Published Apr 25, 2018Irish, instrumental and holders of one of the best band names ever, God Is An Astronaut have sat near the top of the European post-rock ambient pile for almost 16 years. It might be a small pile, but God Is An Astronaut have always stood out. Maybe it's their ability to write engaging ambient tracks under eight minutes in length, or the fact that they've always known how to liven up a slow song with dynamics and distortion, while never straying into the nebulous "post-black metal" territory of Deafheaven and Chelsea Wolfe.
Starting with tasteful piano and ending with scattered programmed drums, the title track of Epitaph sets the tone nicely. It's cinematic, big-sounding, and the wordless vocals in the song's dying moments act as icing on the cake. The rest of the album follows suit, excluding the stop-start riffing on "Mortal Coil" and "Séance Room," which shows that God Is An Astronaut might be taking some influence from America's great post-rockers Russian Circles. It's good to hear progression from what has sometimes been a creatively stagnant act, and God Is An Astronaut are definitely improving. They've yet to top All Is Violent, All Is Bright, but Epitaph is the closest they've come yet. (Napalm)