God Is An Astronaut - Epitaph

God Is An Astronaut Epitaph cover
God Is An Astronaut
Napalm Records
This new album by God Is An Astronaut is a beautiful and moving piece of instrumental post-rock. They effortlessly flow between light mystical tones, to trancy electronic, and hard rock. They cleverly use vocals in a way it melts into the instrumental tones, flows effortlessly and becomes one with the music. They created a mixture of slower, lighter songs, as well as deep, intense songs.
The songs tend to start with a single musical instrument, such as the keyboard. Playing a slow but mystical tune, lulling you into a daze. Their slow and quiet sections were just as, if not more so, moving and intense. Other sounds are slowly combined, until they accumulate into a symphony of dark and mysterious tones. They build suspense and an unspoken story, through their clever us of varied instruments, pitches and speed.
The first self-titled song is a beautiful testament to their talents. Starts so light and slow it builds a mystical atmosphere; it wouldn’t be out of place in an epic fantasy saga. It slowly builds up, adding in a new instrument each time, leading the listener down a path. The sounds grow more foreboding and the story morphs into an intense thriller. It draws you in, and you can feel your heart racing. Then just as quickly as it darkened, the clouds begin to break, and the light shines through. Completing a full loop back to the light and magical beginning.
“Mortal Coil” is my favourite, for person reasons after reading the inspiration behind it. And it's more Hard Rock, so more classically my genre. In contrast to the first song, it doesn't shy away from the deeper, intense sounds and faster pace from the start. was even more emotive and powerful in person. The deep, dark and heavy tones rang out across the vast expanse. But does end on a deeply mystical note, fading away into the darkness.
“Winter Dusk / Awakening” is another song that builds up very slowly over time, but in contrast to other songs, it remain relatively light and carefree. Transforming into a psychedelic masterpiece, reminiscent of Floyd. They mentioned this was the only song they had written before tragedy struck, and the difference in tone between this and the new songs, is testament to the emotions and pain they went through.
“Séance” starts light and carefree, but slowly evolves into something more sinister. You could imagine it as the background music building up behind a seance scene in a horror. The pace, heaviness and intensity increases till it reaches its climatic end, and then slowly fades away again, as the seance ends.
“Komorebi” is inspired by the Japanese word describing dappled sunlight. I have always found the patterns made by the sunlight through trees and leaves beautiful and how they dance and change in the wind, can look magical. Another slow but mystical start, utilising a few key notes in a relatively simple tune. It slowly builds in complexity and mystery, and draws you in.
“Medea” cleverly combines light and mystical tones, with deep and mysterious sounds. You can see how they were influenced by the magical but often dark tales in Greek Mythology. The second half cultivates and emphasises it’s more melancholic and dark tones. The combination of mystical and deep sounds make it the perfect for the climatic end escape scene in a thriller.
“Oisin” is a moving and captivating final song. Bringing together all the mystical and mysterious tones together. Its filled with emotions and pain, but also hope. Even when the sky is filled with dark clouds, there are always small breaks, letting an occasional ray of light through into the darkness.
Listen to this album a quiet room, no distractions, and close your eyes. Just focus on the music, feel every note, let the music wash over you and overpower you. I promise you, you will really feel the music and the emotions it cultivates. The music transports you away to a different place.
To creative such powerful and evocative music without heavy use of lyrics is a testament to their musical capabilities. They cleverly build suspense and draw you in, by starting slow and building up layers of music. The use of different combinations of instruments and electronic music adds depth and intrigue.
This album was created in tragic circumstances, but I hope creating this poetic and moving masterpiece has helped them find some peace. It is a beautiful memorial, and testament to the lives their cousin touched.