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A Silver Mt. Zion - Horses In The Sky CD (album) cover


A Silver Mt. Zion


Post Rock/Math rock

3.87 | 83 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars From a year of fantastic albums comes a mediocre release from a usually great band. There are two big problems with it. 1 - essentially the same theme that the band always has; exaggerated socialist ramblings. 2 - the focus is the vocals.... and Efrim is a terrible singer. Less powerful buildups, more intentionally childish often annoying lyrics. On earlier releases the vocals always sounded desperate and frightened, they lose those qualities and just become grating on the ears. Efrim does the equivalent to running his fingernails along a chalkboard for the most part.

Now to focus on the positive sides of the album. The almost choir like backup vocals add an interesting dimension to the music, but not enough to redeem the other vocal failings. Fortunately for A Silver Mt. Zion there is still a heavy leaning on my favorite aspect of previous efforts. Strings, I love the string work on it. Very inspired, it manages to salvage an album that otherwise truly does not do it for me at all.

Song wise the album shows a little more of its strength, the track placement and flow could not have been done better with the material. Of the six tracks the strongest is "God Bless Our Dead Marines" a very powerful song, and the vocals don't drown out the brilliant muscianmanship at all, and the vocal section at the end is the only time on the album it works the way it should. Sends shudders through my body, although the rest of the album fails to uphold such a high standard. The Weakest track is "Teddy Roosevelt's Guns" the best way to describe this track is painful. It turns into a magnification of every fault in the album. The vocals drown out the music, which is only used as support anyhow. The lyrics are stupid, trying to voice Efrims opinions on Canadian culture. When it gets past that section, it moves into a headache inducing movement filled with distortion. The song goes over the same few themes musically and never seems to want to end. I skip this song, and believe me I hardly ever skip songs on albums, and when people do it on albums I don't like I get upset. Its skippable in my opinion and that's saying a lot.

Overall the album is listenable however, its hard for such a strong band to not be. You'll find enough in the album to merit listening to it a couple of times. Although it does not have enough holding power to become one of those albums which forever becomes part of your rotation. If your a fan definitely buy it, haven't heard these guys before there is better places to start but this album shouldn't turn you off from the band. It deserves 3 stars. Its disappointing because the band is capable of much better.

Hangedman | 3/5 |


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