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Godspeed You! Black Emperor - F# A# ∞ CD (album) cover

F# A# ∞

Godspeed You! Black Emperor


Post Rock/Math rock

4.09 | 425 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars A quest unlike any other.

This being my first review of other Godspeed albums to come, I must admit that it is a fairly difficult and daunting process to describe the essence of this band and its legion of followers and imitators. I find this album to be the bands best artistically although not as polished say as Skinny Fists. Be that as it may, there is an undeniable quality about this record, and all of their albums, and its difficult to fully realize as a listener, taking at least three or four unadulterated listens, if not hundreds for the really avid fans out there to truly describe these elaborate pieces.

All of the songs use beginning narration to give a setting to the eventual "story", if you want to call it that, that will unfold in the song. I also believe their is a unique dualism of the disparaging quality of some of the narrations and some of the uplifting qualities of the music itself.

Dead Flag Blues begins with a narrator who has given up hope. We are brought into passages without sensible form or structure. The passages move gracefully and fully as one holistic body. It is not as extensively played out as I would have liked (even at 17 minutes) but overall is a solid piece.

East Hastings is my least favorite track here, and also the most abysmal/hopeless sounding track. Much of the middle I am disenchanted with and it's the one track that seemingly "goes nowhere" while still taking me on a quasi-ride/experiment. The end with the fall of fighter planes is very surreal and perhaps the best aspect of the track, providing added visualization and even terror for some.

Providence is my favorite Godspeed track in their catalog, and the highlight of this album. I also think it adequately sums up a majority of the Post-Rock movement. Simplicities built upon by atmospheric passages until we reach a crescendo of sound. Here, the violin plays a critical role in being a "lead instrument" without really leading. It serves to accent the build of sound created by the other instruments, and to great effect. The result is something inspirational and rarely found in music.

This is a patient record. Do not listen to this unless you have the due time to give it the respect it deserves. Admittedly, I was extremely turned off by this band at first, even under the proper conditions. However, through multiple listens, sometimes forced, I was able to find the beauty that so many other listeners had described and found and was quite touched by the material.

F#A# infinity - a highlight of the post-rock movement and a record deserving of the accolades it has been bestowed.

OpethGuitarist | 4/5 |


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