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Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada E.P. CD (album) cover


Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Post Rock/Math rock

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4 stars This is considered to be GODSPEED's second release , a 30 minute EP full of the most luscious and dark musical landscapes you will hear. Essentially "Slow Riot" is 2 pieces both connected with the first piece representing my personal favourite song they have ever performed. Once again the band's core musical approach is to slowly build methodically and instrumentally a melodic tension which culminates into a vast explosion of energy and beauty. The cello and violin provide a beautiful contrast vs the powerful guitars and percussion. GODSPEED's signature sound is the juxtaposition of deep tonal strings, tribal tom toms, cymbal crashes and multiple trilling guitars. The second tune is centered around the nasty narration of a disgruntled gun toting poet /redneck. Although at first I found this a bit distracting, upon second listen I got it! It actually adds to the hallucinatory effect with the keys plinking in the background with the e-bow and cello barely holding on. Without a question this is mind numbing dark foreboding instrumental music which must be in everybody's music collection. Haunting and cinematic, this is an impressive piece of music history.
Report this review (#32066)
Posted Wednesday, July 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars You know that rare feeling you get when occasionally you hear a piece of music that just slays you from note one and has you literally shouting, "YEAH!" and reminding you why you really love music? The first track from this album was one of those moments for me. The very first thing I ever heard by GYBE! was "Moya." If I used anything other than "awed," I'd be lying. I cannot describe it. Just trust me and hunt down this album. "Moya" alone is worth it. Now, "BBF3" (as it is sometimew written in short-hand) is no slouch either. However, it takes many listens to appreciate. GYBE! loves to add samples of found-sound into the mix, which usually is great. In this case, they interviewed a nutcase who thinks he's a policital revolutionary. The music is really background for his interview. The funny thing is that he has this poem he performs at open mics, but the poem is almost a verbatim citing of "Virus" by Iron Maiden. Ha! Also, note that while tracked seperately, the whole EP is really one 30 minute piece.
Report this review (#32067)
Posted Wednesday, July 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars i think this is the way that GSYBE! is best served. sure, they can keep the long songs and whatnot, but just keep the track numbers down. i think this is a good thing to listen to while you are busy doing something else.

so the first track moya is really sweet, and pretty. it has strings that are deeply heart touching. the song reaches a climax of some sort about twice through out the whole song, really good build up and build down. this song is my favorite on the release. then the next song bbf3 is kinda slow. i really think i wouldn't pay attention to it if it didn't have the talking about the government,ect. and then about 8 minutes in the is a buildup (involving things like strings, ect. but it doesn't go to anything, that was the problem with this song, it didn't go anywhere. but all in all this 2 song release is really good.

Report this review (#32068)
Posted Monday, July 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars 4.999 stars really. This EP second release betters their music and is along with their debut my fave. The sheer dark melancholic athmospheres reach their peaks on this one and there are some parts that still bring me goose bumps even after some odd fifty spins on my deck. The post atomic feel of the first album is enhanced by the speech of this country hick depicting the third world class land he lives in. Some of those dialogues however closely related to the music do not stand repeated listening but nothing that a fast-forward button can't fix , if you are not in a mood, but if you put a GYBE! album , you better be in the mood for it.
Report this review (#32069)
Posted Wednesday, July 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is one of Godspeeds finest moments. This EP is a good starting point as it is a lot more digestable than their full length albums. "Moya" is one of the shorter pieces by this incredible band. It is also one of the swiftest moving pieces as the others have ver gradual build ups, this one gets straight into it. This piece is very uplifting, relaxing and rewarding. One of their best pieces in my opinion.

This album follows a similar instrumental structure to their other albums, with strange voice overs and effects. "Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada" allowed the band to appeal to a bigger audience as their other albums are very patience demanding and can be a struggle to listen to at times. This album is punchier, shorter and faster moving yet still in true godspeed style so it definetly makes these two pieces strong and very listenable.

"BBF3" is also an uplifting yet dark piece with an interesting court debate between an inpatient judge and a man who just wants to pay his speeding ticket and get out of there. I think the voice overs add to this piece, you get amazing instrumental work as well as entertaining and strange vocal that keep the listener appealed. This is one of their strongest pieces and one of the best EP's i have heard.

