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Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven CD (album) cover


Godspeed You! Black Emperor


Post Rock/Math rock

4.14 | 591 ratings

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The Runaway
4 stars After a long while, I finally got around to reviewing this album. I found out about these guys through reading fake Coachella line-ups and remembering the name from before, so I decided to listen. After listening to Storm off this album, I have become aware of the post- rock genre and through it discovered amazing things like most of the stuff I listen to now. Anyways, this album is probably one of the 3 most classic P-R albums, along with The Earth is Not A Cold Dead Place by Explosions in the Sky and ( ) by Sigur Ros (my opinion of course), and yet, this one is much more special and unique in some way.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor is composed of 9 members which gives it a very massive feel and yet it is not an orchestra, and still includes instruments like the electric guitar, drum kit, and bass. In my opinion, what makes this album so good, are the musical landscapes. Even during the quietest parts there are at least 3 instruments playing, just drones even, to give it a tense vibe, while the main melody may be very relaxing. How the band combines the noise and the silence together is very special and is one of Godspeed's most recognizable musical "moves".

The album has only 4 tracks, each one around 20 minutes in length, and the first one is Storm. Storm opens with horns playing a few chords and then over a while the whole band joins in into an epic musical climax reminiscent of Sigur Ros and maybe even King Crimson in some twisted way.

Static is the one piece of the album I couldn't connect with. It never had a melody that caught my ear, or some beautiful ambient part that had me coming back for more. It IS good, but it is not as unique as the other three tracks. Musically it is very drone-y and noise-ish and not very focused on the music itself, and more about the landscaping.

Sleep is another beautiful piece. It opens with a heartbreaking speech, performed by an old man, and then after a while the orchestral part of the band joins in to support his speech with powerful music that can bring a tear to your eye. The song goes through more landscapes and riffs before arriving at my favorite part, Locks of Love III. This part is amazing, and the most post-rocky segment of this whole album. It starts with pulsing guitar chords and joined by by drum master Aidan Girt bringing the funk-styled drumming into the post rock song. The band join one by one as they climax, and out.

The next and last song is Antennas to Heaven. This one, IMO, is the best track off the album. Opening with ex-band member Moya singing a song called "Baby-O", and then into surreal guitar landscapes played by band leader Efrim Menuck and even a slightly weird part featuring French children songs, the whole band joins in for the most beautiful minute of music ever played. The bass takes the lead and plays intense chording as Aidan batters his drum kit in perparation for Efrim's mighty guitar line, this feels like going to heaven, in some kind of way. The feeling is hard to explain and you just have to listen to believe, but this part is just... unbelievable. They go through some more ambient drones and post rock styled parts before reaching the final part, Antennas to Heaven. This three guitar reverbed segment is amazing, playing the most amazing chord sequences with a drony guitar line, and then the bagpipes join and you feel like you have just reached nirvana.

This is not my favorite album, and as all post-rock albums, words do not do it justice, but you have to listen even if you are not a fan, just to understand the genre and what it's like. In the masses' opinion, it is a masterpiece, but I will give it 4 stars.

The Runaway | 4/5 |


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