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BORN INTO TROUBLE AS THE SPARKS FLY UPWARDS

A Silver Mt. Zion

Post Rock/Math rock


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A Silver Mt. Zion Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upwards album cover
3.71 | 50 ratings | 9 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sisters! Brothers! Small Boats Of Fire Are Falling From The Sky! (9:07)
2. This Gentle Hearts Like Shot Birds Fallen (5:47)
3. Built Then Burnt (Hurrah! Hurrah!) (5:41)
4. Take These Hands And Throw Them In The River (6:58)
5. Could've Moved Mountains (10:59)
6. Tho You Are Gone I Still Often Walk W/You (4:48)
7. C'mon Comeon (Loose an Endless Longing) (8:06)
8. The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes (6:54)

Total Time: 58:20

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Efrim Menuck / guitar, vocals, piano
- Thierry Amar / bass
- Sophie Trudeau / violin
- Jessica Moss / violin
- Rebecca Foon / cello
- Ian Ilavsky / guitar

Releases information

CD Constellation #18 (2001)
LP Constellation #18 (2001)

Thanks to useful_idiot for the addition
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Constellation 2000
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A SILVER MT. ZION Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upwards ratings distribution


3.71
(50 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
24%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
44%
Good, but non-essential (24%)
24%
Collectors/fans only (8%)
8%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

A SILVER MT. ZION Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upwards reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by frenchie
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Thanks to Useful Idiot for giving me this album for it is definetly a masterpiece of progressive post rock. This one is definetly up there with "F#A#oo", "Agaetis Bryjun" and "Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven" on my list. This is definetly a landmark and defining post rock album.

The similarities to founding band GYBE! aren't exactly subtle, but there also unique aspects to this band too. This album consists of beautiful organic sounds made by a lush array of rock and orchestral instruments to make a winning combo. This album succeeds in creating lengthy, moody and uplifting compositions (mostly instrumental) that have amazing build ups and are certainly progressive. I have always seen ASMZ as being a weaker band than GYBE but they have many redeeming qualities. ASMZ are a lot more digestable on this album. There are lengthy compositions but they are definitely less demanding, although some patience and perhaps 2 or 3 spins are required for this album to click.

This album almost plays like one giant suite. The tracks seem to flow into each other remarkably well and it wouldn't be such a rare thing as their founding band often made lengthy suites.The standout tracks on this album are tracks 1, 3, 4 and 6 for showing off the true power of each musician working together to build up epic atmoshpheric and uplifting pieces of music. There is plenty of power and emotion to be found on this album. The other tracks add different moods and tones to the album. This certainly is a masterpiece which is proved by its ability to make totally out there music, yet being able to make it seem addictive, tolerable and listenable. While at times this, like all post rock, can be a challenge, the rewards after each listen are well worth the effort.

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Send comments to frenchie (BETA) | Report this review (#41201) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 01, 2005

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

This second ASMZ is maybe the most mysterious and enigmatic of their records but also the one that epitomize best what ASMZ is all about, but this still makes it hard to describe - a post-rock album being never easy (and downright difficult sometimes) to review. Obscure and sober artwork sleeve design with the fewest information possible about both the music and the musicians are not helping this reviewer.

The first track is starting with nightmarish rumblings slowly developing into a charming celestial and ethereal atmosphere with a superb guitar that might remind the most contemplative Steve Howe moments. This same atmosphere is the main feature in the second track but not as finely crafted, while the next track plunges into oblivion. The record gets a much needed second wind when a humming violin and full strings behind it as well as urgent chanting prepare the listener for a rocky and eerie ride providing a second excellent highlight on the fourth track. Soon followed by a very tense and beautiful yet sombre three tracks where the strings play a central role and make the backbone of the album. The last tracks starts with a return to the ever-plaintive ASMZ vocals and a very calm exit to a great but not flawless album.

If the prospective proghead is to investigate the GYBE! offshoot, he might try to locate this album first and check out if he likes it before venturing further on as the other albums are even more intimate and personal. Clearly their better album so far!!!

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#55903) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 11, 2005

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra/Tra la la Band Mountain Reveries Godspeed To My Dead Dog, or whatever the heck they are called now, are probably one of the top two or three post-rock bands still in the game these days. Like the seed that spawned them (Godspeed You! Black Emperor), the band releases their stuff on Constellation Records in those goofy but presumably environment-friendly cardboard cases that get all bent up in my CD rack. They also include the same types of abstract images and occasional ramblings cum manifestos, but I’ve long since decided that these are just a semi-intentional diversion for listeners to keep them from getting too close to the members of the band themselves. At least that’s what I tell myself – half that stuff makes no sense in the context of the actual music.

These musicians, or at least cult leader (er., guitarist) Efrim Menuck have seemed to have internalized one of the guiding principles of expressionist art in general, which is that if a concept is made abstract and ill-defined enough, people will tend to draw their own conclusions as to what the heck it’s all about. One other principle seems to have maybe escaped them, which is that given a scenario but very little information, ten different people are likely to come to ten or twelve wildly different conclusions. The point is, who really know what this music is supposed to be about? Possibly the band members themselves, but largely they aren’t telling. So I’m free to just make stuff up – who’s going to stop me?

Anyway, this is the second offering from the band (that part I’m not making up), released on the heels of Godspeed’s ‘Lift Your Skinny Fists…’, so it was kind of lost in the thousand-watt spotlight that album garnered. Too bad, because this is actually a considerably more interesting recording than Mt. Zion’s first album, which was stylistically somewhat simpler than the Godspeed paradigm, but was also slash-your- wrists depressing. This album is depressing too (frankly, the vast majority of stuff coming from Constellation Records is either depressing or negative or angry or some combination of the three), but every once and a while there is just the slightest turn of a bow from one of the cellists, and a very faint glimmer of light and hope escapes from the drudgery and into the room. It’s a remarkable talent these guys have for ‘speaking’ through their music, and primarily through their stringed instruments.

The other thing about Mt. Zion music is that it has an inescapable feminine touch. I cannot explain what I mean by that, but it’s there. Just thought that was worth pointing out.

The opening track is "Brothers! Sisters! Small Boats of Fire are Falling from the Sky!", a rather disjointed composition that eventually sorts itself out between the weird percussion and reverberating guitar and builds into one of those patented Mile End crescendos that made these guys’ parent band so hugely successful. The difference here is this one will make you cry. It’s just so damn mournful. It’s like a call to arms for every angst-ridden young person within hearing radius to start swallowing pills or preparing to jump in front of a train. Fortunately it’s only music, but be sure and have any sharp objects stashed away safely if you play this on a dark night when you are alone.

“This Gentle Hearts Like Shot Bird's Fallen” follows, and it sounds pretty much like the title describes. It’s also full of mournful strings, as well as the odd animal-inspired sound effects that typify a Mt. Zion album. And like a lot of their songs, it’s a lot shorter than the stuff Godspeed typically put out. This one isn’t quite as depressing as the first track, mostly just the guitar is a downer here, but the cellos rise slightly above and offer a glimmering sense of human interaction in an otherwise pretty stark track. I strongly suspect these guys spend too many long winters deprived of sunlight way up there in Canada. It’s really not good for your mental health, you know.

Some little kid opens “Built Then Burnt (Hurrah! Hurrah!)” with a diatribe about monsters roaming the hills and human carnage and so forth – could be a scary fireside story or a sociopathic manifesto, hard to say. The strings and guitar are very similar to the previous track, but here again the strings are just a bit this side of gloomy, and the listener is left wondering where this album is actually heading.

Menuck finally pipes in with his Roger Waters meets Warren Zevon trembling vocals on “Take These Hands And Throw Them In The River”, amid some pretty stormy and angry violin work. Unlike some Mt. Zion fans, I really don’t care for his singing and wish he’d leave that to someone else, but I must admit they do set an appropriately creepy tone.

“Could've Moved Mountains” is the longest track on the album at around eleven minutes. These are some of the same string musicians as on the Godspeed albums, so it’s not surprising the sound is somewhat similar, especially since Menuck is also playing guitar in the same slow, brooding manner he did on ‘Yanqui U.X.O.’. He also mumbles something incoherent from time to time, giving this a bit of a Pink Floyd circa late- seventies feel. There’s something of a buildup here, but no explosion, which is okay I guess but a bit unnerving.

The highlight of the album comes with “Tho’ You Are Gone I Still Often Walk With You”, a piano-heavy track that sort of sounds like some of the soundtracks to the various Halloween slasher films of the seventies and eighties. The piano is a bit repetitive without the distinctive variations that occur on most other tracks, and the overall feeling is one of resigned fatigue. Beautiful but sad.

On “C'mon Comeon (Loose an Endless Longing)” the mood improves measurably, with an almost happy crescendo midway through and a slow, somewhat peaceful lull following. This I suppose is where the album was headed all along, to a hesitantly optimistic finale.