Report this review (#32071)
Posted Friday, December 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This Canadian band maintain strong influences from King Crimson but keeping their own style. This music takes you from very exited moment to calm one very sad. You feel relaxed and you try to contain your tears in some moment. This post rock it's the best. They have a kind of apocalyptic sound. You can also hear in some parts a man talking about some crazy thing but that goes whit the idea of the album. It's like was the final day of your life and you want to put play on this album. In some ways this album make feel very sad and very nostalgic. Its amazing the work very strong album and very well played.

I recommend this album for all the post rock listeners and I recommend also the other 3 albums.

Keep on that way godspeed !!!!!!!

Report this review (#35342)
Posted Sunday, June 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The second release from the Canadian nine piece ensemble is about as epic as 28 minutes can get. As with 'F#A#oo", Godspeed render the psychic desolation of the Canadian tundra as an intense soundtrack that swells from glacial strings to dense yet melodic orchestrations for guitars, bass, bells, percussion, and their string section. Certainly inspired by Morricone's mighty scores, "Slow Riot..." is also reminiscient of the dark musings of their contemporaries: Village of Savoonga, Rachel's, Mogwai, etc...

Haunting. Beautiful. Awesome. A unanimous staff favorite.

Report this review (#44803)
Posted Tuesday, August 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 4.9 stars actually

If post-rock is holding the flag of prog today, then GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR has his name in the flag. This nine piece instrumental band from Canada changed the way I saw modern(and classic) music forever and made me an instant post-rock fan ever since I've heard them for the first time.

GY!BE's music is very unique and different from alot of post-rock bands and prog bands but still very enjoyable for people of both sides.

Now for the music. Once you push play you will start to enter slowly into the music of GY!BE made by some of the best atmospheres a nine pice band can make. The music is very depressing and mellow yet beautiful . Its like a world when you enter into their music, its so dark and bleak that will make you cry if you really get into it, you just want to close your eyes and imagine yourself in that dark world. You feel every sound as if it is touching your skin. When the music stops you realize that that world you where was actually the one you live in. GY!BE's music represent the badest and darkest feelings in the world.

This is the best place to start with this band since it contains shorter and a bit more faster moving songs than their other albums. If you don't get it the first time then whip it another time because it is at times a bit to much to digest.

If you like post-rock, symphonic prog, classic music or psychedelic then give GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR a try. I asure you that you wont be dissapointed. all you need is PATIENCE and love for music.

I can't really express myself fully beacuse I don't speak 100% good english but if you had trouble with this review then please check out the other reviews of the band made by the collaborators and others.

Report this review (#60982)
Posted Tuesday, December 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I wouldn't go as far to give this 5 stars, but these guys never fail to amaze me.

This, as their shortest output in terms of length, contains only two songs. Moya happens to be the shortest song they have ever done, clocking in at just under 11 minutes.

In typical GYBE style, this is post-rock at its best. The themes here are just as good as any other they have ever done. It amazes the listener that they can never run out of different ideas for their songs; they just keep going.

The first song, Moya, builds more quickly than their other songs; hence, its shorter length, comparatively. Yet, it is one of my absolute favorite GYBE songs, out of all of their current albums. It sets the mood for the entire EP; coldness, desolation, loneliness. Yet, and I don't for the life of me know how they pull it off, it is uplifting at the exact same time. I'll never understand how they pull this off, but it is absolutely brilliant.

Then comes Blaise Bailey Finnigan III, a longer piece that fits right in with the band's other behemoth tracks. It features signature GYBE spoken voice over it at points. It is an interview with a person by the same name as the track. Some of you might recognize the name; for those of you who don't, see if you can figure it out. Anywho, it is more of the same GYBE, which naturally means that it is unbeatable. It continues that very feeling of Moya to fill out the EP.

I consider this EP just as much an album as their other works. It stands up there among them easily as one of their best outputs (even though they only have 4 at the time of this writing). It you like post-rock, well then you get this, simple enough. If not, you should try and get into them. I reckon that this would be a good start, since I got my own start on post-rock with the song Moya. 4/5 stars.

