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A Silver Mt. Zion - 13 Blues For Thirteen Moons CD (album) cover


A Silver Mt. Zion


Post Rock/Math rock

3.68 | 70 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Album of the year already?

After binging on this album for two straight weeks, I am still astonished that A Silver Mt. Zion managed to exceed my expectations. This album is incredibly focused and beautifully crafted; well worth the wait.

The start on the 13th track seems a bit gimmicky to me and not that original (see Ayreon's THE), but it's not a huge detractor. 1,000,000 Died To Make This Sound starts the album off with a hypnotically repetitive vocal line that is joined in different harmonies by the other members of ASMZ. As soon as Efrim joins in (he's unmistakable), the track really takes off into a much more urgent ride. The strings are noticeably more complex, and Efrim's vocals are excellent as usual. The title track, 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons is one of the standouts on the album and continually strong throughout its 16+ minutes. Black Waters Blowed/Engine Broke Blues is IMO the weakest track on the album (although that is only slightly). The track seeps into a tired repetition at points, but does have its bright spots. Blindblindblind is the track I had been waiting for over two years. It is the gorgeous culmination of ASMZ's brilliance, and has kept me enthralled every time I hear it. The brilliant lyrics, excellent vocals, gentle buildup, and glorious finale are everything I love about A Silver Mt. Zion. The perfect way to close an album.

Some final impressions.

While I would refrain from placing the best album yet tag on this, I do believe it can be considered in the same echelon as Born Into Trouble and Horses In The Sky. The album is a stunning success with a flavor all its own. 13 Blues is undeniably rawer, at times truly sounding like one of Godspeed's apocalypse soundtracks. The added distortion is augmented by excellent string work, and Efrim's new delivery. I would liken his current style to Shane MacGowan without the Irish drawl. They are not necessarily punk, but they certainly have a swagger that exudes the confidence some of his earlier vocals lack.

The most defining change on the album IMO are the lyrics. Efrim is one of my favorite lyricists of all time, and though his brilliance continues on this album, the lyrics are decidedly different. ASMZ used to embody a vision (at times anarchic), a hope for the future and belief in the saving qualities of the human race that I adored. The Triumph of Our Tired Eyes asked us when we finally cross the barriers with the angels on our side, when we finally deny all the popular lies, how will it feel?. This hope has slowly faded to a mourning for what could have been. A verse in Blindblindblind really struck me, We want punks in the palace, cause punks got the loveliest dreams. A Silver Mt. Zion used to be those punks; they used to have those dreams. But now that vision has faded to a morose, at times nihilistic, view of the world.

And I guess, as selfish as it is, that is what takes the lone star off of this album, that the dream I loved has died.

lightbulb_son | 4/5 |


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