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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 | 424 ratings

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Insin
4 stars Godspeed You! Black Emperor's debut is a haunting, memorable, and quirky release. From the ambient stretches, the samples, to the post-rock crescendos, its main attraction is its apocalyptic atmosphere.

Even in the absence of words, GY!BE brings plenty of mood to their music, but with their inclusion, it gets even better. Featuring an eerie spoken word piece, Dead Flag Blues immediately produces visions of doom in its first movement. The lyrics are poetic, powerful, and the song embodies what Loutallica's Lulu should've sounded like. The music that accompanies it brings to mind many different scenarios, but the one we're given is the end of the world, and it works. Following the end of the vocals, DFB builds into a delicate, beautifully desolate post-rock climax?

And then the song winds down and draws to a close, just when things are getting really good. This F#A#'s major flaw; while GY!BE executes atmosphere extremely well, the music is lacking. DFB's peak is relatively intense, and even the bulk of East Hastings seems like it is building up to something huge, but never quite reaches it before descending into noise. Providence is just a bloated mess of samples and unrelated themes that give up too soon, withering away into nothingness before they reach anything of much value, being abandoned just as the movement nears a peak. There is no real climax in Providence; while it does have its moments, it scarcely functions in separate movements, let alone as a whole. Essentially, it is a collection of half-assed buildup and breakdown, a more extreme version of the problem that plagues the rest of the album. In short, GY!BE's debut is incredibly atmospheric, and musically mediocre. Dead Flag Blues is an excellent song, minimizing the problem and emphasizing the best features of the album; it is definitely worth listening to, but the rest of the album is optional.

Insin | 4/5 |

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