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POST ROCK/MATH ROCK

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Post Rock/Math rock definition

POST-ROCK:

The term post-rock was coined by Simon Reynolds in issue 123 of The Wire (May 1994) to describe a sort of music "using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbres and textures rather than riffs and powerchords."

Originally used to describe the music of such bands as Stereolab, Disco Inferno, Seefeel, Bark Psychosis and Pram, it spread out to be frequently used for all sorts of jazz- and Krautrock-influenced, instrumental, electronica-added music made after 1994. Bands from the early 1990s such as Slint, or earlier, such as Talk Talk were influential on this genre. As with many musical genres, the term is arguably inadequate: it is used for the music of Tortoise as well as that of Mogwai, two bands who have very little in common besides the fact that their music is largely instrumental.

The aforementioned Tortoise was among the founders of the movement. After the second Tortoise LP Millions Now Living Will Never Die, the band became a post-rock icon. After Millions... many bands (e.g., Do Make Say Think) began to record, inspired by the "Tortoise-sound" and were often described as post-rock.

In the late nineties, Chicago, Illinois, became the home base of many different groups. John McEntire (of Tortoise) became an important producer for lots of them, as well as Jim O'Rourke (of Brice-Glace, Gastr del Sol and many more). Post-rock began to range from the slow, guitar-based ambience of Boxhead Ensemble to the up-tempo electronica of Stereolab.

Montreal, Quebec band Godspeed You Black Emperor! - later renamed 'Godspeed You! Black Emperor' - brought a political element with anti-globalization movement leanings.

By the early 2000s, the term had started to fall out of favor, while the major artists kept on making high quality recordings. The wide range of styles covered by the term had robbed it of its usefulness almost from the moment it was coined.

Closely related to post-rock is the genre known as Math rock, characterized by more percussive timbres, and more dissonant harmonic gestures.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Post-rock".



MATH ROCK:

Math Rock is a genre that emerged in the late 80's and that was influenced by both the intricacies of progressive and avant-garde rock - King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Henry Cow - and 20th century composers such as Steve Reich and John Cage. The music is characterized by complex structures, angular melodies and constant abrupt changes in tempo and time signature. The name Math Rock is a term that grew out of the Chicago scene and the artists working with engineer Steve Albini in an effort to describe the new style.

The basic building blocks of Math Rock can be traced back to the late 60's and 70's where Progressive Rock artists were making more elaborate compositions than the standard rock bands and were experimenting with song structures. Early Avant-garde groups like Massacre, and artists such as Captain Beefheart and John Zorn were highly influential to Math Rock bands and traces of their music can still be heard throughout the genre. Another big influence to the Math Rock approach was Slint with their album "Spiderland" which showcased many techniques that Math Rock bands will follow in the future. Punk also had significant impact on the sound of Math Rock bands. Other notable influences are: Post-Rock, Heavy Metal, and Jazz.

Although there are Math Rock bands in different countries around the world, most reside in the United States, the Midwest in particular, and tend to be divided by regions: Pittsburgh bands (Don Caballero, Six Horse) Chicago bands (Shellac, U.S. Maple), Ohio bands (Keelhaul, Craw) Louisville bands (June 44, Rodan, The For Carnation, Crain), and San Diego bands (Drive Like Jehu, Tristeza) among others on both coasts. Japan was also an important country in the Math Rock genre with bands like Ruins and Zeni Geva.

POST/MATH ROCK TEAM MEMBERS:
Angelmk (Angel)
Zravkapt (Darryl)
The Truth (Tanner)
Austin (Horizons)
Jason (Second Life Syndrome)

