"Oh noes, not a post-rock record!" you say. And you might be right, as Tides From Nebula pretty much follow the same standard formula consisting of melodic lulls that shift and pull upwards until eventually they explode into a climax. Yet at the same time it doesn't feel so bombastic as, let's say, an 'Explosions in the Sky' album; the riffs are there, the drums keep the rhythm simple enough while overall the sound comes off much more personal, more akin to 'God Is an Astronaut'. And that's saying something, I think.
But it couldn't be as simple as that now, could it? The problem here (with this debut release and also with the follow-up, Earthshine) is that it seems restricted, like they're holding something back. You see, first time I've heard Tides From Nebula's music was when they opened for Riverside (heh) and let me tell you, it was like a whole different band: a darker sound, stripped to the bare bones, drenched in reverb and delay (which you won't hear much on the studio version of the songs) and a massive amount of energy coming from the members themselves - those are the elements that got me drawn to their music in the first place. They even jumped off of the stage and continued playing in the middle of the crowd (well, not the drummer, of course), creating an atmosphere that I've rarely seen for a club gig.
I've listened to their studio recordings some time after that and, while having their show in mind, I've come to appreciate both of their albums. From the two, 'Aura' is the one that stuck with me the most. If you don't mind (and if you're not the type that runs straight to the hills when hearing the words 'post-rock'), I recommend you give these guys a go. And, if possible, go and see them live. You won't be disappointed.