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Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress CD (album) cover


Godspeed You! Black Emperor


Post Rock/Math rock

3.73 | 133 ratings

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5 stars This. Is. Awesome! I thought that perhaps GY!BE had slightly slipped on their last album "Allelujah! Don't Bend Ascend" even though I love that album, it just didn't seem as great as their past efforts. I wondered if the best days were over for this band....but I am glad to report that I was soooooooo wrong. This album is amazing and beautiful and just simply beyond words.

Basically, what this album consists of is a single 40 minute composition that has been entitled "Behemoth" and it has been played in many live shows since 2012. It has been perfected and finally released on this album. The album divides the composition into 4 parts which make up the 4 tracks. And you don't have to worry, there is so much to be happy about this album. Don't let the fact that this is a 40 minute composition worry you, the band does not get lost in long noodling sessions or huge walls of never-ending noise. The music is well structured and flawlessly performed with changes in sound and dynamic. This is a masterpiece if there every was one. This is completely instrumental with no field recordings or spoken words, but it doesn't need that this time.

The first track (or section) is called "Peasantry or 'Light! Inside of Light!" and probably offers the most memorable melody that GY!BE has ever performed. The main theme is based around a middle-eastern sound that develops nicely and utilizes the full band. It doesn't incorporate the usual formula of post rock in that it instantly kicks in full force and continues with it's excellent orchestration through the entire 10 minutes. This seems to me to be the most positive and least dark music I have heard from the band and it really feels like a song of hope amidst the undercurrent of despair. This one will go down as one of my favorite GY!BE tracks. The next track enters into the drone section of the piece which is the 2nd movement. This drone is a lot different from the drones that were on the previous album in that instead of being a wall of noise built around the same chords, it is more of a minimalistic approach. It is dark and foreboding, yet somewhat industrial sounding to a point, without the loud noise, sort of reminiscent of King Crimson's most experimental period that incorporated the ProjeKcts, and probably the first drone that I would rate at 5 stars without hesitation. It is not what you have come to expect of dronework, but it actually seems to have direction instead of just noise.

The 3rd movement is also a drone, albeit shorter this time. It leads in off of the single note that the previous track ends off on as a continuous sound. It is impossible to tell exactly when one track ends and the other begins, but as the sound develops from this drone, it tends to be minimalistic again at first, and sounds a lot similar this time to a Bass Communion drone with percussive sounds. This continues to build though, layer upon layer, until it flows almost seamlessly into the last movement which returns to the full band. Here you get a return to the formula of the final climax built upon increasing intensity and force. The ending is well worth the build, as the climax is one of the best in the sub-genre. The climax comes at full power repeating a motif with building layers until the final release and once that release happens, the sparks continue to flicker and finally fade away as the music slowly dies out.

I have considered the best post rock as the composing of modern masterpieces using classical elements with modern instruments. The best pieces are orchestral and that is what this is, one of the best. I am glad to hear that GY!BE still have the power in them to put together an amazing masterpiece like this. No doubt that this is an instant classic and GY!BE fans need to rejoice that the band is still amazing! One of the best prog releases so far this year. 5 brightly shining stars!

TCat | 5/5 |


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