God Is An Astronaut
Origins


3.5
great

Review

by DarkNoctus CONTRIBUTOR (40 Reviews)
August 30th, 2013 | 36 replies


Release Date: 09/16/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: having your cake and eating it too; in space.

Of all the bands that get accused of re-creating the same album over and over again, I will never understand why God is an Astronaut are lumped into this category. It's fairly difficult to shake the feeling that this album is a direct response to this, the majority of the album almost being like the band wanted to keep all of the aspects of their old sound but play them in a way that sounds almost like their previous records, totally switching around the aesthetic.

Origins is a rather strange album title for such an album - on the one hand, the inclusion of the more prominent electronics arguably harkens back to their very first recordings from the modest The End of the Beginning, but everything else feels so new and dare I say, fresh. Origins is a very atmospheric electronic rock album with much higher emphasis on layers than in predictable song structure, a pitfall several of their old albums fell so easily into. These tracks weave together some quite diverse electronics, energetic drum beats, memorable clean guitar leads and forward basslines into a sound that sounds far more intricate; much would be missed if you were to not focus.

It's pretty invigorating to see a band that many know to 'play to their strengths' to totally change the focus to something more experimental and layered than the simplistic compositions on their previous albums. The emphasis on simplistic crescendo-core post-rock climaxes, where utilized in this album, has shifted to more intelligent pieces that ebb and flow in a much more natural and less predictable way. It's true that a lot of the tracks do tend to end on a predictably louder note but this just adds to the memorability of the tracks and certainly doesn't get tiring before the album is over. The way they've changed focus while keeping everything the same almost feels like having your cake and eating it too, and most of the time it works really well.

Individually many of these tracks impress right from the beginning - the great riff that guides 'The Last March', the wonderful climax with vocoded vocals in 'Reverse World', the beautiful atmospherics in 'Autumn Song' and the piano work towards the end of 'Spiral Code'. Almost all of these tracks have very strong instrumentation to boot; the great clean guitar work, intricate and melodic, the electronica-tinged drumbeats and the very prominent basslines give these tracks a great sense of character. The electronics don't always work but they work more often than they fall flat. In fact it's fairly safe to say that most of the tracks here has one of these moments that will keep you coming back to it, even if individually these tracks aren't quite as memorable as many of their past compositions. Even that might simply come down to uncovering the true nature of these tracks, and considering how densely these tracks are layered, it wouldn't be too surprising if many of these tracks came back to you later with a completely different character.

One of the only real issues here is that Origins feels like a collection of experiments and tracks as opposed to a structured album. Perhaps this is an unfair observation that is solely a response to their last album being so well paced and structured in such an elaborate way, Origins being rather different in that respect. Sometimes a more atmospheric track will throw you right into a more energetic one and the flow will just seem off, such as the transition from Autumn Song to Spiral Code. It also has to be said that some of these tracks simply aren't as strong, 'Transmissions' going too far in the direction of electronica and sounding rather haphazard.

Though not every track here is a home-run, plenty of them have a lot of staying power; even without the energy and bombast of their previous works. The inclusion of the heavily vocoded vocals and the way they much more prominently guide many of these tracks add a much needed personal touch to what might have been a rather sterile offering. The variation between tracks makes Origins not only an interesting listen but one that will occasionally strike quite the emotional chord. The loud parts aren't as loud and the ambient parts aren't as subdued, but it's still a varied and enjoyable album. Where not profound or game-changing, Origins is an intriguing electronic rock record that has a lot to offer if one stops searching for the follow-up to All is Violent, All is Bright.



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user ratings (109)
Chart.
3.2
good
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Eli EMERITUS (2.8)
God is an Astronaut introduce yet another pleasant, albeit unremarkable album to their passable disc...


Comments:Add a Comment 
DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
August 30th 2013


8823 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

http://www.superadmusic.com/god/shop.html

this album has technically been released as it can be purchased by the band right now digitally

if not then go ahead and delete it mods but i think it counts

quite impressed with this album :]

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

RogueNine
August 30th 2013


1310 Comments


They always did sound the same to me but perhaps I should give them another shot.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
August 30th 2013


8823 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBpDy9HwPD0

if you like this, you may as well check the rest of the album out

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2013


3419 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm starting to believe these guys will never capture the feel and the overall atmosphere of their first three records. Also, this pop format they are using on Origins doesn't allow some of the tracks to fully flourish.

Great review, I agree with your opinion. I gave this a 3.5 because I am a big fan of the band, but it's more like a 3.2 or something like that. You could use italics for album titles to differentiate themselves from the rest of the songs and text.

Digging: Electric Wizard - Time to Die

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
August 30th 2013


8823 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

yeah i agree with that rating too, it would be a 3 if i wasn't a fan of the band and already had a taste for their sound

used italics - thanks!

benkim
August 30th 2013


2109 Comments


Great review. Their last few releases have been a bit stale for me but I'll still check it out. Imaginary pos.

minty901
August 30th 2013


2018 Comments


listened to the first couple of tracks. yet again they sounded like a couple of hunted by a freak rip-offs. stopped listening.

Disruptor
August 30th 2013


20 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I completely agree with you about how they experimented with their sound while still maintaining the core elements of their sound.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2013


4435 Comments


Excellent work as always, Noctus.

ksoflas
August 30th 2013


393 Comments


Good job man.

Calc
August 30th 2013


12212 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I didn't like this very much.

Digging: Milo - A Toothpaste Suburb

bloc
August 30th 2013


34872 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah it's pretty boring

Drummerboy123
August 31st 2013


2360 Comments


Really dig it. A lot of people hate this band but meh. Something clicks with me when I listen to these guys.

Artuma
August 31st 2013


13476 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

band is just too accessible for the elitists

Digging: Indian Summer - Science 1994

Artuma
August 31st 2013


13476 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

strange steps is prob the best song they've put out in years

scissorlocked
August 31st 2013


3510 Comments


nice review noctus

hope this doesn't turn out super-boring

Shuyin
August 31st 2013


11703 Comments


great review as always, im a sucker for this these guys so ill probably end up enjoying this album too.

Digging: Django Reinhardt - Djangology

Cygnatti
August 31st 2013


21352 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

really meh.

Digging: Jon Hopkins - Immunity

Artuma
August 31st 2013


13476 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

damn, autumn song is so sweet too

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
August 31st 2013


10373 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This band worth checking out?



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