Post Rock/Math rock Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Post Rock/Math rock | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.62 | 33 ratings
CHILDREN OF GOD
Swans
4.44 | 25 ratings
THE COLLIBRO
Lis Er Stille
4.32 | 41 ratings
RANDOM AVENGER
Magyar Posse
4.21 | 75 ratings
THE SEER
Swans
4.15 | 154 ratings
ENTER
Russian Circles
4.12 | 448 ratings
ÁGĆTIS BYRJUN
Sigur Rós
4.11 | 418 ratings
LIFT YOUR SKINNY FISTS LIKE ANTENNAS TO HEAVEN
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.26 | 34 ratings
SOUNDTRACKS FOR THE BLIND
Swans
4.06 | 322 ratings
F# A# ∞
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.24 | 31 ratings
FOR LONG TOMORROW
Toe.
4.23 | 31 ratings
PHANTASIA
Lite
4.35 | 19 ratings
BEAUTIFUL
About Tess
4.07 | 86 ratings
ONE TIME FOR ALL TIME
65DaysOfStatic
4.05 | 107 ratings
IN A COLD EMBRACE
Battlestations
4.35 | 16 ratings
HOW LONELY SITS THE CITY
Ascent Of Everest, The
4.55 | 10 ratings
DREAMS THAT COME A THING (PT I) ...NEVER THOUGHT IT MAY SEEM…
Bosch's With You
4.05 | 77 ratings
AMERICAN DON
Don Caballero
4.14 | 31 ratings
GIVE ME BEAUTY... OR GIVE ME DEATH!
Ef
3.98 | 254 ratings
YANQUI U.X.O.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.12 | 33 ratings
THE STOLEN VIEW
Leech

Post Rock/Math rock overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Post Rock/Math rock experts team

RECORDING A TAPE THE COLOUR OF THE LIGHT
Bell Orchestre
IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS
Tenebre
JINX
Kammerflimmer Kollektief
WIDOW
Day For Airstrikes

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Latest Post Rock/Math rock Music Reviews


 Third by PERHAPS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.34 | 10 ratings

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Third
Perhaps Post Rock/Math rock

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This is the third full-length album from US band Perhaps and sadly the last one, since in April they communicated in their Facebook fanpage that the project would stop. Anyway, whatever the members decide to do (regarding music) in the future, I wish them good luck. Perhaps was one of the bands I knew thanks to Prog Archives, and whose music came to me due to the internet facilities, so we have to take advantage of this new digital era that allows us to discover a lot of things.

I must admit that my favorite Perhaps release is their debut album, I find it the strongest of them all, and though all are very different each other, I keep the firs one as my preferred. Let me tell you that Perhaps is not a one- genre-band, no, their music offers slices of different scenes, sometimes you will listen to psychedelic rock, sometimes to post-rock, then experimental parts, etc. And this third album is not the exception. So be prepared to this 7-song journey that lasts 36 minutes and that has the collaboration of Kawabata Makoto, the legendary Acid Mother's Temple guitarist.

It opens with "Master Destroyer I", a piece that has a bombastic beginning with some crazy Zappa-esque sounds and some distorted psychedelic guitars. The song flows and continues like a jam, I don't really know if it is a recorded improvisation or was a true composition, however it sounds nice, but not memorable. "Master Destroyer II" is when things slow down a little bit, but also when spacey sounds and Gong-like vocals appear. It is a cosmic trip in which you can close the eyes and transport to another dimension. Besides the guitars and the evident synths, what makes this better is the addition of a saxophone that sounds here and there, in spontaneous moments.

"Butterfly Mirror" continues with that spacey and cosmic sound, with weird vocals and distortions everywhere. I believe one has to be in the mood to dig this, otherwise it would be a difficult journey. The song might not have a true form, and I think it does not need a form, though I admit there are moments where I feel lost, I lose track for a while. Once again, I highlight the use of saxophone in some precious instants. "Dreamland I" starts even crazier, loony, bombastic with a fast rhythm and robotic effects. It has some Ozrics feeling but in moments it is rockier than spacy, well it is a vibrant and energetic journey. "Dreamland II" drastically slows down, it becomes slower and sexier due to that saxophone full of cadency. The music flows and progresses, the special effects bring that inherent cosmic atmosphere and the guitars put the psychedelic and in moments stoner rock vibe.

"Donzo's Montreaux" has much more keyboards in the beginning than in the whole album. Then another trip starts, guitar becomes main character and provides endless riffs while a heavy, psych and powerful background is created. After three minutes some loony voices can be heard. I think that addition of Makoto really influenced Perhaps, I mean, this album could be one of the Acid Mothers catalogue. The final song is "Sleepwalker" and starts very softly, spacey and relaxing at first. While the seconds pass more elements are being added, creating different atmospheres and offering now a sound closer to post-rock. I think this is my favorite moment of the album.

A nice effort by Perhaps, an album full of nuances and trips, but that I think lacks of memorable moments, of a solid passage that makes it unique. Anyway, one can spend 36 nice minutes listening to it.

Enjoy it!

