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


Godspeed You! Black Emperor


Post Rock/Math rock

3.74 | 134 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars GY!BE's latest effort is a song they have only been playing live until recently, originally called Behemoth. For its release, they cleaned it up and trimmed it by a few minutes. Now it consists of four individually titled tracks, all cross-fading into each other: two drone-based pieces bookended by more standard post-rock outings, Peasantry and Piss Crowns Are Trebled. The champions of post-rock and bizarre song/album titles have created something memorable, and it is unlike their previous releases, not necessarily in a bad way (though I wouldn't say any two GY!BE albums are exactly alike).

Peasantry, something of an overture, is based off the main drumbeat that opens the album. It is easily recognizable as Godspeed, though it does not have any drastic highs or lows characteristic of much of the band's work. Instead it wanders about somewhat boisterously, discordant to a degree. Piss Crowns is more along the lines of a typical GY!BE song, utilizing more traditional buildup, with a beautiful middle and swirling post-rock climax.

I am not the best judge of good versus bad drone, but the part that the two middle tracks play in the structure of the overall album is not the most effective. They seem as though they could have been cut out or shortened to the same result. Long periods of minimalism-based music often can make reentrances to a structure more appealing and dramatic, but I don't get the sense that it worked especially well here. Peasantry doesn't reveal at all what is going to happen in the closing track, thus the two songs being disparate. The drone tracks are necessary in order to bridge this gap, reinforcing the bookends as separate pieces, while the crossfading between songs contradicts this idea. In short, ASaOD's structure does not deliver as well as it potentially could, but it still works, and the two post-rock tracks are quite good. And there must be a reason why they did this.

Asunder, Sweet, and Other Distress is an excellent but flawed release, and even without samples it leaves much to be pondered, in reference to its structure (and the song titles). It's an interesting, quirky album, one worth owning. Good thing they cleaned up and released this live song.

Insin | 4/5 |


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