The FREQUENCY-IRELAND Music Alternative

An independent voice on choice sounds from the alternative/underground music scene in Ireland.
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Friday, September 15, 2006

God Is An Astronaut - All is Violent, All is Bright

There is probably nothing which I could write about the emotive post-rock sounds of God Is An Astronaut to add to the many reviews which have already been written about them over the past few years, such has been the level of appreciation for them, so perhaps a mention here is quite unnecessary. However, they are a band I appreciate quite a lot, and the past month has seen the release of their new EP "A Moment Of Stillness" and also the official worldwide release of their album from last year "All is Violent, All is Bright", so a mention now seems warranted regardless.

Although there are similarities with the layered build-ups and apocalyptic themes of post-rock bands such as GSYBE, God Is An Astronaut always seem that bit more emotive and saddened; saddened in an almost apocalyptic-wary/weary sense as opposed to the often more direct apocalyptic nature of GSYBE. Sounding that bit more forlorn, the music is quite haunting at times, with the very occasional waft of Sigur Rós style vocals almost intangible as if ghosted in on a breeze.

It is difficult to listen to a track such as Fragile, the lead track on "All is Violent, All is Bright", without feeling moved by it, and even more so after watching its accompanying video, which shows some disturbing footage of mans inhumanity to animals during the early days of the space race; contrasting the often brutality of mans pursuit of science with the purity and innocence of nature taken prisoner to it. The video to Fragile is one of the videos currently streamable from the Frequency-Ireland myspace.

Fragile sets the tone to the album; an album which is always more emotive than imposing, and at times almost shrinks back into ambience before returning to the signature post-rock reaches. I will decline from dissecting individual tracks to explore what thoughts they evoke for me for fear of being self-indulgent, but with track titles such as 'Forever Lost' and 'A Deafening Distance', perhaps no more words are really necessary. I will warn however that a lot of the album is quite mellow and melancholic, with peaks in intensity used quite sparingly (the new single Tempus Horizon is a more intense affair). They do however have a reputation as one of Ireland's most blistering live acts. They play a few dates this Oct/Nov in the UK and Ireland, details of which are on their myspace. Some material is available to download from the God Is An Astronaut website, including the tracks 'Fragile' and 'The End of The Beginning'.

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