Report this review (#63672)
Posted Saturday, January 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
Carl floyd fan
3 stars 3.49 stars! This is really good. But when compared to GYBEs other works, it isn't essential. This cd gains most of that 3.49 stars on the strength of moya, a stunning song. It packs a lot into ten minutes and basically skips the buildup GYBE is known for. Its nice to own a song by these guys that cuts right to the chase, as much as I love all the 15+ minute songs filled with teases and so forth. the second song is spoken dialouge (some of which is BS while some is spot on) by a lunatic (it would seem) speaking out against the US government. His rantings and raving take center stage but there is some nice musicianship in the background throughout and a few instrumental segments.
Report this review (#64605)
Posted Friday, January 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars I read a review of this EP a while back that included the following statement (I have been hanging onto it in the event it may prove useful at some point):

“Do you know how embarrassing it is to cream your pants in public because of your uncanny skills at aural pleasure?”

Over time I have started to become a bit jaded on these guys, especially considering their heavy use of Bolero-esque slowly building crescendos that may involve different instruments from time to time, and may have the odd twist or turn, but mostly are just predictable after a while.

That’s not really the case here. Well it is, but that sound was still fresh when this EP was released more than seven years ago, so really we’re talking about this sound before it became jaded. Only after-the-fact.

Today the post-rock landscape is strewn with clones, copycats, and those who were simply ‘inspired’ by Godspeed (who were probably inspired by Bark Psychosis themselves I suppose) to stretch their creative comfort zones into this more experimental dimension of sound. A select few are more interesting than Godspeed, most are not. And even Godspeed have branched out with more innovative outlets like Set Fire to Flames, somewhat abandoning the crescendo paradigm for a deeper exploration of the emotional dynamics that give birth to the sounds in the first place. This is dangerous musical deprivation-chamber territory of course, and at some point one (or more) of these guys will end up nude and standing in a trash can waving a summer squash at passing auras while reciting the ingredients to a can of Campbell’s tomato soup. Never look a crazy man in the eye. Or a monkey.

There are about a hundred or so interesting little bits of symbolism surrounding this EP. Some of them are intentional, some are not (depending on whose version of events you find more credible). Among them is the cover art itself, a simple Hebrew phrase "tohu va vohu", which apparently comes from the Bible and means "waste and void". One can imagine all the places in the Bible a phrase like that might prove to be useful.

Another is that the EP was released on vinyl, 45rpm on one side and 33rpm on the other. That one’s a bit easier to figure out. And the CD version doesn’t list the band’s credits or the track information (or so I’ve heard – I don’t have that one myself).

And the track “Blaise Bailey Finnegan III” is supposedly from an interview taken during an open mic event in Rhode Island in the late 1990s where a guy going by that name recited his ‘manifesto’ which later turned out to be pretty much the lyrics from a somewhat obscure Iron Maiden song titled “Virus’, which had been written by then- vocalist of the band Blaze Bayley as a new track for their 1997 ‘Best of’. The band claims they didn’t know this at the time, which seems a bit odd considering that album was still on the charts at the time the alleged interview was recorded, and Iron Maiden is hugely popular in Rhode Island. Either way the work comes off as brilliant. I’ve heard a live version though, and it does not translate very well to a concert setting (not that an evening with Goodspeed could probably be considered a concert in any conventional sense of the term).

But that doesn’t matter either, since this EP can probably only be considered as a contiguous piece of art in its original setting, which means on virgin vinyl and listened to probably with headphones. I don’t like headphones. I don’t like watches either, but for other reasons. I don’t like headphones because they remove the dimension of the world around us from the musical experience, and that just seems wrong somehow. Especially for music like Godspeed’s where the artists themselves wrap their music in the context of the world around us and draw our attention to it, not away. That world is an integral part of their music because that world inspired it. We all have a Mile End where we come from (read the liner notes), and that place, usually near the railroad tracks or some sort of public transport, is (or was) a conduit for people into the stream of the world around us. It’s also the best place to observe the chaff, those who don’t quite make it through the conduit, and are left instead to float on the periphery and try to figure out why. This is The Struggle. This is also where cats get lost.

