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

F# A# ∞

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

 

Post Rock/Math rock

4.03 | 294 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

progismylife
4 stars Not what I expected

I was told this band was really good and that I should check them out. I did not know what post rock sounded like. I continued into my prolonged muse on what I thought of this but the music broke the concentration. It made me listen to the album without trying to form an opinion. It required my full attention.

"The Dead Flag Blues". First of all it scared me. Then I agreed with it totally ("the government is corrupt") it was all good until "the machine is bleeding to death". I couldn't help laughing for 5 minutes no matter how serious and melancholy it is supposed to sound. That line killed the song for me. Well for the first listen at least.

Soon I came back to this album trying to figure out the song. I listened intently and made sure I paid attention. It just clicked. Like a belt buckle. Click. The guitar fit in with the other stringed instruments, such as violin and cello. It still is a new experience to me and I listen intently with solemn ears to this song. The emotion poured out and I felt the mood well up inside me. I couldn't help but feel the darkness that the poem portrays. The end of the world. My outlook on life changed for those 16 minutes. It struck me as odd that I am so affected by this music. The stringed instruments meld together to make a wall of helpless feelings that sends you into a trance. The guitar echoes within the mind as you are dragged into the world the musicians create. Chaos. Darkness. Despair. 12 minutes into the song the drums come in and the music "speeds up" but in this case it comes together and does not let notes ring as much. The violin lifts the moods with the bright sounding notes. It brings you higher, and higher, and higher until..the song ends. It just ends.

"East Hasting" starts out with voices talking. I don't know what about, I cannot begin to distract my mind from the music. The music takes you places, but without direction. The hopelessness creeps into your soul once again as the guitar comes in with those few notes. The tension builds inside you with no end as the mind imagines all the destruction and emptiness that the world offers on a silver platter. Then it grows on you as the drums come in. My mind begins to scream for release as the apprehension does not stop. The violin seems to relieve the insanity of it all but soon that too turns on you and darkens the mood. The music messes with my mind, taking me places I never knew existed. The dark corners of my mind suddenly get the attention that they have been longing for. I sit here in a trance, mesmerized by the sounds coming out of the speakers. The world around me is ignored as the sheer brilliance of it all grabs me by the collar of the shirt and yells at me to wake up and see the world around me in a new perspective. Tension increases. Heart beats faster. And faster. Temples pounding. Hyperventilating starts. I cannot begin to fathom the things forming in my mind. Suddenly the music stops, slowly. Then ambient noises begin to twist the emotions that were once ever present in my mind. The last minute of the song does nothing to relieve the anguish in my mind.

"Providence" starts. More voices come. Talking about the end of the world. And the "preacher-man". A pattern of noise comes out of this and creates the background music to the pandemonium in the mind. It ceases. The violin comes in and again brings emotion to further distress the peace that you were trying to form in your mind. Minutes pass. Time has no power in this world created by the music. Soon you begin to notice the bass thumping away and the guitar playing some melody. The drums enhance this seemingly religious trance you seem to be going through. The music builds and builds. Then it seemingly disappears. You have no time to think when it comes back in and adds further confusion to your every thought and emotion. When you look at the clock you soon realise the song has only just begun. Silence. Followed by voices. The guitar comes in to add stability to your mind. Soon all seems all right. This melody adds peace and tranquillity to the chaos it once created. But a new kind of peace. A mellow, short lived peace. It rises and rises to heights never imagined. A voice calls out "Where are you going?", where are you going. My mind calls out but no answer. Soon more ambient noises begin to filter through the speakers. Then silence. For four minutes. This has a bunch of reactions. First reaction: I did not know there was silence I was trying to settle the thoughts still dwelling in my mind. Second reaction: I noticed the silence and was confused by it. Third reaction: The silence had my full attention. Fourth reaction: I counted the four minutes to the last second. Fifth reaction: I skipped this part and then felt bad and restarted the song and came up to the four minutes of silence and let my mind wander. It starts up again. The silence builds up a tension that you didn't know existed until the music kicks in again. The guitar seems to sum up the song with its ever repeating riff. IT builds up and the drums kick it into overdrive. Then it releases you from its grasp and the apprehension and toil of the mind for the past hour seems to vanish. That is until you decide to listen to the album again.

This is a really good album. It messed with my mind that has yet to be reproduced. The dark mood sends chills down my spine. The musicianship is brilliant. It is put together superbly. But the one thing that gets me is the silence for four minutes. I'll never understand it. 4/5 stars for this well orchestrated debut for the Canadian post rock band Godspeed You Black Emperor.

progismylife | 4/5 |

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