Explosions In The Sky The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place

Timing couldn’t have been worse for Austin, Texas’s Explosions In The Sky in 2001. Their debut album proper was released at the worst time possible, and for something titled Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, with artwork containing a painting of a plane and an angel covered in darkness, you’d expect them to fail miserably, coming from the president’s home state. However, the four-piece prevailed and became the most talked about instrumental band of recent time. Thankfully, their follow-up, The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place, seems destined to take the band to new heights without anything to stand in their way. Containing what seems a meagre five songs, The Earth spreads said compositions throughout by amassing epically proportioned moments. Again there is a clash between hope and despair, as a world of emotions is explored. The uplifting guitar work of Mark Smith and Munaf Rayani braid together beautifully while the rolling, marching drums challenge such optimism with a totalitarian force. The most captivating moments are found in the bookends of the record. "First Breath After Coma” opens and follows the song title with perfection. Fading into unconsciousness at the five-minute mark, the song awakens and eventually reaches a state of vigilance by the end. On the closer, "Your Hand In Mine,” EITS bring out an army of dynamically tuneful instances that gives a send off of the grandest scale. The Earth is filled with bewitching anthems of romance and tragedy that make for one hell of a rollercoaster ride. (Temporary Residence)