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

ASUNDER, SWEET AND OTHER DISTRESS

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.71 | 89 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

thesameoldfears
4 stars As others have pointed out, this album starts and ends with a bang, and the two middle tracks are more experimental/drone without any established melodies.

For the longest time I didn't know how to rate this album, but four stars out of five seems about right. The first time I heard this album was when I saw Godspeed! live in late 2013. They had been playing this piece in its entirety on tour before actually releasing it in 2015. When I heard it live I remember I thinking the middle section dragged on a bit, but the end was so startling and powerful that it made it worth the buildup.

Conceptually this album is very interesting because it's basically the whole thing is one big decrescendo, followed by one big crescendo. In Peasantry or 'Light! Inside of Light! you have all 8 musicians all playing very loud, dense, and fairly melodic music, but then as it goes into Lambs' Breath it slowly sheds each of these qualities and unravels to the point where it's just a single tone ringing for about 2 minutes. This single tone connects Lambs' Breath to Asunder, Sweet. The process then reverses itself as the single tone is joined by other strange sounds in Asunder, Sweet, which keeps building and building. By the time you get to Piss Crowns are Trebled the sound is extremely intense, exploding into a bang of a conclusion.

Piss Crowns Are Trebled is one of my favorite Godspeed! tracks. The dense instrumentation and loud angsty energy really pushes the listener to the max, but at also feels kind of uplifting despite its heaviness. The thrilling closing of Piss Crowns Are Trebled packs more of a punch when you've heard the meandering of Lambs' Breath and Asunder, Sweet before it, though many listeners will want to skip over these middle tracks. Interestingly, when I saw Godspeed! live a second time, when they played this album the two middle tracks were significantly shorter than on the studio album. That may have been a good choice as far as the audience's patience goes. Hard to say. Either way, what we have here is a very interesting artistic statement. It's a little too uneven to be a five star album, but the finale Piss Crowns Are Trebled is a prog epic for the ages.

thesameoldfears | 4/5 |

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