By Luigi Sibona
Hot off the back off their elegiacally powerful new record, ‘Epitaph’, Irish lords of post-rock, God is an Astronaut engulfed the Electric with a state of euphoric transcendence.
An early surprise of the evening came in the shape of support act, White Ring, who assaulted my virgin ears with such a peculiar and intoxicating sonic concoction I was really knocked for six. Describing themselves on their socials as “HEAVY BODY MUSIC” this eclectic two-piece pump out a strain of wacked-out industrial-tinged electro nightmare pop. Live they really were a smack around the chops, seek them you if you fancy the sound of these tripped-out beats.
But there was no drawing away from the main event. Star of the show was GIAA’s new record, which was written as a eulogistic tribute to Niels and Torsten’s young cousin and received much play time. The record is one thing but live it takes on another life entirely. The swelling, expansive song structures, like that of the album’s title track which served as an incredible set opener, take the listener on such a journey that at the point of climax, of musical catharsis, the effect is truly transcendent.
The set was heavy as all hell. Not in the sense of sonically heavy like that of a rock or metal show, but thematically. It’s an astounding thing to be able to emotionally move an audience to this extent through the sheer depth of their musical compositions, but GIAA manage it and then some. That’s not to say that the set was all doom and gloom. There were moments of great calm and reflection in the set, like the sublime ‘Medea’, a track that makes you feel like you’re floating a foot off the ground.
It was a huge, spiritually effecting show that felt as important to brothers Niels and Torsten as it did to their swathes of die-hard fans.
Stay tuned for our in-depth interview with the band where we talk extensively about the emotional journey of writing and recording ‘Epitaph’.