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

F# A# ∞

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

 

Post Rock/Math rock

4.02 | 295 ratings

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stonebeard
4 stars Yes, this is a good one. GYBE! is definitely the definitive band for orchestral-style post rock, and perhaps post rock in general. But, I feel like F#A#oO is weaker than its reputation would have us believe. The songs do not flow as well as those on Lift Yr Skinny Fists; though there are all-time Godspeed You Black Emperor high points on the album, the songs themselves can seem like skeletons with only the vital parts entirely fleshed out (pffft!). Some may get a kind of redeeming value out of extended no-sound silences between sections of songs, especially the latter Providence, but this kind of format was done better on Lift Yr Skinny Fists and Slow Riot to New Zero Kanada. I will give Godspeed deserved credit, though: they have managed to create one of the most desolate, bleak, and dark records I can think of. Perhaps only a few acts like Univers Zero or Lustmord can come close, but for a fairly popular band like Godspeed, it deserves recognition. Of course, the downside to that is that F#A#oO can be a niche album to a lot of people, serving only too take one to a dark state of mind and perversely comfort him in that state of mind. That coupled with the length of the songs makes the album get low on my imaginary music-listening priority list.

The juicy moments to be found on this album come courtesy of the melancholy string section usually, which add a tinge of perverse beauty to the proceedings, notably on the first song, Dead Flag Blues. After a brief monologue, the likes of which occur throughout Godspeed and A Silver Mt Zion's career, sets the tone of death and decay for the album, the string section delivers a sad eulogy as our speaker goes into a grim description of the aftermath of am undefined disaster, afterward delving into random lines that fit the mood of the music as well as add to it with likewise melancholy. This bit may take you by surprise and you may shed a tear before catching yourself. It's intense stuff. The Dead Flag Blues is a rather subdued song, but East Hastings and Providence have more energy, but it is tense energy, never exultant. A section of East Hastings was used to set the tone for the scene in 28 Days Later, when the protagonist wakes up to a dead London, devoid of people. How fitting, and for the album as a whole, too.

stonebeard | 4/5 |

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