Review Summary: A beautiful album full of enjoyable soundscapes.
The crisp morning air and the snow covered ground accented the clear blue sky this morning as I walked home from school. The music I was listening to seemed to match the atmosphere perfectly, and this music of course was The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place. The feeling I got walking home, is exactly what makes this such a good album, it's serene and beautiful in it's simplicity and can easily be scored as the soundtrack of life.
Musically, the album is fairly simple and with Explosions basic rock setup, each song can begin to feel a little bit too much like the other songs on the album. This sameness is usually the main detractor to those who are not so favourable of the album. Personally, I find that this "sameness" is more like a flowing cohesiveness that gives the album more of a singular feel to it, rather then a collection of songs. Overall the music is very dramatic with each crescendo and accelerando well timed and placed. Critics who will argue the loud-soft-loud dynamic of the post-rock genre are shown just how powerful this dynamic can be when used appropriately, as in the case of this album.
We begin with First Breath After a Coma and it is one of my favourites on the album. The chiming single note guitar intro gives way to a very upbeat guitar melody backed by very military like drumming. This eventually dies off into more guitar work. It's a wonderful way to start the album. At about 6:20 bells enter the fray and we start our next crescendo to the nicely distorted ending that leads into the next track.
The rest of the tracks follow a similar pattern with their own variations. The song structures are generally the same, with each song possessing it's own melody. The Only Moment We Were Alone consists of a series of rather joyous crescendos, before one final crescendo that is notably louder, and more angry (well accented with the distortion). I was feel this song is about a break-up, because of the ending. Six Days at the Bottom of The Ocean, and Memorial are both the most sorrowful songs on the album, appropriate as both are dealing with the theme of death. The only song that I find feels like a more stand alone track is the finale, Your Hand in Mine.
I feel that if you are ever introducing someone into the post-rock genre, Your Hand in Mine is the best track to do it. It has a beautiful melody and it rises and falls at all the right moments, it is my favourite song on the album, and one of my favourite songs in general too.
Overall, what stopped me from giving this album a 4.5 or a 5 is that this album is really best when listened to at certain times. That walk home is a pristine time to listen to it, on the contrary, driving with your friends (as I have found out) takes away from the album.