Life is not neat, it is not ordered, but it is. These are great songs and the headphones will help to emphasize this while the songs are playing. But then take them off and go outside.


Report this review (#82357)
Posted Saturday, July 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars It's not everyday you stumble upon a piece of music you adore on the first listen. I first heard the free sample of "Moya" on this site I told myself that I must have this album. Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada was not my first Godspeed You Black Emperor! Album, I already owned " F# A# (infinity)" which I didn't find all the interesting at first, I found "Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada" much easier to get into and enjoy. Although it runs for less than half an hour, it is some of best twenty-seven minutes of music around. Strangely enough, I still find "Riot for New Zero Kanada" more fulfilling than "F# A# (infinity)", there seems to be more depth to it.

There are just two songs on this EP, the first is named "Moya", the second "Blaise Bailey Finnegan III." The first song "Moya", lingers around a strange, dilapidated feel. It creates an image of abandoned railway yards, towns, rusted cars and the like. The song opens with a very quiet, atmospheric violin and bass theme which over the course of about five minutes the band gradually adds more and more into a crescendo which leads on to a time change around the fifth minute. The music resumes after this brief pause with renewed vitality and feeling, and the addition of drums and more instruments. The main theme is repeated by several different instruments until finally there is one amazing crescendo in which the music becomes furious.

The following song "Blaise Bailey Finnegan III" opens with a man basically being asked questions about America and it's government. He states that the American government are cheats, liars and things along the same vein. He tells of how he received a speeding ticket and his little story, he also recites a poem about the American government. I'm not sure whether this is a real recording, but just let me say if it isn't then it is well acted, the man's voice and vocal expressions seem very genuine. The song it's self has another crescendo, this time less lively but still with meaningful instrumental sections. At about the twelve minute mark the song begins to pass from being a good song to an amazing one, this section is unforgettable and indescribable.

1. Moya (4/5) 2. Blaise Bailey Finnegan III (4.5/5)

Total = 8.5 divided by 2 (number of songs) = 4.25 = 4 stars Excellent addition to any prog music collection

"Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada" has really earned its four stars, I am very tempted to add another star but I don't think I can. More is needed for it to be a masterpiece, two songs just isn't enough. Never the less I highly recommend "Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada", it is a Post-Rock Essential.

Report this review (#88481)
Posted Wednesday, August 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Just wonder how NOT TO GIVE a full 5-star rating to that Masterpiece!!!Excellent moody music,swinging from crescendo to almost unhearing whisper, provocating chat samples, awesome strings and mad guitars, classical GYBE sound,which you'll recognize from the very first seconds...This is essential,and you MUST get it.This is a second one I have from Godspeed's,and it's the same way beautiful and flawless.The greatest band of past few years - highly recommended!!!!!!
Report this review (#92786)
Posted Sunday, October 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars "let's build quiet armies friends, let's march on their glass towers. let's build fallen cathedrals and make impractical plans."

Post-rock cds tend to be really expensive and sometimes cost three or even more times more than a common cd. This cd was no exception but even though the music is a bit less than half an hour, it deserves it.

"Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada" was released on CD EP by kranky and on vinyl by Constellation. I only have the cd. Godspeed You Black Emperor! Always gave me an artistic image. From their name to the brilliant cd titles to the amazing artwork there is always something abstract and mysterious. The fact that you can't find promotional photographs or interview in the internet or magazines only makes this feeling get bigger.

"Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada" proves the above. From the amazing title to the amazing artwork and packaging GSBE reach perfection. The cover of the cd is a phrase in Hebrew, "tohu va vohu" (as Bob Moore has said in his review) and means "waste and void". On the back, you see a Molotov with arrows that explain the ingredients in Italian. Both are embossed and have a shiny gold colour. On the inside, there are lines taken from the bible from Jeremiah both in old English and Hebrew and a few strangely hand written notes from the band. On the cd, there is a badge that says "Operation Handcuff" and has a few notes for drug dealers saying that the payphone they are using records and sends everything they say.

