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


4.0
excellent

Review

by S. G. Shaw USER (15 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 203 replies | 16,109 views


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


8 of 8 thought this review was well written

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

Released in 2003 off of Temporary Residence Records

The Band:
Christopher Hrasky - Percussion/Drums
Michael James - Bass
Mark Smith - Guitar
Manuf Rayani - Guitar

Explosions in the Sky is one of the many rising bands in today's post-rock scene. Originally from Austin Texas, Explosions in the Sky is known for creating non-lyrical melodies that soar and swagger. Unlike their sophomore album, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever, The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place is comprised less of ear-bashing distortion and more of complex, yet simple, clean guitar work. This brought the band's sound away from the harsh, deafening and ultimately searing sounds of Those Who Tell the Truth... to a more elegant, uplifting soundscape.

First Breath After Coma - 9:33
One look at the title of this track and the length makes the first-time listener weary of what they are about to listen to. But once the song's underway, the listener gets caught up in the magic and beauty of EitS' music.
The track begins with a note quitely ringing out and a steady heartbeat building up. Then the bass and other guitar kick in. This song is supposedly about a man waking after a coma, remembering his first love and then once again submitting to fears of the world. The plot can be traced through the music and melodies brought forth by EitS. Stagatto string pluckings and a military style drum beat are heard throughout the middle of the song until the noise ceases and the guitars begin to twinkle (no better word to describe it) in the swarming feeling of hope. This part of the song sounds meloncholy, but it leads into another creschendo of cybals and an echoing guitar that lead into the next track. 4/5

The Only Moment We Were Alone - 10:14
The longest track on the album, but one of my favorites. A superbly constructed musical composition, the track takes over where the first one left off. A simple bass drum keeps the beat for a bit while the two guitars work their magic. Skipping dostortion altogether, the clean guitars add a sense of hope and renewal as the climb up and fall back down. Its amazing how the melody can change so many times in a song, yet it all somehow fits together and builds into something more than extravagant. Perhaps one of the more thought-out pieces made by EitS, this track sweeps and soars to new heights i never thought imaginable. 4.5/5

6 Days At the Bottom Of the Ocean - 8:43
Supposedly, this track is about the 'Kursk,' a Russian nuclear submarine that sank to the ocean floor due to an explosion, killing all 118 of the men on board. They died either from the initial explosion, carbon monoxide or drowning. Beginning with a high-pitched noise, the song quickly shifts into one of their more known gears: sorrow. The guitar reveals feelings of destitution and hopelessness. The atomsphere expands and sways. Then suddenly, the drums kick in and the original themes of hope are actively sought out by the band. The repetitive nature of the guitar melodies scorch the feeling into the listeners mind and ears. Out of nowhere, the noise stops and there is a solitary guitar gleaming over a barren space. Another guitar comes in and build upon the melody and both guitars compliment each other beautifully. A bass drum thunders in the background and the music takes on feeling of anxiousness. The tension builds and builds but never quite reaches that apex that EitS is known for. 4.5/5

Memorial - 8:50
One of the catchier bits on the album, Memorial begins with rising and falling guitar and bass, almost resembling a merry-go-round tune. Organ sounds back this up perfectly. The instruments progress, build and compliment each other. Finally, the drums kick in and a catchy melody is revealed. A small sonic explosion comes after this, but then settles back down to another guitar riff. A somewhat playful feeling is given off by this progression. Finally, the usual post-rock formula comes into effect when ther noise fades a little, only to explode with a deafening amount of distortion and dissonance. Guitars screech and wail to the rumbling of the drums until the locomotive runs out of steam and retreats back downwards. 3.5/5

Your Hand In Mine - 8:17
If i could hear one song for the rest of my life, it would surely be this one right here. A gorgeous-sounding guitar riff begins the track. Guitar slides move up and down the frets to capture the essense of beauty. The percussion then swoops in and marches along military-style until it all falls back down again. The same guitar starts back up and is joined by the other and the bass. Anticipation would be the word to describe whats going on here. I dont where its going, but its going somewhere great. The guitars change their melody and the drums join along side them. The march continues on. It rolls along and pulls the listener in deeper toward the feelings the band is trying to provoke.
The drums collapse and the guitars and bass quietly and modestly take over. The music quietly shifts and progresses to an undescribable shower of guitar licks and even without the usual explosion at the end, the song leaves its mark on the listener. 5/5

Explosions in the Sky demonstrate with The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place that feelings and emotions can be provoked not with ear-crushing, chaotic noise, but with simple melodies driven by simple percussion. This album can almost be described as minimalist; not too many effects and the use of only 4 instruments (for the most part). The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place is a reminder that....well...the Earth indeed isn't a cold, dead place.