Which comes in the form of “The Triumph of our Tired Eyes”, which winds this whole experience to a close with more of Menuck’s Final Cut-like vocals and accompanying stuttering guitar work. The string passage midway through is one of the most beautiful passages on any Mt. Zion album I have ever heard, without hardly any note of depression. The little kid closes the song and the album with a quick little children’s rhyme ditty, and we’re out.

I keep buying Mt. Zion’s albums and listening to them because they keep changing just enough to keep me interested. It’s hard to say if that’s because the varying members of the collective are growing themselves, or if the lineup changes are causing the variations. Or, since cynicism is certainly an acceptable mood when listening to any of the bands in the Mile End clique, maybe it’s just a very, very good marketing ploy. But I doubt it.

This one is better than the last, and better than the one that will follow. It’s not Godspeed, but at least these guys are still putting out music and their forbearers aren’t, so four stars for that.

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#96107) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 28, 2006

Review by Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars More of the same

This is what ASMZ don’t have – variety of moods and arrangements. GYBE were a brilliant band, a bit “samey” at times too, but never plain boring or predictable. ASMZ has this little flaw – they are predictable, maybe, not as much as any other Post-Rock band, but still not enough interesting to sit through the whole album without losing attention sometimes. Astonishing sense of melody (that marks every GYBE epic) is also missing there. But there are vocals, acoustic (almost chamber!) sound and the same way depressing and dark nature of the music. Recommended for ASMZ/GYBE/related stuff devotees, but don’t expect revelations there.

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Send comments to Prog-jester (BETA) | Report this review (#132124) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This one is similar in style to their debut but if it's possible it's even more melanchoilic. This one is also lacking the emotion I felt with their debut, it just seems uninspired to me.

"Sisters ! Brothers ! Small Boats Of Fire Are Falling From The Sky !" opens with percussion of some sort before violin comes in and builds. Piano and guitar join the melody in this very sad song. "This Gentle Hearts Like Shot Birds Fallen" is slower paced with plenty of violin melodies leading the way. "Built Then Burnt (Hurrah ! Hurrah !)" opens with over 2 minutes of spoken female words that are joined by violin early on, these violin melodies continue throughout this track. I really found these first three songs hard to enjoy.

"Take These Hands And Throw Them In The River" is better. There is a sense of urgency with the vocals and the violin play throughout this song. It closes with birds singing. "Could've Moved Mountains" has barely audible vocals as the guitar gently plays. We get some violin before 4 1/2 minutes. "Tho You Are Gone I Still Often Walk W / You" is dominated by piano and violin with plenty of tempo changes. "C'Mon Comeon (Loose An Endless Longing)" builds to a powerful sound 5 1/2 minutes in. "The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes" has those vocals that have a hint of Neil Young to them as guitars dominate the instrumental section. Violin comes in later. This is my favourite song and actually the only song I really like.

Their debut I rated 4 stars but I really debated between 3 or 4 stars. So barely 4 stars you could say. This one as I mentioned in the intro doesn't hold a candle to their debut on a number of fronts.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#134600) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, August 23, 2007

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars When A Silver Mt. Zion's debut album proved more successful than expected, Efraim was emboldened to make this Godspeed You Black Emperor side project more than a mere one-off. The followup album was actually released about a month or so after 9/11, which makes its doomy Biblical title rather more timely than anticipated, but even outside of that context this is a haunting and troubling meditation on the struggles of imperfect people in an imperfect world. It isn't quite as compelling and the debut, and the band seem to struggle with finding ways to usefully integrate vocals into their music, but on the whole it gives plenty of reason to believe that the Silver Mt. Zion project has a long way to go yet.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#651020) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 08, 2012

Latest members reviews

4 stars One of my favourite bands ever is no doubt Godspeed You! Black Emperor. I truly believe every album of theirs is a masterpiece, so what did i expect from this offshoot band with an even longer name? Another masterpiece, naturally. Born into trouble as the sparks fly upwards was released in 2001 ... (read more)

Report this review (#161661) | Posted by Evans | Tuesday, February 12, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars HARD TO EXPLAIN, EASY TO ENJOY One of the best things in Post-Rock is the way you can enjoy it all alone and how many emotions you can feel with it through all their passages. The first time I played this album I was on my way to work and I simply loved the way it took me to one of the most c ... (read more)

Report this review (#119406) | Posted by MadcapLaughs84 | Monday, April 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars With additions to the band, and even name, the band grows. Their sound also grows, horns are now present making the music more textured. The emotional strength of this album is very powerful, and very detailed. The full potential of the band is presented here in droning beautiful texture thank to ... (read more)

Report this review (#41889) | Posted by | Sunday, August 07, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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