This plane will crash tomorrow
Help us stay alive

The second album and first nation-wide release of Explosions in the Sky introduces itself with this simple explanation. No more, nor less is needed. Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever is an album of contrasts; death and rebirth, signal and noise, quiet and storm. It is filled throughout with a barely containable energy and enthusiasm which coupled with excellent technical skill make for an attention-grabbing experience.

Comparisons with Godspeed You Black Emperor! are impossible to avoid, and rightly so. Those Who Tell the Truth is an album firmly rooted in the post-rock genre; with all the tense build-ups, dynamic landscapes, and long transitions that define the genre. Despite similarities, however, there's no questioning the group's originality. The tone of Those Who Tell the Truth is distinctly divergent from that of its peers. There's a sort of optimism to the record that one can't avoid being caught up in. Their feel for weaving romance and tragedy into their music is impeccable. As the group warms themselves up, the sense that something momentous and wonderful is just around the corner exudes from every note and rhythm. When the climax arrives, these expectations are never disappointed.

Other comparisons might also help to explain the nature of the record. Explosions in the Sky puts very little emphasis on noise; the ominous, almost claustrophobic half-intelligable samples and disembodied voices that fill the space of GYBE! and Mogwai are almost totally absent from Those Who Tell the Truth, replaced by more melodic content (there is, in fact, only one vocal sample; a recitation of calm but melancholy wonderings about the reasons for suffering). Themes are introduced and modified, revisted later and refined upon. At times the band seems to be singing a lullaby, others a hymn, others a martial rallying cry, and others the furious explosive noises of a deep-pitched battle, but never remaining in one place for long. Just when one has settled into the patterns of a theme, Explosions in the Sky decides to give one a little jolt and skips happily onto its next expression.

With only two guitars, a bass, and a percussion set, there's a danger that without lyrics Those Who Tell the Truth could grow monotonous, but Explosions in the Sky easily avoids this pitfall. What helps most is the drum work, which always provides a strong backbone for the sonic landscapes dreamed up by the two guitarists. While refraining from distracting too much attention away, Chris Hrasky roots the group with rhythms that can range from dreamily drifting to frighteningly warlike. In the usual pattern, one guitarist and one bassist always provides the background for each song's landscape, while the final musician dances melodies round the rest. The combination is perfectly realized.

Those Who Tell the Truth is divided into two sections, of three songs each.


  • great death
  • yasmin the light
  • the moon is down
Live Forever
  • have you passed through this night?
  • a poor man's memory
  • with tired eyes, tired minds, tired souls, we slept

Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever was recorded in December 2000 in Washington, D.C. by Christopher Hrasky, Mark T. Smith, Michael James, and Munaf Rayani. More information is available at

there ain't no world but this one

Explosions In The Sky came under a little bit of controversial heat after they released this record, so much so that the band actually received a few E-mail death threats and a couple of accusations of being terrorists. All of that is primarily because the album has some incredibly eerie "connections" with the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. Here are those "connections":

  • The album was released on September 10th, 2001.
  • The front cover has a picture of an airplane emitting light onto an airborne angel on it. The airplane and angel are both flying over the heads of armed troops.
  • On the inside there is a picture of the airplane again. Underneath it "this plane will crash tomorrow" is written.
  • On the next panel of the inside artwork there is a picture of the angel. Under it "help us stay alive" is written.
  • The record was recorded in Washington, D.C.

All of these instances were purely coincidental, of course. In fact, the artwork was completed by a friend of the bands months before it’s release. The artwork was made to depict the famous Angel Of Mons incident that happened during the First World War. During this incident both sides of the trenches stopped fighting for a short while as they watched what appeared to be an angel flying around in the sky. Many eyewitness accounts exist of this legend and people who lived through the battle swear that the angel was protecting them.

Another interesting story to tell about the band that also involves terrorism is one that happened on their way home from a short stay in Amsterdam. Before boarding the plane that would return them to the U.S. all of their equipment was searched through because the security team said that they had been warned about possible attacks on the flight. After a while of browsing through the bands stuff the band was questioned about many things, including the name of their band (they lied and said they were "In Search Of Peace") and what they were doing in Amsterdam.

The airport security finally told them about what was really holding them up: one of the guitars had the phrase "this plane will crash tomorrow" written on it. In an instant the panic the band brought out one of their CD and showed security the picture of the saying on their album, which completely cleared up everything and proved it wasn't some message to terroristic intent. They were very lucky, however, the airport security said that the plane almost didn’t take off because of it.


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