Explosions in the Sky
- Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever
Released in 2001 off of Temporary Residence Records
Christopher Hrasky - Percussion/Drums
Michael James - Bass
Mark Smith - Guitar
Manuf Rayani - Guitar
Explosions in the Sky's
sophomore album was met with a slight controversy during its release in the UK a day before the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center Towers. As one can observe, the album cover depicts a plane with an insert that says "this plane will crash tomorrow." In an interview with the band, they explain the artwork on the cover as being 'a group of outnumbered British soldiers fighting in Belgium during the First World War claim[ing] to have witnessed a glowing light in the night sky." The legend claims that the light was some sort of heavenly spirit that saved the troops from annihilation. The incident is now known as the "Angel of Mons." A slightly different style can be recognized when compared to their most recent effort The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place
. Their signature style of distorted parabolas is more prevalent in this album when compared to their most recent. This Texan ensemble has been known for out stepping their boundaries with outstanding sonic landscapes that rival most other bands. The tracks are split up into 2 categories. The first three songs are located under the word Die
and the last three are categorized under the words Live Forever
Greet Death : 7:19
Most appropriately, the beginning track fits its description well. Starting off silently, the track builds into a crushing guitar riff and percussion. Another guitar joins and repeats a riff that switches from distortion back to clean. While this is happening, the drums and cymbals crash with authority. A few minutes in, the instruments stop and a lonely guitar emerges. Another joins, along with some cymbal and builds up. Finally, the percussion joins in and a melancholy beat is turned out and eventually fades away. 4.5/5
Yasmin the Light : 7:03
This track begins with a slow bass drum beat and a similar guitar riff as the previous song. But then out of nowhere, drums, cymbals and guitar explode into a vicious attack on the listener. Once the attack recedes, the guitars start to twinkle and the drums resemble a slight military march. The march continues and grows along with the guitar work and then eventually recedes. The uncanny method that the band uses to create this mood is quite impressive.
The Moon is Down : 10:02
Like the others, this track begins quietly and then builds up with militaristic style percussion. The guitars twinkle and eventually start creating a whining sound that soars over the percussion. Despite the length, there isn't much to this song; its pretty straightforward the whole way through. The best part of this song are the rolling drums. They kick. 4/5
Have You Passed Through This Night" : 7:19
The song begins with one of the members reciting a line from 'an acclaimed film about the inhumanity of war called The Thin Red Line. the band is fascinated by the idea that people can overcome incredible hardships such as combat.' This is appropriate especially considering that this is the first track under the category of Live Forever
. Following the monologue, is a wailing guitar and a catchy drum beat that makes you unknowingly tap your foot to the beat. The percussion and guitar compliment each other as the song grows and becomes louder. Soon the guitar grows louder and throws its own weight around. There's a short silence and a fresh guitar line appears. The band builds upon this and soon enough the percussion jumps in and everything gets tied together as the sound grows.
A Poor Man's Memory : 6:04
A crisp snare drum introduces this song and is then joined by guitars and bass. The drum beat continues and the guitars modestly add to the atmosphere. This continues on and on until the drums stop and the guitars become more and more scarce. By this time, it's almost imminent that something is going down. Soon enough, the drums, cymbals and guitars explode into a sonic fury. Cymbals crash and drums roll along with the beat until it all ceases. 4.5/5
With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept : 12:04
The track is introduced in a fury of static but soon settles down into a soothing melody with a distant drum beat heard behind it. The song flows along until everything settles down and a new melody is introduced. This slowly grows along with a rolling drum beat. Again, a new melody is introduced and is met with a growing drum beat. This feels like progressive metal without the metal (if that makes any sense). The drums, cymbals and guitar build, build and build until it becomes silent. From the silence rises another melody from the guitars along with the same drum beat from A Poor Man's Memory
. The drums cease and finally the album comes to a close. 4/5
Those Who Tell the Truth...
can be anything the listener wants it to be. The insert portrays a sense of struggle between two entities. It could be life and death, good and evil, etc. Whatever it is, Explosions in the Sky
has put out a masterful album that truly stands alone. From its silent wastelands to its explosions of sonic fury, Those Who Tell the Truth...
shall indeed inspire and captivate anyone who has not only the patience, but a mind that is open enough to appreciate this truly unique album.
A Poor Man's Memory
Have You Passed Through This Night"