I give this album a 4/5



Recent reviews by this author
Balmorhea All Is Wild, All Is SilentSunset Rubdown Dragonslayer
Fifths of Seven Spry From Bitter Anise FoldsMisophone Where Has It Gone, All The Beautiful Music Of...
Set Fire to Flames Telegraphs in Negative/Mouths Trapped inSet Fire to Flames Sings Reign Rebuilder
user ratings (2052)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
ZEROthirtythree
July 27th 2004



234 Comments


I can't believe you only gave "Memorial" a 3.5/5, and some others a low score :eek: But oh well.

Great review though. Explosions In The Sky is awesome.

Wanker
July 27th 2004



139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah, memorial is good, but i think that the ending riff that expands into that huge distorted parabola is a bit cheesy. i just didnt mention it in the review.

moderaterock222
August 9th 2004



121 Comments


I was going to do this review, but when i posted the 'post message' box my XP decided to show me why it cost so much and had an error and needed to close. That being the most frustrating moment that ive ever had on MX.

Anyway, with this album every song has a 4.5..and i never really give full scores. Its just a great cd.
So in a way i disagree with your review but it was nonhteless well written once again.

Kaden
August 9th 2004



222 Comments


Great review. I've heard very little about this band before, but your review definitely got me interested in them.

Do they sound like Sigur Ros by any chance?

moderaterock222
August 9th 2004



121 Comments


^Not really, theres no vocals and the overall sound is a lot different. But if you enjoy Sigur Ros then this is worth checking out.

Wanker
August 9th 2004



139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

modrock: yeah, i suppose i was a bit hard on the rating of the songs. since i did the review, the songs have actually really grown on me (with the exception of Memorial; i still cant really get into that one even though it was one of the first EitS songs ive ever heard). so yeah, i changed some of the ratings for the songs and changed the overall too.

Kaden: there are a couple differences between EitS and Sigur Ros. First is that theres no vocals involved in the works of EitS. The other difference is that while Sigur Ros can be more sparce and ambient with their music, EitS only uses (for the most part) two guitars, a bass and drums. Even so, its still well-put together and is definietly worth a listen (especially this album).

bengalaas
September 1st 2004



3 Comments


I have posted 2 guitar tabs for explosions in the sky..

greet death
your hand in mine

you can check them out here:

http://taborama.com/archive/tab.php?tid=73936&aid=2602&a=Explosions%20In%20The%20Sky&t=Greet%20Death&i=1

http://taborama.com/archive/tab.php?tid=73080&aid=2602&a=Explosions%20In%20The%20Sky&t=Your%20Hand%20In%20Mine&i=1

Bartender
Emeritus
September 1st 2004



826 Comments


I've only heard one song by Explosions in the Sky (A Poor Man's Memory), and it's not actually from this album. It was alright, but not mindblowing..are there other tracks that would've been better to try?

Neon Dub
September 1st 2004



13 Comments


Get, 'The Moon Is Down'.

sr800bkBassist
September 1st 2004



115 Comments


ive never heard their stuff. sounds like its great.

are they anything like Sonic Youth?

bengalaas
September 2nd 2004



3 Comments


bartender, i'd recommend 'your hand in mine' if you want something melodically mesmorising.. or 'the only moment we were alone' if you're looking for something mindblowing. :thumb:

sr800bkBassist
September 2nd 2004



115 Comments


any sites that have their music, so i can listen?

Happymeal
September 3rd 2004



330 Comments


I think you can download 2 songs from www.insound.com. So far I've only heard Memorial(which is great by the way).

Jellyspoon
September 3rd 2004



12 Comments


I've only heard 'the only moment we were alone' and I like it. I had to choose between this and Jane Doe, so I got the latter, but it sounds like i should go and get this CD too.

bengalaas
September 9th 2004



3 Comments


amen to your comment on 'only moment we were alone' and 'your hand in mine'.. your hand in mine is probably the most beautiful and romantic song i'll ever hear in my life.

Tangy zizzle
September 9th 2004



253 Comments


Explosions = :thumb:

BuddyBigsby
November 8th 2004



531 Comments


The indian guy is insane live.

Dancin' Man
November 8th 2004



719 Comments


Very cool album. It often sounds a little thin though. Another instrument would really help the music. Especially if it was something cool like a digeredoo or one of those japanese flutes.

Wanker
November 9th 2004



139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

[QUOTE=Fast Fingers]Very cool album. It often sounds a little thin though. Another instrument would really help the music. Especially if it was something cool like a digeredoo or one of those japanese flutes.[/QUOTE]

Yeah it would probably liven things up a bit, but they use horns once in a while when necessary.

Per Ardua Ad Astra
November 9th 2004



106 Comments


I dig EiTS, i've heard a few songs, none from this album though.



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 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy