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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 20 March 2003
I just want to reiterate what has been said about this record above - it is staggeringly beautiful. Yes, it it an instrumental rock record but relies solely on guitars and drums (so avoiding any real GYBE! similarities). This is perhaps the best "Post Rock" (for want of a better word) made since Slint's 'Spiderland'. Oh, and if you ever get the chance - see them live - the experience is amazing!
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on 29 August 2002
everyone should own this record. it is simply breathtaking. not just anther one of those instrumental, loud/soft bands, explosions in the sky redefine the whole genre. the use of dynamics, and brilliant percussion sections make this a truly beautiful record. in particular, i am in love with 'yasmin the light' (ignore the amazon tracklisting, its wrong, choose 'die') and how its changes from this melancholy slow, sombre-mooded instrumental, to a ravenous, highly-charged, drum infested magnum opus, mkaing me want to cry. other stand-out tracks are 'have you passed through this night?', and the opener 'greet death'.. buy it!
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on 10 April 2007
Explosions in the Sky take a huge leap forward in confidence and compositional acumen for `Those Who Tell The Truth...', their second album.

The whole CD revels in contrasts between pounding rock guitars and delicate melody. The opening track, `Greet Death' is the perfect example. The slightest of intros bursts to life with an exhilarating guitar onslaught before shifting into a beautiful, restrained melody. It then builds to a climax of sweeping guitar passages.

`Yasmin the Light' builds on a heartbeat percussion and gossamer-thread melody before exploding into life and back again. `Moon Is Down's guitars wash in waves, anchored by a military-type drum pattern and build to a crescendo in a more controlled way.

The quality just keeps coming; the band sustains a very high level of playing, and most importantly variety, throughout (something which is a bit lacking in later releases). `Have You Passed Through the Night' even features an atmospheric spoken word sample as an intro, the only vocals Explosions have used on any of their records.

`With Tired Eyes...' is a fitting finale - so beautiful and powerful.

`Those Who Tell the Truth..' is a thrilling, challenging and consistently interesting record. In my opinion it is the band's finest and also ranks as one of the best in the Post-Rock genre. If you like carefully crafted, melodic music this CD is recommended without hesitation.
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on 8 June 2002
You should never judge a book by it's cover: a CD, on the other hand, you should, at least if this Texas quartet are anything to go by. The mood of 'Those who tell the truth...' is perfectly summed up by the cover art - based on the story of the appearance of the Angel of Mons, complete with soldiers silhouetted against a wartime sky.
Make no mistake, this is war music: not militant but redolent of the drama and tragedy of war. This could be the sanitised soundtrack to the reality of human conflict. Powerful, darkly melodic guitars alternate between picking out lyrical, deceptively peaceful lines and letting loose with huge, brief crescendos. In each of these six songs can be found the calm before the storm, the storm itself, and the shell-shocked lull that follows. The drums especially make full use of military cadences and rythms in the build-ups to occassional cadenzas.
Although I came to this album through listening to Godspeed, Explosions in the Sky are not really 'post-' anything, except in mood, and use basic rock techniques to superb effect. There is nothing groundbreaking in terms of style or content and - besides a monologue at the beginning of 'Have You Passed Through This Night?' lamenting 'this great evil'- there is no found sound or tape effects. Listeners looking for something different, experimental or new will be disappointed. But as instrumental rock albums with apocalyptic overtones goes there are few comparisons. If Godspeed portay a post-apocalyptic soundscape than Explosions in the Sky recount the apocalypse itself. The music is very sad and at times epic, but amidst all the drums and guitars are the beautiful and fragile melody lines, magnified by the context in which they're found.
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on 16 April 2010
Having been into Post-Rock (a term I don't like) for a few years now (since I bought a Godspeed You Black Emperor album on a whim not even knowing what it was) I have decided to go back and review some of my personal favourites starting with the obvious classics, I've already reviewed F# A# (infinity) (the aforementioned Godspeed album) and this was the next one that sprang to mind.

So, no vocals or lyrics (save for the odd bit of talking) so only one thing to talk about hear really then; the music. How does it sound? Well; powerful at times, delicate at times and always uplifting despite the subject matter (I gather it's some sort of loose concept album about a soldier dying and seeing an angel in one of the World Wars). Three guitarists, one drummer; that's the setup and it works damn well. The guitars are never needlessly complex; they never meander into twiddly diddly solos or anything. They stick purely to huge epic riffs or delicate clean passages.

As I have said, I find this to be a very uplifting album, the first track really sets the standard; a quiet intro, a big booming grandiose riff that honestly sounds orchestral (even though it's just guitars) and then back down to a nice clean section. This is more or less the formula of this album (and most post-rock albums come to think of it). The changes are never just daft arbitrary ones as with some lesser post-rock bands; it all feels like a necessary, natural progression.

