Through no fault of their own, the popularity of Explosions in the Sky’s album ‘The World Is Not A Cold And Dead Place’ inadvertently helped to create the template used by countless bands all hoping to achieve the same dizzying heights Explosions in the Sky achieved. Through this, we’ve seen Explosions in the Sky refine that sound, creating brilliant albums that only they could ever have done. The band’s latest album ‘The Wilderness’ though seems to show the band starting to take greater creative steps forward, incorporating new elements into their post-rock sound, showcasing the kind of creativity normally seen in bands like Mogwai.
‘The Wilderness’ is quintessentially Explosions in the Sky at the end of the day, but it feels like a more ambitious project than their previous works. With shorter tracks and a bigger variety of them, we see Explosions really tuning into what shapes the overall tracks individually, using that as a template to construct the album itself. It all feels very well refined, with there being more creative flourishes than we normally see on Explosions in the Sky records. Whilst previous albums offer emotional moments through almost aggressive intensity, ‘The Wilderness’ seems to opt more for a reserved and experimental tone, providing heightened emphasis on intense moments.
This album feels like a vastly different chapter in Explosions in the Sky’s music repertoire, and it’s likely those expecting essentially more of the same from the band will most likely be disappointed with this release. The tracks are all together much shorter, sounding more similar to the band’s EP release ‘The Rescue’. Whilst the incredibly emotive heights of the band’s earlier work seems absent on this album, there is an emotive layer entirely of its own present, giving the album its strengths and showcasing it as perhaps an important step in the band’s career.
It’s perhaps difficult to say whether or not ‘The Wilderness’ works better than its predecessors or not, but it is undoubtedly an interesting chapter in the band’s career, and one that perhaps shows more creativity and promise than their previous album did. ‘The Wilderness’ shows that there is certainly a lot on offer from the band, more-so than what albums like ‘All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone’ was trying to suggest. It may be a dividing album for most people, but it is definitely an important one, and perhaps one Explosions in the Sky needed to make, lest they end up the terrible rut so many bands have found themselves in trying to follow in their wake.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
- Logic of a Dream
- Disintegration Anxiety
- Colors in Space
- Landing Cliffs
Explosions in the Sky’s latest album ‘The Wilderness’ is out now.