The members of Explosions in the Sky may just be four soft-spoken guys from Texas, but on Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever they simply tear everything apart. Combining influences from classic rock to metal to goth, the band creates instrumental soundscapes that can turn from all-out destruction to heartfelt, dreamy melodies in the blink of an eye. The result is similar to Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor! -- a musical journey that leads listeners through the entire range of emotion without even needing words. "Greet Death" matches a crunchy Dinosaur Jr. hook with warm Cure-esque bass grooves. "Moon Down" chimes and twists through ten minutes of calm night, leaving the listener with the feeling that something awesome is sure to happen. On "Have You Passed Through This Night?" a film-dialogue sample ponders in a near-whispering Texas drawl the meaning of the world. What follows is like the climax of a tense, mind-blowing movie, driven by relentless guitars and a thundering Master of Puppets-era Metallica drum march. "Poor Man's Memory" follows, offering some consolation in a sentimental melody. The album ends with the grand, 12-minute-long "With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept," a song that moves from Sonic Youth to Joy Division to Explosions in the Sky. Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever is nothing short of awe-inspiring and one of the best records of 2001.
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AllMusic Review by Charles Spano