God Is an Astronaut
Helios/Erebus


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mongi123 CONTRIBUTOR (133 Reviews)
June 24th, 2015 | 89 replies


Release Date: 06/31/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The equivalent of flying through space.

There exists a point in God is an Astronaut’s career where all their music managed to accomplish was stagnate. Age of the Fifth Sun and Origins simply alienated fans and non-fans alike with the refusal to make huge changes in their music. Their career started out in a smooth sailing manner, with The End of the Beginning and All is Violent, All is Bright proving to be their most compelling works to date. Hell, even their self-titled endeavor featured some breathtaking compositions despite ultimately bringing nothing new to post rock. Then this record came along, with it showcasing all of the band’s best qualities. Not only this, but the band tweaks their sound here for the better by means of an increased prominence of ambient sections and a further emphasis on heavier crescendos. Make no mistake that Helios/Erebus happens to be the band’s most thoughtful work since their finest albums.

It should be said that the changes on the record are certainly not day and night from the previous record, but they are still big enough to be noticeable and provide a significantly larger amount of emotional engagement. The first one lays in the more vast sections of ambiance, adding the vibe that the album is supposed to represent the sensation of soaring through space. Take “Finem Solis” for example. The incredible way the droning ambiance soars truly sounds natural and adds an extra amount of depth that the band has been lacking as of late. The beautiful last minute of lush guitar textures are a welcome added touched as well. “Obscura Somnia” further expands upon all of the ideas seen in “Finem Solis” with combining them. The spacey soundscapes provide the towering terrain while the acoustic guitar work genuinely says more than words ever could. It’s these two songs alone that makes Helios/Erebus even more worthwhile than the band’s previous two lackluster outings.

In addition to the increased soundscapes, their heaviness that sometimes managed to feel contrived proves to be well placed here. In “Agneya,” the heightened level of space rock influence in the introduction builds up to the typical yet still enjoyable God is an Astronaut flair in the middle section. However, once the engaging piano melody gives way to an engrossing heavy section, the listener will be pleasantly surprised. This section oddly enough actually brings to mind the guitar work of Isis due to the sound of the guitar tone which has an extra level of character here. The title track and “Vetus Memoria” also reveal themselves in the same amount of brilliance. Aided by the fantastic droning guitar notes and beautiful piano work before it, the bombastic guitar work near the end of "Vetus Memoria" hits surprisingly hard. The title track, also the longest one on the album clocking in at eight and a half minutes, never manages to overstay its welcome due to the skillful combination of all of these great qualities. The atmosphere rises along with the swelling guitar and drums, leading up to a thoroughly exceptional composition of every positive quality mentioned. It can easily be judged here how the band definitely matured a bit with this album.

Despite “Pig Powder” really bringing nothing impressive to the table, this album certainly proves to be one of the band’s best. It starts beautifully and ends that way too with a far reaching atmosphere of spacey vibes. Throughout most of the record it surely flows well and provides a pleasantly refreshing measure of satisfaction from a band that has become quite uninteresting lately. Its vast scale is also quite evocative, giving the impression that it brings to mind the nature of flying through space. Sure it doesn’t exactly blow the listener’s mind at every point, but it’s these reasons that Helios/Erebus is the band’s most passionate record to date.



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user ratings (132)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
June 24th 2015


18881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So glad this is really good. Hope you guys enjoy the read and the record!

DarkNoctus
June 24th 2015


10072 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

this is basically a moment of stillness meets the end of the beginning imo

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
June 24th 2015


18881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never heard their ep but yea it's a bit of a combo of Violent/Bright, their debut and s/t as I said.

Artuma
June 24th 2015


29119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

great review bro, although i didn't find this that great. the ambient sections are really sweet tho

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
June 24th 2015


13290 Comments


great review mongi

i was into post rock for awhile but dont really listen to it anymore. i know of few this bands tracks and i liked them but i probs wont check this

surprised theyre still around tbh

Digging: Cara Neir - Perpetual Despair is the Human Condition

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2015


4385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I saw no one reviewed this and wrote a review in these couple of days lol. Wanted to post it today or tomorrow. Great job, I was thinking mostly the same thing. I really dig Centralia, the whole album is really good. I am really happy they are finally moving forward again.

RadicalEd
June 24th 2015


8575 Comments


I pretty much disliked their later albums, so I'm glad this seems to be better. Gonna check this, thx for the review, wasn't even aware of this.

Tunaboy45
June 24th 2015


15609 Comments


nice review

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us

argonaut
June 24th 2015


818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. I've only heard All Is Violent, All Is Bright by these guys, but that's one of my favorite post-rock albums. I'll probably check this one out.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
June 24th 2015


13601 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have this in my "to listen to" pile.



Great review.

Digging: Big Dumb Face - Where Is Duke Lion? He's Dead...

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
June 24th 2015


18881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well this feature was unexpected thanks for whoever posted it! And thanks guys. Yea this is for the most part really exceptional. Violent/Bright used to be a hard 5 for me but its still amazing.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
June 24th 2015


15787 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

meh.

Tyler.
June 24th 2015


13720 Comments


I's there a lot of delay on this

argonaut
June 24th 2015


818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm really liking this.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
June 24th 2015


18881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool man yea it's a bit of a return to form imo

argonaut
June 24th 2015


818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like the spacey vibe, but that it's also very energetic in places.

DarkNoctus
June 24th 2015


10072 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Never heard their ep but yea it's a bit of a combo of Violent/Bright, their debut and s/t as I said.




get the remaster, they flesh the ep out into an album and it has some of their best ambient work (which makes me think of this album)

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2015


10178 Comments


"There exists a point in God is an Astronaut’s career where all their music managed to accomplish was stagnate."

not very sure, but I feel like the proper way to use "stagnate" in this situation is "stagnation"

nice review tho

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
June 24th 2015


13290 Comments


yeah that sentence reads weirdly from my pov aswell

Epilogue
June 24th 2015


1695 Comments


Isn't post rock dead or something



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