 Frozen Stars by UNTIL SUNRISE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.62 | 4 ratings

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Frozen Stars
Until Sunrise Post Rock/Math rock

Review by sbrack

5 stars Love this album; the long wait was worth it Same quality as their debut album, much refined. Keep changing my mind about which track I like best: two short pieces, On Second Story and Down Autumn Hill, are lyrical, mellow?great interludes. Pulled in by energetic Driving Down the Golden Highway, I zeroed in on Up Autumn Hill and Elysian Fields; later appreciating Perry Smith and Splinters. It's clever the way the album is carefully laid out. Couldn't complete this without mentioning the drumming: it's more sophisticated on this album, integral to the musicality of several tracks. As is the penetrating violin on two tracks.

 It's All Around You by TORTOISE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.21 | 32 ratings

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It's All Around You
Tortoise Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This Tortoise album is a decent enough sounding release, but it is not one of their best. The overall feeling of this album is experimentation in soft, lounge-sounding jazz, with some nice mellow harmonies and instrumentals for the most part. The sound effects are sparse through the album and there is a rather spare used of distortion and real experimentation, which is what Tortoise is best at. However, when there is a lapse into noise, distortion and experimentation, it is very noticeable, probably because of the soft jazz sound of the majority of the album. These places where the band does get more avant garde and experimental are the best parts however, and that just doesn't happen enough to make it a favorite of mine.

It feels too much like a "safe" album, as if they were trying to make the most perfect album and most accessible music they could and that ends up making it too plain. The vibes which are used extensively through the album are very nice though.

The best tracks here are definitely 5-star prog compositions and stand out the most, namely "Crest" for it's sense of adventure and the distortion that disrupts the piece in the middle, "Dot/Eye" is more of a funky upbeat track with increasing experimentation as the track continues and more of a Math Rock feel to it, and "Salt the Skies" for an almost satirical take on the album which starts out safe enough and then continues to build and increase tension through distortion and noise before slacking off again. These are great tracks, but don't do enough to hold the album up to a 4 or 5 star affair.

Tortoise is a great band that deserves more credit for helping to establish the Post/Math Rock sound and expanding it, but this album is probably not the best example of this as they explore the softer side of their music, and venturing into the lounge aspect of the music. I just like the experimental side of the band more. 3 stars.

 In The Fishtank by TORTOISE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1999
2.95 | 2 ratings

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In The Fishtank
Tortoise Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This In the Fishtank EP is quite a bizarre pairing of the noise band The Ex with the excellent jazz/post- rock band Tortoise. I love the experimental fusion stylings of Tortoise, but I am not that familiar with The Ex because their music doesn't always appeal to me. This combination seems to mellow out the noisy music of The Ex, but also adds some strange elements to Tortoise's music, sometimes for the good like on the opening track "The Lawn of the Lamb" and on "Did You Comb?" which is a satirical percussion heavy track. I really think this music ventures more into the avant-prog territory than anything, especially with The Ex influenced "Central Heating" which is very noisy, but underplayed with a ambient sounding instrument that sounds like an accordion (?), and the mixing in this track is amazing that the ambient sound doesn't get buried in the noise. It's a hard track to listen to, yet it is quite a marvel that the production worked out the way it did.

As far as the rest of the EP, "Pooh Song" is definitely an interesting avant garde song, but it would have been better with either a different vocalist, or no vocals at all. The last track is the most interesting of the bunch, with no real melody, but a lot of orchestrated noises/sounds, that actually has direction.

The biggest complaint on this EP is that the 6 songs are not developed as well as they could have been. Part of the reason for that is that it only took 48 hours to record this EP, maybe the union would have been better if they took more time to flesh things out. The Ex's lead vocalist has a very sarcastic sounding voice which is quite abrasive, and that doesn't mix well with Tortoise's usually meticulous sounds. The album would have been better without vocals, I believe.

So this one is interesting enough, and actually works on most of the tracks. I think avant-garde prog lovers would definitely be interested in this one, and it may open your interest in Tortoise's music. I do like the avant garde genre when the music is done well, but there isn't enough development here in these tracks to call it an excellent EP. However, I can't really call it a poor effort either. It definitely isn't for everyone. But I can at least pull 3 stars out of the hat for this one because of the ingenuity.

 Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.47 | 61 ratings

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Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Post Rock/Math rock

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

2 stars I have always thought of this band as the evolution of punk to its inevitable refinement or decadence considering its starting point in the stylistic cycle. Musically speaking its raunchiness, eclecticness and irreverent spirit surely owe a lot to that, then, underground style. Of course the also inevitable technological refinement has turned what once was horrible and rebelious noisy reverb into an extension of the music itself, which is fun but not that original in the electronic or RiO category in this Prog world or even in the outer worlds of Prog .

Outside of Prog the loved as hated Neil Young's solo, 1991, "ARC" or his multiple "with Crazy Horse" recordings or a more recent work like "Le noise", not to mention more into this noisy fields bands as Sonic Youth or the more obscure Cabaret Voltaire and of course the primitive but effective Sex Pistols themselves as many others that have already been playing with this NOISE/Rock in the outskirts of Prog for a while.

Therefore in comparison to those hearings, this kind of noisy "symphonic" sonic/rock environments, Godspeed You! Black Emperor's "Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress" propose in this today's world, well are not exactly the discovery of America!

Anyway, in this "Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress",(2015), they dwell too much into those muddy sonic-environments, and more than once they just come up with nothing but mud. I suppose you have to be a super loyal fan of the band or really be immersed in their conceptual image to listen to something beyond this, but music wise I really did not find anything truly relevant or at least interesting as original.

To be optimistic I will mention that it is instrumental, brief and music wise, the great instrumental contrast which happens here and there between the violins and the wall of music school musicians' noise/rock/post-punk, which ended up being more elegantly named and accepted in this Prog world as Post Rock/Math Rock.

To be honest **2.5 PA stars tops!

 He Has Left Us Alone But Shafts Of Light Sometimes Grace The Corner Of Our Rooms by SILVER MT. ZION, A album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.96 | 82 ratings

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He Has Left Us Alone But Shafts Of Light Sometimes Grace The Corner Of Our Rooms
A Silver Mt. Zion Post Rock/Math rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars What we have here is a funeral album although it sounds more like a holocaust soundtrack not just dripping but flooded with melancholy and lucid lugubrious lament. A SILVER MT ZION is a side project of the masters of apocalyptic soundtrack skills Godspeed! You Black Emperor and believe it or not was created solely as a one album project by Efrim Menuck who was morning the death of his beloved dog Wanda. While the Godspeed! main project had a sort of continuity in their releases, Efrim wanted to branch out a bit and what better way than to construct a musical eulogy for your best friend. Yep, the universe's cruel joke is that your beloved pets become as close as your own children but have the lifespan of the average $100 American bill.

The irony was that through the death of a precious departed one, new life sprung from the ashes. This one shot project has become a wise career move that has far surpassed the original Godspeed! project's number of releases. While this debut album is credited to A SILVER MT ZION, Efrim followed the Sun Ra approach when he renamed his notorious Arkestra every album or two just to keep things interesting ie The Sun Ra Arkestra, Sun Ra and His Astro-Infinity Arkestra, Sun Ra and His Myth-Science Arkestra, Sun Ra and His Intergalactic Research Arkestra. Thus a new band was born after the popularity of this tribute to Wanda was released and the A Silver Mt Zion would evolve into The SILVER MT ZION Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, The SILVER MT ZION Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La- La Band With Choir and so on and so forth.

While this release is lumped into the general post-rock category this is much more a percussionless parade of chamber music that is simply vocals, guitar, bass, piano and violin. The music is haunting and chilling and the closest thing that comes to mind when i hear this is the soundtrack to "Schindler's List." There is absolutely nothing uplifting and warm and fuzzy going on here. These notes flow together in a way that stabs you in the heart and twists the knife until you simply break down in utter agony and despair. Only the pain of losing a loved one could allow a composer to achieve this effect with such minimal instrumentation. This is one of those albums that i love but choose not to listen to on a regular basis because of the heart wrenching effects of violin tremolos, vibratos, arpeggios and sonic appoggiatura.

I, like many, prefer the albums that follow as they become more artistic and put the rock back in the post-rock, but this album serves a purpose and that purpose is magnificently achieved. The emotional flow of this album is haunting and evokes poignance and bereavement like few other musical works can. I can feel the extreme sense of pain and loss of love in every note on this one as it musters up some incredible dregs of dejection and execution of exuberance. It also makes me want to hug every loved one in my life and hold on dearly for i know the insufferable fate of separation will inevitably touch us all eventually. Sigh. Great album. Difficult subject matter.

