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A Silver Mt. Zion - Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upwards CD (album) cover

BORN INTO TROUBLE AS THE SPARKS FLY UPWARDS

A Silver Mt. Zion

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.53 | 65 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
4 stars Efrim Menuck meant for his first release as A SILVER MT ZION to be a one-off tribute to his beloved dog Wanda who passed away while touring as a band member of Godspeed! You Black Emperor, but since it was met with such such positive enthusiasm, he decided to keep releasing new albums as a side project and therefore since this was indeed a new band instead of merely a solo tribute project he expanded the three full time members on the first release and doubled it to six (adding contrabass, cello and extra violins). There also remain three additional session musicians as on the debut with the addition of trumpet and trombone. Menuck also followed the changing-up-the-name game inspired by the great Sun Ra who would change his backing band name every few albums. So on this second release, BORN INTO TROUBLE AS THE SPARKS FLY UPWARD is credited to THEE SILVER MT ZION MEMORIAL ORCHESTRA & TRA-LA-LA BAND. Now isn't that a mouthful? Sometimes it begins with THE SILVER etc so i assume the THEE came about as a database issue.

Musically speaking BORN INTO TROUBLE etc continues the same kind of apocalyptic and mournful classical chamber music mixed with post-rock that suited the tribute to Wanda so well. The album contains eight sprawling tracks but none overly long that utilize the typical post-rock playbook and create riffs that build loops which are then accompanied by other instruments joining in until reaching a climax of some sort. For the most part the "rock" part of the equation doesn't play much of a part in the second album like the first as it is primarily built upon slow brooding violins accompanied by the other instruments merely adding disheartening atmospheric moods but on some tracks like "Take These Hands And Throw Them In The RIver," the pace picks up after the lugubrious intro and unlike most of the album has sung vocals (there are some spoken word parts as well). The heavier passages are very similar to the softer ones except that they have a much more frenetic delivery of the repetitive loops of violin riffs with a cacophonous din of accompanying sounds that make it sound more like the Godspeed! project. "C'monCOMEON" is probably the most rock oriented track as it has heavily distorted guitar and the most energetic percussive elements on the entire album.

Overall the music on BORN INTO TROUBLE AS THE SPARKS FLY UPWARD is much more diverse with all the different instrumental parts sounding more like the first Godspeed! album than the first SILVER MT ZION one but still retains a significant amount of the funeral march anthemic styles of the debut. The subject matter is supposedly inspired by the Book Of Job from the Bible with the title also purportedly taken from the scriptures. Menuck successfully found new ways to expand the debut's sound and even though many of these new ideas came directly from his Godspeed! You Black Emperor style, the album sounds completely distinct as it less hypnotic than Godspeed! releases and creates more of a classical chamber rock type of feel with more melodies that at times sound a tad Floydian in a space rock sort of way accompanied with lots of echo guitars. Add the heavy outbursts although sparse and the weird electronic atmospherics and voila! a satisfying near hour experience of musical bliss. No sophomore slump on this one. In fact i actually prefer listening to this second offering for it has a grander scope of moods and emotional explorations than the extremely misery focused vibe of the first.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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