Review: GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT – Ghost Tapes #10
Photo Credit: Bryan Meade
I’ve been rather silent lately, sorry about that, life’s getting back at me with all manners of keeping myself busy.
Anyway, still, it’s time for another review, and this time, let’s go outside of extreme metal, where I usually stay, unmovable.
I’ve been listening to post-rock fairly often in the past few years, and the best band I’ve ever found out in this genre is GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT, from the best country I’ve ever visited: Ireland. They just released a new album, their 10th opus, to be precise, through NAPALM RECORDS. After 10 years of post-rock, they never cease to amaze. Their previous, 2018 effort, Epitaph, was playing more on atmospherics, whereas Ghost Tapes #10 sees the band leaning towards a slightly heavier side.
As usual, the band is purely instrumental, so I can’t write ten pages about lyrics today. Let’s start by looking at the artwork, though.
I think that, given the times we’re living through, we can all relate to this picture. It’s mdoernity, the self, and our life that’s crumbling, crashing down on the ground, surely touching the ground at some point, to leave only debris in its wake. The title itself “Ghost Tapes“, is interesting. I’d say it could relate to the fact that this album was probably written and came out at a time when all of us are barely living, surviving as ghosts in a pandemized planet where, like souls of the dead, have lost their flesh and physical selves, only to be wandering in the emptiness that’s left of our days.
I’d say that the music probably intends to relate to that idea as well. 7 tracks, here’s the list:
3. In Flux
6. Barren Trees
7. Luminous Waves
Now’s a good time as any to check one of the songs before reading:
You can clearly hear there, on the track “Fade”, that they went more metallic, with a heavier sound, on this record. It does start with the typical atmospheric post-rock you might expect in the first track, “Adrift“, and then goes into lower-pitched territories, all while keeping several layers of ambiences through the different guitars of the band.
I’d say that these lower-tuned songs try to go into some kind of doomy post-rock, maybe to serve the textual leanings of the records. Although there are no lyrics, from the song titles to the cover artwork to the title of the record, it feels like the main theme is related to being/feeling lost and even dying. You start off with “Adrift“, where your body wanders forever in the sea of the unknown, where you’ll eventually meet your end in “Burial“. Your soul will continue do drift in “In Flux” until you finally realize/accept your fate in “Specters“, while revisiting your ghost of a past. Eventually you will “Fade“. And all that will be left will be nothingness, in “Barren Trees“. What else could be more fitting than a dead forest to symbolize nothingness? But maybe, at some point, the soul will finally reach its salvation, in a calmer tune like “Luminous Waves“, or at least it may find something warmer to hold onto.
This is how I painted the story of this album in my mind. Just my interpretation, nothing factual. But anyway, sure thing is that I enjoyed it a lot! Feel free to listen to it and buy it!
On a last note, I can only suggest you to go and see these fine people live whenever our world allows for concerts again. I have seen them on a wonderful starry night in a festival in my childhood home of Bretagne, in France, and that was definitely the best setting for such a concert ever possible, and one of my best concerts ever.
GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT is:
Torsten Kinsella – Guitars, Piano/Synths
Niels Kinsella – Bass
LLoyd Hanney – Drums
Jamie Dean – Guitar, Piano
With guest appearances from Jo Quail (Cello on track 7) and Jimmy Scanlan (Guitar on track 6).
Catch GIAA online !
GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT on Facebook
GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT’s official website
GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT on Instagram
GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT on Twitter
NAPALM RECORDS STORE
Thanks for reading, see you in another article!