 Horses In The Sky by SILVER MT. ZION, A album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.89 | 66 ratings

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Horses In The Sky
A Silver Mt. Zion Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is the first SMZ album that has singing on every track. It is also, for the most part, the most subdued of the albums. It seems that it might have been a tough one for the fans to get at first, but it is a grower, and a lot of that has to do with the vocals. That is the biggest issue for the band, but in my opinion, the vocals match the music perfectly. SMZ's biggest attraction for me is their vulnerability that not only exists in the shaky vocals, but also in the orchestration of the instruments. There is always a slight hesitation in the delivery, or so it always seems, especially noticeable on this album because it is softer. Don't get me wrong though, there are bursts of dynamics throughout. You still get the builds on some of the songs. But other tracks don't build much at all, as in the title track.

"God Bless Our Dead Marines" is the opener and a great highlight in the band's career. It is a multi movement epic track with several melodies that vary in dynamics and tone. This is a beauty of a song and it ebbs and flows and eventually the vocals interweave around each other into a round of sorts. Next is another excellent track called "Mountains Made of Steam" which is based around a more focused theme, but still caries a lot of variation in it. This eventually builds to a harsh climax that utilizes dynamics and dissonance quite beautifully. "Horses in the Sky" is a more acoustic endeavor and remains quiet and thoughtful throughout, but is no less powerful. Eventually, some ambient texturing joins in, but never really takes over the intimacy of the track.

"Teddy Roosevelt's Guns" is follows a typical post rock formula and builds slowly to a final climax and a repeated line. "Hang on to Each Other" was actually recorded by the band around a campfire. You can hear the flames crackling in the background. Talk about a feeling of intimate music. You can close your eyes and picture yourself there listening to the band. The song starts out soft and the vocals build as other vocal lines are added, some wordless vocals and the repeating of the title while Effrim sings the verses. All the while, strings are played in the background to a structured tune. This eventually even drops out leaving the band singing their parts a cappella. The last track is another epic of beauty and dynamics, again with changing melodies and rhythms.

The vinyl is a piece of art, as is the case with most of SMZ's (and Godspeed You! Black Emperor's vinyl) and this is why I prefer to get their recordings in vinyl. On this one, there are only 3 recorded sides which contain all of the tracks. Instead of leaving the 4th side blank however, they commissioned an artist to do an etching into the vinyl. It is artwork of a bird and some branches. This is another way of expressing their artistry and intimacy with their listeners. It really gives the record a personal feeling between the listener and the band. Even though I know the band doesn't know me over any of their other listeners, but these things make me feel like they do, and the unique things they add to their albums make me feel a personal closeness to their music like no other band can do.

Many complain about Effrim's vocals being hard to listen to, but they have always been one of the things about the band that attracts me to them. He sounds like he is singing right to you, in your living room as you listen. He is a very passionate singer too, and the limitations of his voice can show through when he is the most passionate. These things make me love the music even more.

It's true that this band isn't for everyone, but everyone should at least give them a fair chance before deciding whether they like the music or not. The best music always takes time to grow on you, and I find my favorite albums are usually the ones I didn't understand at first, or they took time to grow on me. This is one of those albums. I think it's a masterpiece, not only of music, but of art in general. The lyrics are poetry, the music is original and dynamic, and the medium is taken to it's furthest to portray other forms of artistry, the album covers, the inserts, the little surprises that are included. It all works as a whole on this album, a those things make it the masterpiece that it is. 5 stars.

 Holy Money by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.91 | 15 ratings

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Holy Money
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is the last full album in the Swans dollar sign series. This, just like all the previous albums, is very dirge-like and brutal throughout. It takes you down into the depths of the muddiest swamps of depression and darkness. Early Swans music is known for being the most brutal music out there, and this album is no exception to that. But you also begin to hear a little more experimentation in the music in this album, and you also get a short interlude sung by Jarboe ("You Need Me"), who would from this point forward have more of an influence in the overall sound of the music in the subsequent albums. This acts as a quick break in the otherwise extreme sound of this album.

