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God Is an Astronaut

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Biography

God Is an Astronaut are an acclaimed group from Ireland whose primarily instrumental music combines the epic melodies of post-rock, the precision of electronic-fueled Krautrock à la Tangerine Dream, and elements of space rock. The band is known for an active antiwar stance and fierce live performances, which place considerable emphasis on the visuals. Their shows, especially in the band's earlier days, have included self-compiled videos for each song and a lot of lighting work. Over time, their albums have incorporated horn arrangements and unobtrusive vocals, but their music has remained heavily atmospheric yet melodic and urgent. Brothers Torsten and Niels Kinsella (guitar/keyboards and bass/guitars, respectively), the group's driving force, came from Glen of the Downs in Wicklow. They played in a number of local bands before teaming up with drummer Lloyd Hanney, the disciple of the famous jazzman Johnny Wadham, to form God Is an Astronaut. Their electro-tinged album The End of the Beginning came out on their own label, Revive Records, in 2002. The two singles off the CD, "The End of the Beginning" and "From Dust to the Beyond," got airplay on several European MTV channels. Their second album, All Is Violent, All Is Bright, followed in 2005, and included the single "Fragile." Avoiding the sophomore slump -- the record gathered a lot of rave reviews -- God Is an Astronaut settled on a steady record schedule, releasing the EP A Moment of Stillness in 2006 and their third album, Far from Refuge, in 2007. Far from Refuge was promoted by a sold-out European tour that reached as far as Moscow and Istanbul, where they played a festival crowd of 25,000. Their debut U.S. tour in early 2008, however, ended tragically, as the band had all of its equipment stolen in New Jersey. Returning to their home turf, God Is an Astronaut hit the studio again, releasing their fourth album, God Is an Astronaut, in 2008. Following 2010's Age of the Fifth Sun, keyboardist/guitarist Jamie Dean joined the group. He contributed to 2013's Origins (on the Rocket Girl label) and 2015's Helios | Erebus before departing in 2017. Robert Murphy then began performing keyboards and guitars during the group's concerts. After signing with Napalm Records, God Is an Astronaut released their eighth full-length, Epitaph, in 2018. ~ Alexey Eremenko
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