"Moya" is the opening track of the ep. It is more like an eleven-minute crescendo. Big, smooth, carefully-structured crescendos is one of the things these 9 people are masters in and this track is a really fine example. The chemistry of the instruments is amazing. Drums, guitars and string instruments are all in a magnificent balance and manage to create an incredible atmosphere. It's like you can feel the energy getting out of these walls of sounds. Brilliant!

The second track is named "Blaise Bailey Finnegan III" and is cantered around a taped rant in Providence Rhode Island by one Blaise Bailey Finnegan III. In their minimalistic but still incredibly artistic site, it says: "this monologue takes the form of an interview with blaise bailey finnegan the third". Blaise bailey is asked questions from an interviewer about his opinions on the government, America etc. and in the end he is asked to recite a poem. GSBE's site has a few notes about the poem: " 'his' poem which he recites at the end of this monologue is, in fact, not a poem by him at all, but an almost straight recital of the lyrics to virus by iron maiden. "Virus" was written by Blaze Bayley, former Iron Maiden vocalist, but the man on the recording is not actually Blaze. The music here is brilliant but what impressed me really is that I get the feeling the "lyrics" were meant to be listened over this music meaning that they fit extremely well. You can even see the music getting more aggressive when the speaker starts raising his voice. Perfect!

Overall, I think this is an amazing ep. 30 minutes of pure perfection. The 9 people from Canada manage here to make you travel very far with only two songs. They manage to do in 30 minutes what other bands fail to do in double cds. I know I've given enough five stars, but it would be unfair not to give this one too.

Report this review (#99417)
Posted Saturday, November 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Music at times is so touching it creates clear pictures of the unseen, imaginative horizons embracing the art. The "problem" of Godspeed You! Black Emperor's music is that its images reveal, in such an intense way, a diseased, inhuman and terrifying world it disturbs the listener in a way he/she's marked forever. We're completely hit by these shocking atmospheres. Some of them catch a glimpse of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, like the introductory heartbreaking violins of "Moya". Sometimes we feel 9th Symphony could start right over. But then the solemn acoustic guitars appear, in such a depressive mood we're literally reduced to ashes. A slowly crescendo appears just after, slowly and slowly, instrument by instrument, to became a explosion of cathartic apotheosis. We are giants now, giants of pain! We cry. The political "BBFIII" is the follower. More again, a suite opus of crescendo post-rock majesty. Where violins and guitars perfectly run, dance together. And, as if all of this was not sufficient, we're definitely "killed" by the last lines of violins, with their haunting intensity vibes.

A work of supreme genius, every note is felt, every minute is disturbingly intense.

Report this review (#120152)
Posted Sunday, April 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars A perfect blend between the gloomy and hollow soundscapes of F#A#oo and the bombastic beauty of "Lift your skinny fists like antennas to heaven". I know that it is an EP and i know that it's less than 30 minutes in lenght, but since it is, first, as good as any other piece of music by the band and, secong, a great starting point for anyone who wants to try Godspeed but are intimidated by the long formats of the songs on the other albums. The sound presented on the EP is very representative of Godspeed's music. It has the classic buildup in "Moya", a very concensed song for a Godspeed composition, and the gloomy passages with the pre-recorded monologue-concept that they employ on many other songs, and especially so live, where they used it frequently as well to get watever message they wanted to send through. That, more than anything else, is Godspeed's trademark, and it is never better than it is here.

Simply as great as you can expect it to be, "BFF3" is my favourite of the two, because of the very emotional and dark music, interrupted by (somewhat amusing) rants by a guy who feels like he has been mistreated in court, which he had attended earlier in the day for the sake of a speeding ticket.

"Genius" is from now on spelled "Godspeed You! Black Emperor".

Report this review (#130439)
Posted Friday, July 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars First off I have to say that this is one of the best EPs I have ever heard ! This isn't as dark and depressing as their debut album but there is an apocolyptic theme that runs through this EP. On the front cover are Hebrew letters that apparently spell "Chaos". Inside the cd cover is a quotation of Jeremiah 4:23-27 in both English and Hebrew.These words describe an apocalyptic scene where the Earth is waste and void, with no light in the heavens, no man to be seen, and the cities are all destroyed.The verses end with God saying "The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end."

