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A Silver Mt. Zion - Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything CD (album) cover


A Silver Mt. Zion


Post Rock/Math rock

3.85 | 41 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Just when other post rock bands latch onto the sound and formulas used by Thee Silver Mt. Zion, they change things up. Having left behind the traditional formula of slow crescendos to loud climaxes, TSMZ now jumps into their individual tracks full force and utilize dynamics in different ways than they did in their earlier years. You don't have to wait for the build up anymore. Now you get a thick wall of their rock orchestral sound starting right off at the beginning of the track with more reliance on the heaviness of guitar, strings and percussion with the occasional stripping back to expose the base of the music only to quickly build back up again, sometimes with a direction change. This is becoming less like the usual post rock that we are used to and branching out into other directions by adding a punk-ish sound and attitude (Efrim's vocals lend themselves well to this punk sound) while keeping the tracks well fleshed out and original.

There is so much music going on here, and the streamlining of the band members have given the band a more focused sound than previously. The vocals, while still sounding desperate and vulnerable are also more confident sounding. The instrumentals are more expansive and broad even with the smaller band. The 1st track "Fuck Off Get Free (For the Island of Montreal)" sets the stage for the atmosphere of most of the album with a heavy sound without much of a break from the thickness in the sound. The change is more in the melody and the direction of the song which goes from a harsh sound to a beautiful yet still heavy sound about halfway through. Suddenly, you know what kind of sound to expect on this album. The 2nd track "Austerity Blues" is the centerpiece of the album. It is a track that remains heavy for the most part, but when the noise is stripped away, you are left with the base of the song that you tend to enfold yourself into immediately when this sparseness starts and then suddenly you find yourself wrapped up into the noise when it builds back upon itself, and you are trapped inside. The next time it happens, you think it's time to escape, but you are drawn in further and before you know it you are trapped again.

Two shorter tracks follow with "Take Away These Early Grave Blues" which is a less developed track that follows a constant rhythmic pattern and the beautifully quiet "Little Ones Run" which acts as a break from the noise for a few minutes with a female duet and a piano, which lulls you into what I consider the best track on the album "What We Loved Was Not Enough". This track has the best and most diverse use of dynamics which keeps the same style of singing but with beautiful harmonies by the background singers and an ever changing moody epic track. This one probably is more reminiscent of the older material, but it still manages to stay away from the tired old formulaic post rock sound and ventures out with as much confidence and impact as the louder tracks. The last track is another short one which starts out as what sounds like a field recording of possible an interview and adds in vocals, percussion and a certain ambience to close out the album on a softer side.

This is post rock doing what it's supposed to do to be considered progressive, that is, it's progressing. Yes, I still consider it Post Rock, but it's exploring new avenues and staying away from the usual sound. The tracks all have vocals, which is the first welcome change from post rock, but not really different for the band who actually started out as completely instrumental and as most prog heads know, branched off from Godspeed You! Black Emperor when they went on hiatus (which is now over and both bands are alive and well). GY!BE continues to show it's power through instrumentals and drones while ASMZ continues to push forward with a reliance on more focused vocals and the modern day noise/orchestral sound. Both bands are amazing and continue to pump out quality work even after more than a decade, progressing their sound and exploring new avenues. A lot of prog lovers may have a hard time with Efrim's vocals, but the vocals fit right in to the dissonance and beauty of the music. I can't imagine any other vocal sound that would go along with this music. I can't help but think of this as a perfect example of what post rock should be doing, developing their sound and not relying on the old formulas. Because of this, the band still puts out essential masterpieces and demonstrate the direction that progressive music should be taking.

TCat | 5/5 |


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