God Is An Astronaut
Age of the Fifth Sun


2.5
average

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
May 12th, 2010 | 113 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: God Is An Astronaut seem to have remixed their old material to make an album

Props to God Is An Astronaut for having had a steady, noticeable progression throughout their career in post-rock since beginning in 2002. As I would imagine, that’s quite a feat: they’ve successfully been turning mildly bumpy 90-degree angles to vary and evolve their electro-ambient-guitar-jam exploits from release to release. You see, the three-piece have always had it in their mind to never subscribe to any of the genre’s more well-known, though restrictive, characteristics that many of their build-to-boom, echo, and reverb distant neighbors often seem to try to revitalize and make relevant in recent years. In an interview leading up to Age of the Fifth Sun's release, Torsten Kinsella (vocals, guitars, and piano) even went as far as to say that “we don’t play post-rock; we [may] have elements of [it], but I’m not going to follow the rules.”

And follow the rules Torsten, his brother Niels (bass and guitar), and Lloyd Hanney (drums and synths) have not, at least as Wikipedia might define the barriers. Their first album, The End of the Beginning, was as naked and bare as debuts can get, crafted merely on a sole sampler and keyboard station. But despite such meager beginnings, therein laid the inception of the core dance-synth groove nature of God Is An Astronaut’s sound, already showing possible signs of hope that the band might be of future interest to those more disillusioned and tired with the now-generic genre stereotypes. From their second, and often most praised release, All Is Violent, All Is Bright, which expanded the framework of their debut with the inclusion of real drumming and a more present guitar element, to the more guitar-driven, distortion-fest of 2008’s self-titled release, God Is An Astronaut have yet to settle in a niche for themselves, always delivering with at least some degree of surprise.

Until now, that is. It’s said that “if it’s not broken, then don’t fix it”, and in God Is An Astronaut’s case, that means taking everything from their past albums and combining it into one compact and somewhat disproportionate Age of the Fifth Sun, all without adding anything new or interesting into the mix. This may not sound like such a bad thing, especially for the Irish band’s fans, but it still hints that the band are running low on innovation, having to recall past efforts in order to bridge the gap to their possible future. It may be a little too early to place judgment, but it must be asked: really, do we need another stagnating post-rock band?

When Torsten stated that Age of the Fifth Sun would be a change and that “every song is different,” he wasn’t exactly telling the truth, if what he said is taken in a direct literal sense. Indeed, opener “Worlds In Collision” plays like a remix to what I’ve interpreted to be God Is An Astronaut’s remix CD: distant reverb sets the stage before Hanney takes control behind the kit, leading the Kinsella brothers with their intensely melodic flirtation of swirling synths and pounding guitar distortion along for the ride, picking up speed and then slowing down. Many of Age of the Fifth Sun’s cuts play out in such a way, varying ever so slightly – “In The Distance Fading”, “Parallel Highway”, and “Shinning Through” – and even the cuts that don’t – “Lost Kingdom,” with its hollow-like intrigue, and “Dark Rift,” playing to its name with its solemn, brooding channel of ambiance and keys – feel strangely unmotivated and uncomfortable in the track list. Repeats and awkward junctions like these cause the album to have a very bumpy and undecided path for what it wants to do. Call me pessimistic, but when a post-rock release - or any instrumental album, for that matter - fails to contain some kind of purposeful flow, be it chaotic or smooth, I begin to reach for the off button. Frankly, it’s just not worth it.

That’s the very problem that God Is An Astronaut have seemed to have stumbled onto here on Age of the Fifth Sun. In mixing the electronic-led beginnings of their debut, the more post-rock leaning of their All Is Violent, All Is Bright, and the harder-hitting moments of their self-titled release together, the band have made an album that suffers from disproportionate flow, unmotivated songwriting, and, yes, though concentrated solely on the band’s past work, recycled material. It’s really upsetting, too, as once a band removes that almost expected flair - in this case, that surprise element - that really made them stand out from the crowd initially, they then take a backseat and begin to fit in with the masses. It's not so much a relation of sounds to their sonic neighbors; it's more of a copying of tactics, and Age of the Fifth Son, I'm afraid, is where God Is An Astronaut begin to fit in with the others. This is one of the few instances in dealing with post-rock where I would say that it's best to go against the flow; too bad that God Is An Astronaut have seemingly dove in head-first.



Recent reviews by this author
There Will Be Fireworks The Dark, Dark BrightBring Me the Horizon Sempiternal
As I Lay Dying AwakenedTim Hecker Harmony in Ultraviolet
Thousand Foot Krutch The End Is Where We BeginOwen I do perceive.
user ratings (244)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
May 12th 2010


5831 Comments


stream: http://www.myspace.com/godisanastronaut

Digging: Gates - Bloom and Breathe

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 12th 2010


31634 Comments


What's all this then?

Digging: Theo Parrish - American Intelligence

thebhoy
Emeritus
May 12th 2010


4461 Comments


band has always done nothing for me.

AnotherBrick
May 12th 2010


9772 Comments


i've been meaning to check these guys out for years now

Ponton
Emeritus
May 12th 2010


5831 Comments


A lot of people like this, so give it a go another brick. Also, look into All is violent, all is bright for sure

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
May 12th 2010


15743 Comments


i guess we don't promote contributors anymore or something cuz seriously.

also lol that quote at the beginning. these guys are the classic example of boring overrated post rock

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
May 12th 2010


3782 Comments


Gorgeous review. If I could be fucked to listen to this I suspect I'd probably agree with it too.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 12th 2010


31634 Comments


Since you've been spending a little bit more time with your reviews (and by that I mean like an extra day) they've gone to like a whole new level dude. And they were already stellar to begin with

Powerban
May 12th 2010


2380 Comments


probably won't get this. got their other stuff and it will probably just sound kinda the same but overall be worse.

Ponton
Emeritus
May 12th 2010


5831 Comments


Whoa, i appreciate it guys.

Yeah, Dev. I think I'm starting to find a system or something like that that works for me.

AggravatedYeti
May 12th 2010


7685 Comments


fantastic review
boring band

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 12th 2010


31634 Comments


Its not like you ever needed to, but I remember you mentioning that you were going to space things out a bit, spend a bit more time etc. Paid off in full

Ponton
Emeritus
May 12th 2010


5831 Comments


As always, appreciate it yeti

Yeah definitely. I don't think I'll pull a back to back review each day again, but I guess my pace with vary depending on work and other stuff. No more school for summer though

Athom
Staff Reviewer
May 13th 2010


17231 Comments


disagree with your review, but yeah, CONTRIB now! I think the main problem with this is that the
production is so dull and lifeless that it can ruin the energy of the music.

soundless
May 13th 2010


171 Comments


dandruf cats

Photon
May 13th 2010


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

album is average especially the first half which is just boring

Ponton
Emeritus
May 13th 2010


5831 Comments


I actually found the stronger tracks to be near the front, although Shining Through is a pretty good track.

Photon
May 13th 2010


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

that is the strongest song for me along with the title track ..back to back

greg84
Staff Reviewer
May 13th 2010


7474 Comments


Just another indie band I've never listened to, and probably won't. Good review though.

Digging: Clipping - CLPPNG

Ponton
Emeritus
May 13th 2010


5831 Comments


Appreciate it greg

If you ever decided to venture into post rock, I think this band may be a good starting point, particularily on their second and self-titled albums, as they can get fairly heavy at times and hopefully wouldnt bore you



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy