Explosions in the Sky
The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place


3.5
great

Review

by Mark/Angel USER (7 Reviews)
July 18th, 2011 | 19 replies | 4,130 views


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the leading bands in atmospheric post-rock, Explosions In The Sky deliver another album in a similar vein. Worth checking out, if only for the last track.

As a genre, post-rock seems to be one of the more all-encompassing ones, and also compatible with other genres. The general definition of long compositions and layered guitar melodies have resulted in a variety such as Sigur Rós and Mogwai, but influences can also be heard in other places from indie rock to black metal. So it is expected that a lot of bands are going to try and push the boundaries as to how post-rock can be defined. On the other side, there are those who stay comfortably in the bounds and focus on using formulae to create good music. It is in this latter group which Explosions In The Sky fall, and is both their strength and their downfall.

From the opening heart-machine guitar-notes and heartbeat bass drums to the final crashing fadeout, the album is nothing if not flowing. Given that this is their third album, the trademark melodic guitar lines and waves of drums should be nothing new to established fans, and even if you’ve never heard of the band before, the songs feel familiar. The repeated melodies that are scattered over this album are not annoying, but do give the impression that the album is one extended song. The songs themselves are simple, crisply produced and act like waves as they swirl and crash. The listener does get lost somewhere in the middle owing to “Six Days At The Bottom Of The Ocean” being the least memorable of the tracks, but “Your Hand In Mine” does a fantastic job of rounding off the album.

I have to hand it to the band, they do know how to capture the feelings in the titles of their songs. “First Breath After Coma” is a song that wakes up as it progresses, and “Memorial” opens with a funereal effect to the guitars. The closer of the album, “Your Hand In Mine”, is personally one of the best songs that this genre has to offer and epitomizes Munaf’s statement that the album was “an attempt at writing love songs”. However, the music is not soppy, overly romantic, or even particularly upbeat, but it does leave the listener in a serene calm by the end, heightened by the complete absence of lyrics.

To balance the review, the album does have a few points which make me hesitate to give an extremely high rating. Firstly, although the repetition is not annoying, it does often give a sense of déj* vu, especially to fans acquainted with other albums. Secondly, the lack of technicality is not particularly inspiring, and may turn off some guitar-based listeners and those based in conventional song structure. Thirdly, this album received a lot of hype upon its release and despite being a good post-rock album, it is debatable as to whether it deserves all of its praise. Finally, repeat listens do not work well with this album, and I advise the listener to leave a gap between listens. Memory is important with regards to how much of this album you remember: the less you remember from previous spins, the more you get from it.

Still, both newcomers and regulars of post-rock can obtain something from this album, whether to use it to sleep, as background music for thinking or to enjoy in general. I certainly recommend “Your Hand In Mine”, that in itself makes the album worth it, and a reminder that the earth is not a cold dead place.

Rating: 7/10

Originally posted at www.mostlymetal.wordpress.com



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user ratings (2057)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
mostlymetal
July 18th 2011



12 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I know this album has been reviewed to death, I'm looking more for critique in how to improve the style.

Maniac!
July 18th 2011



26187 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pos

Irving
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2011



7011 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I've heard two albums from these guys (Take Care and All of a Sudden...), and something tells me that's really all I need from these build-release-build-release engineers. Am I right?

Digging: Pixies - Indie Cindy

Kris.
July 18th 2011



11374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no you need this

Irving
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2011



7011 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

How is it different from their other records? I mean, they're solid, but what sets this collection of instrumental aside from their others?

Maniac!
July 18th 2011



26187 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the atmosphere is better

fsharptrit0ne
July 18th 2011



4628 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Because it's before they went and repeated themselves 3 more times.

Kris.
July 18th 2011



11374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hey look at the overall rating for this compared to their other stuff




thats fucken why

Pyosisified
July 18th 2011



2450 Comments


album sucks

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2011



16126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nah.

NOTINTHEFACE
July 18th 2011



1653 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

One of the most boring post-rock albums ever devised. i cannot for the life of me comprehend why this still gets such critical acclaim. Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean is the only remotely interesting track.

wabbit
July 18th 2011



6747 Comments


Your Hand in Mine is such a gem.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2011



8590 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

One of the most boring post-rock albums ever devised. i cannot for the life of me comprehend why this still gets such critical acclaim. Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean is the only remotely interesting track.


you could say that it's a cold dead album!! :] :]

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

YetAnotherBrick
July 18th 2011



4319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Only Moment We Were Alone > Your Hand In Mine.

The whole album rules extremely hard, though. I've considered 5'ing it from time to time.

Digging: Battles - Mirrored

NOTINTHEFACE
July 18th 2011



1653 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Lol Dark Noctus that's what I think every time I listen to it. I just assumed the lulz from that joke had already been expended.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2011



7011 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Ahahaha I see what you did there.

And I'm honestly still not convinced. Ah well. We'll see, eh? If I have a few bucks to spare I'll go pick it up =)

wyankeif1337
July 19th 2011



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

you need this just because it has Your Hand In Mine. that song's greatness rubs off on the rest of the album.

climactic
July 19th 2011



17270 Comments


boooooooooring

North0House2
July 19th 2011



5617 Comments


I enjoy this album.

I don't own it, though, and I rarely listen to it.

I can play Your Hand in Mine in its entirety on the piano, though, and I'm pretty proud of that alone. So, I often listen to that track, just to play along with it/make sure I have it down right.

I do honestly enjoy EITS's albums though, even if they're a little mundane at times.

Digging: Horseback - Piedmont Apocrypha



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