER LANGUID LIGHTS Germany
UNLEARN United States
UNTIL SUNRISE United States
UNWED SAILOR United States
UP THERE: THE CLOUDS Italy
UP-C DOWN-C LEFT-C RIGHT-C ABC + START United Kingdom
URTHONA Japan
US ON ROOFS United States
UZRUJAN Croatia
VALLEY OF THE GIANTS Canada
VAMPILLIA Japan
VESSELS United Kingdom
VIRVEL Serbia
VOLTA DO MAR United States
VOTIVA LUX Italy
WADDLE France
WANG WEN China
WE ALL INHERIT THE MOON United States
WE ARE KNIVES United Kingdom
WE VS. DEATH Netherlands
WE'RE FROM JAPAN United States
WHYOCEANS China
THE WINCHESTER CLUB United Kingdom
WOLVES IN ARAMID United States
THE WORLD ON HIGHER DOWNS United States
WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND Japan
XMENOSUNO Mexico
YEARS OF RICE AND SALT United Kingdom
YNDI HALDA United Kingdom
YOU ALREADY KNOW United Kingdom
YOU SLUT! United Kingdom
YOU.MAY.DIE.IN.THE.DESERT United States
YOUR TEN MOFO Austria
YOUTH PICTURES OF FLORENCE HENDERSON Norway
YOUTHMOVIES United Kingdom
ZALEM France
ZUKR France

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