But in the tracks like "A Hanging" and "Fool #2", you also hear a break away from the constant rhythm that usually would establish itself in previous Swans tracks and would remain mostly unchanging throughout each track. In this album, the rhythm, ground line and guitar follows a repetitive pattern as before, but now the sound will suddenly change mid-track, showing the band's new penchant for exploring sounds and possibilities in their music.

The album still features unrelenting heavy and depressing music and was considered post-punk at the time. At this point though, you will start hearing experimentation into post and math rock, and this works to this albums advantage and at even greater levels in future albums. As for now, most people will still find this music too heavy, but it is better than previous efforts as some variety and experimentation starts to show through. The music is better quality and the band shows interest in exploring new musical avenues. Of all the heavy, industrial sounding post punk albums from Swans, this one is the one I consider the best. This is a good introduction to the earlier discography, if you are inclined to explore this music that lives in the depths of dark human souls. 4 stars.

 Third by PERHAPS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.34 | 10 ratings

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Third
Perhaps Post Rock/Math rock

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars The latest release from this Boston band. The first two albums were one-song albums but this is divided into separate tracks although sometimes they are segued together. Originally they were an instrumental trio of guitar-bass-drums but have expanded their line-up to include an extra guitarist, keyboardist, vocalist and a saxophone player. Before this album they had toured and recorded an EP with former Can vocalist Damo Suzuki. Their music is a mix of space rock, post/math, fusion and heavy rock. Here the music is very spacey and loose sounding. The lyrics are sometimes hard to make out and sometimes there is just wordless vocals. The production is lo-fi which complements the music well.

"Master Destroyer I" is based around a nine note arpeggio on guitar. The bass is busy but repetitive. Some guitar soloing after halfway. This runs right into "Master Destroyer II" which starts to mellow out a bit with some speed-altered vocals. The guitar playing seems to be more improvised and solo-like. The drumming gets a little looser as some spacey synths appear. Here there is a catchy vocal part you can make out which goes "I can't believe my eyes..." Some rockin' guitar chords at the end.

"Butterfly Mirror" changes things a bit with some jazzy bass playing, harmonized vocals and all kinds of spaciness in the background. A catchy wordless vocal melody towards the end. "Dreamland I" starts in psych-punk territory. Features some boogie-rock guitar soloing. Some riffs which turn into shredding before "Dreamland II" starts with altered talking and echoed sax playing. The guitar soloing is bluesy and the bass is once again in jazz mode. Organ appears towards the end before the vocals get very Mars Volta sounding.

"Donzo's Montreux" has some spacey synth soloing, busy bass, jazzy drums and improvised guitar plucking. A killer guitar solo is joined by another one at the same time! Some start/stop playing over a guitar freak-out leads to the very 'post-rock' sounding finale "Sleepwalker". More laid-back than the rest of the album. Post-punk bass playing with picked guitar playing (mostly arpeggios). Some spacey wordless vocals and cymbals as well. The sax starts soloing as everything builds up but falls away to leave just the bass. Then a noisy crescendo which increases in tempo.

Perhaps the greatest release yet from Perhaps. Their sound has certainly evolved without straying too far from their original sound. Although not completely improvised and structureless, the music here is very loose and free. Very little that could be considered mainstream but at the same time not too experimental or weird. A very good release from 2015. 4 stars.

 He Has Left Us Alone But Shafts Of Light Sometimes Grace The Corner Of Our Rooms by SILVER MT. ZION, A album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.96 | 82 ratings

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He Has Left Us Alone But Shafts Of Light Sometimes Grace The Corner Of Our Rooms
A Silver Mt. Zion Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars While touring with Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Efrim Menuck's dog died, and this was the first step in A Silver Mt. Zion's birth. Efrim wanted to create this sad music and dedicate it to his dog, but the music was too sad and quiet for the typical sound of GY!BE, so, with the help of two other band members, he wrote and created this record as a single album project which ended up turning into his main project after the temporary breakup of GY!BE. Through the years and albums released as ASMZ, there were a few minor name changes and extensions, but the band grew larger and the music became more expansive and at times, experimental.

This first album however, is very sad and quiet with very few vocals. There is a heavy reliance on violin and very little percussion on this album, it is very pensive and reminiscent. Though not a minimalistic album, it definitely moved away from the dynamic and sometimes loud sounds of GY! BE, but retained a lot of the exploration that was present in that band.

