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

F# A# ∞

Godspeed You! Black Emperor


Post Rock/Math rock

4.09 | 424 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Want to dive into the atmosphere of the word after the Apocalypse?

Godspeed You Black Emperor's debut full length establishes the traits of the band of subject as well as a bite of the sound of post-rock in general. My understanding of this album is that F#A# (infinity) was meant to challenge the listener's perception of music, make them think, and/or engulf them in a certain atmosphere. There's no time to fiddle with riffs in the traditional rock sense, no over-the-top goofiness, not even many words to follow along with. The whole point of F#A# (infinity) appears to put the listener in a mood.

It's almost as if the album is meant to be understood subconsciously, so those with a more ''normal'' approach to understanding prog rock will have anger bouts trying to determine just what the heck is going on. The music has more in common with classical music or film scores, but the electric guitar plays quite the prominent role in shaping the themes, so it's fair to assume this has ''rock'' connotations.

The mood GY!BE put the listener in is quite bleak and depressing. Listening to ''Dead Flag Blues'' after the poetry at the beginning (which by itself sounds rather dull) gives a surprisingly distant yet warm tone that cannot be fully transposed into words. Then there are those ecstasy moments, usually augmented by the drum tempo, where the band go into full Magma mode where the brain tunes out the world around so that there's nothing left but the intensity and mesmerisation of the music in your headphones. Look at the middle of ''East Hastings'' or the 7/8 section of ''Providence'' to hear where I'm going with this.

All that said, there are simply too many nitpicks. Many times there will be some dead space in between themes. It's good to have the listener breathe, but there's only so much quiet tension one can take before boredom sets in. The worst is towards the end of ''Providence'' which does the irritating 90's trick of going into a few minutes of silence before pulling back into the music.

If you've ever heard of an album being more of an experience, this is one of those albums. Get this to hear how the granddaddies of post-rock got the ball rolling.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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