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Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Yanqui U.X.O. CD (album) cover

YANQUI U.X.O.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.95 | 234 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Hangedman
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The word to associate with this album is power. Raw gut wrenching bring you to your knees power. I consider Godspeed You Black Emperor! to be the most structured and emotional post rock band there is, this album is no exception. This is also amongst the most depressing things I have ever listened to. It reflects the worst conditions of the world, the poverty stricken war torn nations. One cannot help but feel a sort of sadness listening to the album, the musicians brilliantly composed the three movements to perfectly recreate an atmosphere of anger and despair.

Most post rock has a detached feel, but this album is very direct. Layering melodies and rising volume mount the pressure on. Directed by a drum kit and string section, with many other instruments providing the body. Its conveyance of emotion matches that of classical music, relying on complex buildups to properly effect the listener. It is more symphonic then most symphonic rock bands, and certainly more so than any post rock band. At times it is very ethereal, at other times it is as substantial as a block of wood. It drags you into some very dark moods, and shows you ugliness while remaining beautiful the whole way through.

The thing that really makes this album stand out is the emotion of it. Whatever the band wants you to feel you WILL feel. The amazing sound textures which fill the empty space, the march like drumming, the haunting beauty of the strings, the incredible drive of the lead instruments. It is an assault on the soul. All of it contributing to the futile sense of righteousness and anger that it all amasses to. This is the kind of music to blare at the apocalypse.

There is only one thing that keeps me from giving this piece of music 5 starts, its length. Something this dark and depressing running at 74 minutes and 58 seconds is very hard to swallow. It begins on a sour note, and it finishes in a depressed mindset. Whenever the music does become upbeat it is usually violent or it finishes with a sense of futility. Listening to this album is comparable to watching one of those starving African children commercials for over an hour. Although it is rather amazing and moving, it certainly isn't pleasant and would have been perfect had it been about 15 minutes shorter.

All three "songs" on the album are amazing. "09-15-00", "Rockets Fall on Rocket Falls" and "Motherfucker=Redeemer" all go perfectly hand in hand, each one contributing more than adequately to the entire mood. My personal favorite however is "Motherfucker=Redeemer". The beginning comes off as a desperate call to action, listening to it makes me clench my fists and want to jump out of my seat and fight for the downtrodden of the world. It then fizzles into a very slow passage which reeks of sorrow. This completely throws off the sense given at the beginning of the song, and brings you into the same place mentally that the music went. The third part of the "song" suggests anger, and like the rest of the album remains very bleak in its outlook. Rather brilliant in my opinion.

I regret that I could not find it in me to rate this album 5 starts because it appeals very much to me as a human being. It isn't perfect, but its damn close. Although probably not the best introduction to GYB!E because it is very different from the rest of their work, it is still very highly recommended by me. Even if you dislike post rock, there is a very good chance that you will love this recording. It's worth every penny, even if listening to it regularly is virtually impossible.

Hangedman | 4/5 |

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