This connects very well with the first song "Moya" the way it slowly builds to a chaotic and crushing climax before relaxing to a calm. And also to the other song "Blaise Bailey Finnegan III" not only musically but with the interview that we hear with this man who's name is the song's title. We heard this man on their debut album on the song "Providence". Here he rants against the U.S. government, as well as telling us about his confrontation with a judge when he went to pay his speeding tickets. And he talks about being ready for the end of the world. Oh, he also lists the weapons he owns.Scary. As I said "Moya" builds slowly and hauntingly to a collage of violins and cello sounds, until 4 minutes they stop as a calm arrives. Drums come in a minute later as the song starts to re-build with guitar first, and then violin being added. It's still building when 8 1/2 minutes in the whole soundscape is on fire ! The guitars are absolutely dominating, there is no escape.Talk about scorched earth ! This is a scorched song at this point, a sonic assault that musically has caused "the end" to happen. After 10 minutes it becomes an eerie calm with mournful violins that remind me of the words quoted from Jeremiah, the end has happened, it's over. Unspeakable sadness is all that is left.

"Blaise Bailey Finnegan III" as i mentioned before is really an interview with this man who offers his thoughts on the U.S. and it's government before telling us about his experience in the court room. As he tells us about his confrontation with the judge he becomes louder and more angry, and at the same time the music also (especially the guitars) dramatically grows louder until it comes to a climax with his rant. So cool ! And like the first song this is followed by a calm that falls on the soundscape 4 1/2 minutes in.The song then gradually starts to re-build and it comes to a full sound after 7 minutes. A minute later a calm returns and so does our crazy friend. He then quotes his poem. 12 minutes in we get a soundscape not unlike the one on the first track, a blistering, crushing wall of chaos in the form of sound that lasts for 3 agonizing minutes. When it's over you assume that there are no survivors, but then a cry of violins are heard 16 minutes in. He did not make a full end.

Masterpiece !

Report this review (#133002)
Posted Tuesday, August 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Engulfing silence, slowly giving way to a most delicate of whispered instrumental hums, and with precision, sensitivity, and emotional power, the perpetual stream's tide rises in force. Not only is that an adequate description of the first track, Moya, but it is also a valid overview of the entire experience of Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada. This EP is not only an incredibly analog and organic series of sounds, but it is a staggeringly moving piece of music.

Like a well thought-out novel, so perfectly serenely it builds, until the direction of the plot is clear, and upwards they soar. Perfectly do they travel along the crescendo, until the burning climax gives rest. Slow Riot comes with, as always, spoken word for an extra psychedelic, and yet meaningful edge. At no time do the musicians pretentiously exercise their individual instrumental skill, but instead, they work towards a more symphonic, collective sound. All nine musicians come together wonderfully to create a single living noise, evolving and round.

With such imagery as ever a musical experience has bestowed, and more than its share of otherworldly and surreal atmospheres, Slow Riot is now among my favourite EPs. Though arguably less haunting than other Godspeed You! releases, Slow Riot is a shifting sea of sound, more than a static, flat album. It's no doubt that this coherent, vivid, frank, and emotionally clinging album is a gem. My only complaint is that the section of spoken word sometimes takes away from the music, and I wouldn't mind if it were cut completely from the final product.

Report this review (#135111)
Posted Monday, August 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Godspeed You Black Emperor! - 'Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada' 4.75 stars

'One of the best EP's you can find'

The starting track 'Moya' is one of the most interesting tracks you can hear from this band. The track does not hesitate to unlatch with a moving violin section. This does last a while but there are several moving melodies that can keep the listener concentrated on the piece. The other section is probably Godspeed's fastest moving in their whole discography. Of all the sound where it is most intense, look no further then, 'Moya'. 'Moya' is one of Godspeed's best pieces in my opinion.

'BBF3' has a similar form to the debut album. The dialogue on this track is another strange one. It contains a very unintelligent man with some very poor English (and it is an American) babbling about all these things that he did to be rebellious. Although he does not sound like an intelligent person, I respect some of his views, which might also serve as a good listening and thinking experience. Pertaining to my recent sentence, the music is thrown in the background while the man speaks and it is for quite a while, shedding on where the concentration actually is, and the dialogue. When the dialogue is actually over, the music goes into a crescendo of soaring violins, sustaining guitars, tribal drumming, crashing cymbals and dissonant chords. Godspeed at another fine point in their music.

