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Listening

Explosions in the Sky, The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place

Austin’s Explosions in the Sky continue their foray into intricate, driving instrumental mayhem and glory with The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place, their third full-length, and with a title that seems abbreviated in comparison to 2001’s extraordinary Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever. The ‘Spolsions, as we may affectionately refer to them in this article (or, as we may not, in deference to the howling ‘boo’ that just went off in my head—wait, that’s just feedback), certainly prove they’re a force with which to contend on this new effort, if in more subtle ways than they’ve displayed in their prior work.

Take, for instance, the album opener, ‘First Breath After Coma’ (a title that seems eerily relevant to the song’s structure, build, and release—is a libretto at work here?). The band eschews what had become its trademark build-build-build-DISTORTION for a softer, more refined, paced build into melody. And it’s the melody that’s in full presence all over this album that makes such a significant spark of inspiration very apparent. And as the first song opens into another phase of itself, and into another, and then into a breakthrough of melodic…well, release (that would come with a first breath after coma?), and the tremolo-pan sweeps across the new-formed horizon of these new sounds from Explosions in the Sky, we’re left with nothing but possibility in front of us. And at that we’ve still only just punctured the surface of the album.

And it only gets better from there.

biopic

Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack

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