If you are unfamiliar with post-rock then the ones to give you a taste for it would be this one, The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place (Also by Explosions), F# A# (infinity) or Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven (Both by Godspeed). I used to think that nothing could be more boring than intrumental music; I didn't see how it could captivate me or carry a concept and I always shunned the idea of it being "atmospheric" as pretentious nonsense... having heard all of the above albums I can say that I was dead wrong. If you hold any of these views I suggest you give one of those albums a go... what's the worst that could happen? :D

HIGHLY recommended.

Dom x
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on 22 February 2006
This album is for me (like their other albums) a lesson in simple yet massively effective post rock. I liked mogwai, then i found godspeed you and silver mt. zion. They are all still exceptionally good, but i like explosions more. This album shows a bit of rawness like the first, but is consummate in its ability to destruct your nerve endings with fierce crescendo's, or extrapolate your soul with vagrant, reverberating guitar. The songs are typically long (7-11 minutes) by post rock standards, but they pass quickly and it leaves you with an inert sense of longing that you can only satiate by...listening to it again.
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on 22 October 2004
This is undoubtedly one of the best post rock albums ever made. Every song is a rambling mix of dark guitars covered with reverbs and huge explosions of drum beats that will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. But, without question the best song is "With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept". The twist in the song after about 6 minutes is absolutely mind blowing, the music is so powerful. I have little understanding of the technical side of music, on how bands make those beautiful noises, so I am in complete awe of anyone who can produce this kind of heart wrenching music. Explosions in the Sky, please take a bow.
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on 13 December 2001
Where do I start with this album but...Wow! This is amazing! It's definately one of the best releases this year. This is yet another page in the huge saga that is 'post-rock'. Of course when I brought this I was thinking of Godspeed you Black Emperor! and I thought it would sound a lot like that, but it doesn't. Sure it's got crescendos and it's all instrumental but there isn't the long build ups like there is on Godspeed songs. It's quick and sudden and keeps you really interested and the melodies are really sublime, I mean really sublime. They go from the most delicate melodies to raging hardcore rock within a blink of an eye and then back again. If you need comparisons think of a mix between Mogwai and Sonic Youth and you'll be fairly close. One thing I thought that album lacked was a little variety since there only seems to be about 3 chords palyed throughout the whole album, but the drumming more than makes up for it which is absolutely fantasic. All in all a fantastic debut album which should be given more respect than what it will no doubt be given. And remember their name implies everything: they really are Explosions in the Sky!
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VINE VOICEon 10 September 2007
I really don't understand the massive acclaim this album receives. I would go as far to say it's...boring!!!

GAH strike me down, (and I'm sure this little review will be...) but I find this album way too monotonous to be interesting. This review may come across as scathing, but don't get me wrong, I think this is decent (hence 3 stars), but I will explain why I don't understand the mass of 5 star reviews.

I am not an expert on post-rock, but I do very much enjoy a selection of bands from it. The best, and probably most obvious choice, being the mighty Godspeed You! Black Emperor, who always manage to create epic, sprawling pieces with monumental climaxes. Bands like Mogwai, Silver Mt. Zion and Fly Pan Am also very much interest me, but this album just doesn't come close.

After giving it repeated listens, and really wanting to like it, I cannot fool myself. My biggest disappointment was the lack of climaxes in songs, not one song here takes me to that 'different level' - that disorientating adrenaline rush that the best of this genre can create. The loud rocking sections are just too generic and the band do not build them up enough, shown instantly by "Greet Death" which just thunders in with a barrage of boring guitars and drums after some ambient (what I originally thought was going to be build-up play) noise.

Too often in the quiet sections the guitar motifs are simply boring. I mean, just noodling slowly up and down a scale is atmospheric to a degree, but quite simply DULL. And then all of a sudden the listener is hit with massive noise, again highlighted in "Yasmin The Light" which farts around for a couple of minutes, then all of a sudden the band just crash out a fast-tempo section with no notable riff or motif, just lots and lots of drums.

And this is another problem for me, the drumming. This guy must be in a marching band, because he ALWAYS opts for the drum roll march build-up, which is frankly repetitive and unoriginal.

The only song that I really enjoyed here, and can easily listen to again is "Have You Passed Through This Night?", with its brooding spoken-word intro which leads to a crushing finale. This song is how the band SHOULD be doing it, creating atmosphere - building - climax, instead of noodling around and then banging the life out of everything.

Disappointing album for me, showing potential to be great, but just never quite reaching it.
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on 31 January 2010
An excellent album which grows in stature after repeated plays.
My only slight concern is that the drums are a little high in the mix.
The collection is made up of delicate picked guitar pieces colliding with crescendo's of drums, bass and cymbals.
Although alluding to the album being a 'grower' the beauty of it is instantly apparent, particularly on tracks such as Have You Passed Through This Night'. It's post rock Jim, but not as we know it.
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