Far From Refuge

Formed by brothers Niels and Torsten Kinsella in 2002, God Is An Astronaut are among Ireland’s premier practitioners of the post-rock genre.

Formed by brothers Niels and Torsten Kinsella in 2002, God Is An Astronaut are among Ireland’s premier practitioners of the post-rock genre. Their mix of guitar blitzkriegs and lush, down-tempo ambience is reminiscent of one of the country’s finest acts, The Redneck Manifesto, whilst still retaining the band’s own distinctive take on the genre.

The cover of Far From Refuge (a creepy, distorted night-shot of a forest) offers a good clue as to the dark content within. A powerful collection of instrumental rock that alternates between exhilarating white noise and quiet atmospherics, the band to whom the record is most indebted is Mogwai, while there are also nods to Tool and Isis.

The likes of ‘Radau’ and ‘Sunrise In Aries’ are hugely impressive tunes which continually build in intensity, indicating that God Is An Astronaut have a finely honed sense of sonic dynamics. The album’s more tranquil moments are also superbly executed, particularly the piano-led ’Grace Descending’ and the eerie opening of ‘Darkfall’, which eventually morphs into a typically overwhelming guitar barrage.

Far From Refuge may lack a true epic in the vein of ’Gwai classics like ‘Xmas Steps’ and ‘Ratts Of The Capital’, but for fans of this type of music, it's still very much essential listening.

 

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