Music

God Is an Astronaut Takes Listeners on an Introspective Journey via 'Epitaph' (album stream) (premiere)

Jedd Beaudoin
Photo: Stuart Wood / Courtesy of Freeman Promotions

Irish trio God Is an Astronaut returns with ninth and possibly best album to date with Epitaph, out Friday via Napalm Records.

God Is An Astronaut has been one of the reigning instrumental acts in the rock/post-rock/post-metal world for over 15 years now. With a series of increasingly imaginative and increasingly brilliant albums behind it, the Irish trio brings its latest, Epitaph, out on 27 April via Napalm Records.

The trio's ninth LP opens with the titular track, a haunting, space-driven narrative that quickly finds the right balance between light and dark and sustains its stark, ethereal mood across each second of its nearly eight-minute running time. Fans of acts in the vein of Radiohead will find plenty to love here as will those who've come to embrace latter-day Ulver. If by the end, you don't get the sense that you're floating free in space (or a place very much like it) it may be time to wind your way back to the number's start.

One of the charges frequently brought against full-length albums in the age of the EP is that the form had become too bloated, dependent upon excess baggage to make its point. That's not the case here as the listener finds plenty of tightly-woven compositions from front to back. Witness the downright uplifting "Mortal Coil", the utterly cinematic "Séance Room" or the emotional power of the record's penultimate (and, maybe, finest) track, "Medea".

There is a strong and evocative narrative at the heart of each piece, something that stirs the listener's imagination, carries it directions previously unexplored. These are the kind of travels the best music can carry us on and certainly what we hear via this album is now among them. Forget what you know or believe about what makes music "heavy" or "deep" and instead embrace what has been put before us via Epitaph.

The album may be ordered here and is available worldwide on 27 April.

TOUR DATES

28.04.18 BE - Antwerp / Zappa
29.04.18 DE - Cologne /Gebaude 9
30.04.18 DE - Berlin / Columbia Theater
01.05.18 PL - Warsaw / Progresja
03.05.18 AT - Wien / Szene
04.05.18 DE - Munich / Feierwerk
05.05.18 IT - Milan / Fabrique
06.05.18 IT - Bologna / Estragon
07.05.18 IT - Rome / Orion
09.05.18 ES - Barcelona / Razzmatazz 2
10.05.18 ES - Madrid / Caracol
12.05.18 FR - Lyon / Ninkasi Kao
13.05.18 FR - Paris / Trabendo
14.05.18 FR - Colmar / Grillen
15.05.18 NL - Utrecht / Pandora
17.05.18 UK - London / Electric Brixton
18.05.18 UK - Glasgow / Classic Grand
20.05.18 UK - Manchester / Club Academy

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