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Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven CD (album) cover


Godspeed You! Black Emperor


Post Rock/Math rock

4.14 | 566 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that this album and the previous "F#A# (infinity)" album and the E.P. "Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada" are all masterpieces of post rock and anyone that claims to love post rock should be familiar with them. In fact, the Rate Your Music website lists "Slow Riot..." as the best E.P. out of a list of 5000 E.P.s ("Top EPs of all time") that are voted on by members of that site on a monthly basis. It keeps winning that status month after month. But at the same time, I am shocked at how many people that I discuss music with have never heard of this band or of "A Silver Mt. Zion", even people that would be considered music experts, even now that I am living in Canada (since the members of the band are based out of Quebec).

This is an album that has been reviewed many times on PA and is rated quite highly, though I see a lot of varying opinions also. Keep in mind that this band has been very influential in post-rock music and continues to be now with their re-formation. This album is instrumental except for some short spoken word and field recordings that help set the atmosphere for the tracks on this album. To me, this is what a modern day orchestra should sound like. The music is full at times and ambient in others with a wide range of both quick and slow crescendos and decrescendos throughout the long tracks. The music is quite bleak sounding, but done so well that it invokes amazing feelings in the listener, sometimes dark and broody and at other times uplifting and inspiring. It is not easy to listen to if you have not been introduced to post rock because there is a lot of dissonance and odd timbres in the harmonics between the instruments, but that all adds to the uniqueness of the band.

The best way that I have found to listen to this album is to break up the long tracks. In fact, it would be nice if the CD were indexed according to the movements within the individual tracks, but that is only a minor complaint. There is, however, a drawing included with both the CD and the vinyl (inside the gatefold in the vinyl) which shows the structure of the 4 compositions, and it makes the entire album a lot easier to digest and gives each track a lot more personality than it does if you try to listen to the entire album without this structural drawing. It helps to understand and break up the long tracks by following this map. Even without the exact timing listed on all of the movements, it is easy to determine about where each movement ends and begins even though there are no exact breaks between the movements, they flow into one another and at times overlap a bit. But they are mostly distinct and not combined/meshed together as Yes was inclined to do. Even with the distinctness between the tracks, they flow into each other naturally. Following the structural map will increase your understanding of the individual complete compositions and your appreciation to the genius at work in the music will increase as will your love for the music. At least it does for me.

This is also the longest album by the group at over 80 minutes of excellent music. It is not the best music to drive to, at least until you familiarize yourself to it. The music demands your attention and I have found that when I drive my mind wanders a lot, the music in this album might take on a feeling of sameness if you haven't familiarized your self to it. This is music that you need to sit back and listen to and understand the images that are being invoked. The images that come up in your mind however are going to be a lot different from mine, and probably from the images the band had in mind also. It's okay to research what the band wanted you to feel, but I feel it works best if you can relate your own experiences to what you listen to.

Amazing, haunting, inspiring, progressive. Definitely a masterpiece to modern progressive rock music and essential for anyone following post-rock. I love this music and not only rank it as some of the best rock oriented music ever, but also some of the best classically influenced music and hopefully someday, music like this will be seen and respected as classical music. Simply gorgeous and wonderful. 5 extremely bright stars.

TCat | 5/5 |


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