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The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place

4.6 out of 5 stars 171 customer reviews

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The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place

Review

"...Austin's Explosions In The Sky are still the kings of post-rock meltdown..." -- Details

"This Texas guitar-theater quartet played one of the most amazing gigs I saw in 2003..." -- Rolling Stone

"Will kill anyone whoever had a heart, never mind those who already love FX-pedal pushers such as Ride and Mogwai." -- NME
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 4, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Temporary Residence
  • ASIN: B0000DJYME
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,779 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I feel my title for this review is very appropriate, but do not infer an incorrect suggestion. This is nothing like the asinine, cheesy music put out by new age artists who claim the ability to put its listeners into divine states of love and affection with sappy, pretentious synth pianos and ocean sounds.
This is truly beautiful. Explosions in the Sky is a four-piece (two guitars, bass, and drums) that gets lumped into the post-rock category, but they dramatically surpass the standards generally set for the idiom. They do the episodic build-build-build-climax-repeat formula like, say, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but this music achieves something very different. The music is sparse and minimal with a genuine emotive power. The sparseness is present in the textural thinness (only four instrumentalists, remember), with guitars generally playing starry arpeggios with an empathetic rhythmic backing. With so much breathing room, the music fills the pockets of space left by bare instrumentation with simple emotional resonance that might not have prevailed with denser arrangements. The music is minimal not because it is in repetitive stasis, but because the song construction focuses on a collegial series of sounds development rather than linear evolutions.
Explosions in the Sky's first album was bleak with a glimmer of hope. Here, everything is brushed away and the beauty is fully exposed. Rather than describe each piece, I will just say that the music here evokes lovely images: spending time by the sea with a special someone, the earth in bloom, looking to the nighttime sky full of stars through a branchy canopy of trees, love & friendship, rebirth, etc. Just look at the song titles -- they have very fitting names.
Highly recommended, along with their first album, _Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever_.
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Format: Audio CD
To be honest I can't think of a word that can explain the emotional link with this album apart from it being the most beautiful sound I've heard. For me listening to this album makes me feel emotionally confused but absolutely complete at the same time, never before has an album stopped me in my tracks as firmly as this one. My favourite songs on the album are "the only moment we were alone" and "six days at the bottom of the ocean" every time my ears are blessed with these artworks I'm am fixated on nothing else but them. I literally cannot communicate with anyone or anything I just have to listen to them intently. This album is not as experimental as "those who tell the truth shall die those who tell the truth shall live forever" but I feel it is just as good and the songs are put together impeccably well, with no song being neither longer nor shorter than it has to be. I love the pure, clean sound of this album and see it as light as the wind. The trance that this album provides is indescribable; I'm not saying if you buy this album it will have this exact effect on you this description is merely from a personal note. Either way I strongly recommend this band and album to anybody who is looking for a purchase, for you can have no doubt that this album is extremely well produced, written, recorded, thought out and sounding. Buy it, you will not regret your choice one bit.
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Format: Audio CD
In the sleepy, isolated hamlet of Odessa, Texas, there's not much to do. In this part of the world, you can travel for miles and miles, and see nothing but miles and miles. While this kind of drab existence could drive some insane, it is thankfully inspiration for others. Explosions in the Sky perfectly capture that essence of sitting on your porch, and staring across a seemingly endless prairie, of beholding the sunset across this vast expanse of land. That feeling of sitting with friends on a warm summer night, and just feeling happy to be alive, even though you don't have a damn thing to do.

Like most "post rock" bands, EITS are very minimalist in structure. With 5 songs, each totalling around 10 minutes, the arrangements are huge and sparse, allowing the beautiful, sweeping melodies to breathe, and take hold of the listener. There's a not a lot of distinction between the songs. Instead, they all fit together, like one mammoth composition full of very gradual but undeniably exhilirating dynamics. It's also notable that as compared to many other post rock heavy-hitters, such as Godspeed You Black Emperor or Sigur Ros, they have a much more accessible and easily digestable sound. This means that you don't necessarily have to be a post rock fan, or even know what the hell post rock is to enjoy this band. And, while some may equate accessibility with inferiority, I personally think they're every bit as talented as the aforementioned (excellent) bands.

Simply put, this is some of the best instrumental rock there is. Pure bliss, that cannot be missed.
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Format: Audio CD
It was hard for me to determine if this recording deserved a 4 star rating or a 5 star rating. I've been a prog fan for years but only recently did I get into post-rock material. I started off by listing to Godspeed You Black Emperor, A Silver Mountain Zion, and Sigur Ros. While impressed a times, I found some of their compositions kind of boring and repetitive after a while. I definitely wouldn't say these bands are "heavy rotation" bands in my music playback lists.

But that's where Explosions in the Sky are different to me. I find EitS to be more engaging. They eschew the orchestral intricacies and bombast of GYBE and aSMZ in favor of a more simplified approach. They use just the basic bass, drum, and two guitars to create their sonic landscapes. I think sonic landscapes is an accurate description. Each song feels like a journey full of hope and optimism. If you're a fan of technically difficult musicianship, this probably won't be your ticket. I wouldn't say any of this music is particularly difficult or challenging. However, their songwriting is utterly amazing.

As mentioned elsewhere, the songs do flow into each other without great distinction. Then again, this album plays more like a continuous soundtrack than a collection of individual distinct songs. As such, it is a perfect album to just sit back and let your mind wander where it will. Because of the sheer beauty and captivation of the music, I have to give this a 5 star rating because I think this album is one of the best examples of the post-rock genre and a great place for people new to this form of music to get their start. This is the kind of album that would appeal to people that aren't even fans of progressive music. Most highly recommended.
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