Some reviewers consider this album too slow moving, and it is true to some extent. But the music is haunting and beautiful. The use of piano and strings give it a chamber feel, but the occasional use of guitar and a few stronger passages help the listener to have a little foresight into where the sound was going to develop.

"Broken Chord Can Sing a Little" starts off with a lovely piano introduction with a little build and addition of a few other sounds, then in true GYBE fashion, there is a field recording introduced which seems to be a discussion about death and religion. The sound is a bit apocalyptic, which is not really a surprise, but instead of brashness, we get beauty, though there is a degree of harshness here. "Sit in the Middle..." segues from the field recording and starts to build on a repetitive sound, again some build happens, but not to any extent of the usual post rock climax. Repetition is again used in the lovely "Stumble then Rise..." but this time the motif is expanded into variations as the music continues and this improves the song as it goes on. This is an excellent track and very lovely.

On the next track, we get to hear Efrim sing for the first time. At first listen, his voice is a little brash, but that is what you can expect through the discography to come. The nice thing about his voice to me is it's vulnerability which makes this music so believable and organic. It all works well and if you are familiar with the other works by ASMZ, then the appearance of vocals is actually quite welcome. This is a short piece, yet quite nice. "13 Angels..." is the bright light of the album mentioned in the album title, and is a more positive sound, the music at this point and through most of the rest of the album is more developed and not so repetitive. This carries through "Blown Out Joy", the overall quietness of the album persists with a little build here and there, but to me, it never really gets boring, it is thought inspiring and pensive.

The last track is "For Wanda" which is the final cap to the dedication and the final good-bye to his companion. It is a return to the sadness that was present in the first part of the album, but this time it seems like it is acting as a release, a final release to his dog. It might sound somewhat silly to some people, but his heart is definitely in this music and it is quite a moving tribute.

Though not as developed or as well constructed as later albums, this is still an excellent album. Maybe it's not a masterpiece, but if you are looking for sad and emotional music without a lot of rhythm, then this is a great example of that. Reminders of GYBE are scattered throughout the album and foresight into what was to come are also throughout the album, but it definitely isn't lively, just slow and beautiful. Like I said, the composer's heart is in the music and you can't go wrong when that happens.

Data cached

Post Rock/Math rock bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
*ANCIENTS Multi-National
100 ONCES United States
1099 Norway
12TWELVE Spain
33.3 United States
37500 YENS France
3ND Japan
417.3 Russia
52 COMMERCIAL ROAD United Kingdom
65DAYSOFSTATIC United Kingdom
A. ARMADA United States
ABOUT TESS Japan
ACTARUS Luxembourg
ACTIVITIES OF DUST United States
ACTUAL MUSIC QUARTET RSM Russia
ADEBISI SHANK Ireland
AERIAL Sweden
AESTHESYS Russia
AFFORMANCE Greece
AIUA United States
AL SABO United States
ALBINOBEACH South Africa
THE ALBUM LEAF United States
ALFHEIMR United States
ALL ANGELS GONE France
ALL WILL BE QUIET Finland
ALL YOU'VE SEEN Switzerland
THE ALLSTAR PROJECT Portugal
ALRIGHT THE CAPTAIN United Kingdom
AMBIENTE Mexico
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ANA NEVER Serbia
ANALECTA United States
ANATHEME France
AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR Ireland
AND STARS COLLIDE United Kingdom
ANOICE Japan
ANTARCTIC United States
THE ANTARCTICANS United States
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ANTETHIC Russia
APRICOT RAIL Australia
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ARROWAY France
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AS THE POETS AFFIRM Canada
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ATTILION Indonesia
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DIRTY THREE Australia
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DO MAKE SAY THINK Canada
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DON'T LOOK BACK France
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DORENA Sweden
DRESDA Italy
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EF Sweden
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IF THESE TREES COULD TALK United States
IMMANU EL Sweden
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INDIGNU Portugal
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LUNAR Croatia
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MAGYAR POSSE Finland
MAN MOUNTAIN United States
MAN ZERO Croatia
MAPS United States
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MIAOU Japan
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MŘN France
MONO Japan
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MY EDUCATION United States
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A NEW SILENT CORPORATION Italy
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OVUM Japan
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SGT. Japan
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A SILVER MT. ZION Canada
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Japan
TENA NOVAK Croatia
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THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN SPEAKING Australia
THIS WILL DESTROY YOU United States
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TO DESTROY A CITY United States
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