I love this EP a lot, it is among the best. I felt the second song could have been better in a few areas, but aside from that, a real perfect EP that can stand up against anything. Highly recommended.

Report this review (#173637)
Posted Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars 4.6 stars

If some of the music found here ends up in a movie, I could claim that I couldn't think of anything that could have been done better. This brooding, minimalist, and apocalyptic music never fails to draw me in and see barren landscapes, or even imagine I'm watching a brilliantly edited youtube video.

The disc begins with a group of violins, some of them playing dissonantly in the background, while some other violins wail slowly, as if showing a bunch of firetrucks and ambulances rushing in to a tragedy in slow motion. The mood is very apocalyptic and reminds me of music that could fit perfectly in a 9/11 documentary. Later, A very slow and meandering echoed guitar with chimes starts growing slowly into a doomish symphony that will make you feel helpless and visualize yourself in the disastrous situation that your mind might conjure. It is not over, it gets worse: you will be faced with an urgent and desperate musical attack. In my case, the towers are collapsing, everyone is running desperately away from the black smoke of death. As you can see, this music is not for the faint hearted and if you love this song, there is a high chance that you would love the band since this song contains the elements that make their last album a success.

Moya transitions into the other piece and you can group them together into a thirty-minute song. This piece is more minimalist and features an interview in the background which does not distract you from hearing the music: it enhances the impact of the song. The paranoid interviewee starts calm but quickly gets angry and passionate. He describes a situation where he was at court, attacks the United States harshly, and later recites a very cynical poem. Meanwhile, the multi-layered dark ambient music follows the tone of the interview really well. I especially love the music involved during the later parts of the interview. After he talks of the end of the world and recites his scary poem, the music turns into an agonizing and chaotic wall of sound that is so intense that you might imagine imagery of nuclear warfare and the end of the world. After the climax of the album, violins reminding you of the first minutes of the album come back in a very haunting format that it will make you wonder how they could write and produce this hopeless type of atmosphere.

Simply put, a masterpiece of darkness, and some of the best music ever produced by Godspeed You Black Emperor.

Report this review (#175092)
Posted Tuesday, June 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Marverlous EP!

The front of this record is in jewish language. This is why you have tou turn the front of the record right instead of left.

There happens very much on this record, but through the whole EP it seems that there is one main theme. The first track is a masterpiece, featuring a beautiful floating melody with threatening strings. This builds up very subtle after five minutes the drummer starts playing and all the guitars are getting meaner and meaner. This builds up to very loud noises which may sound chaotic, but are very organized. The main melody is still hearable at this moment. The whole thing explodes, still sounding marverlous, though.

The next piece is an extroadinary psychedelic experience that is connected from 'Moya'. This song has similarities with 'Moya', but doesn't build up to one long hilight. It has shorter highlights, but there are more of them. It starts with an american talking and a guitar theme that lasts very long, but somehow doesn't bore. Their are more different themes going on, but the amazing ambience lasts. It's a very weird piece, but it sounds great.

Godspeed you Black Emperor can surprise you in a minimalistic way. The whole ambience of this record is like it is made in the middle of nowhere, yet sounding quite unique and very emotional. The overall dynamics on the album are really awesome. I think of this this as a masterpiece, as if not one of the greatest EP's ever.

Report this review (#177437)
Posted Sunday, July 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Two reviews say the album is worth at least 4.9 stars, and yet that's not enough to round up? That's a bit odd, even if the general rules of rounding didn't exist. But while their math may be a bit faulty or subject to strict standards for that 5th star, what they do have right is that if this EP isn't perfect, it's as close to perfection as possible. Godspeed's Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada is the band's first real success. They may have created a whole new genre of music with their debut, F#A# Infinity, but they hadn't yet perfected it. The compositions were choppy, and there was definitely room for more power and memorability. This here EP corrects every weak area of the debut and then some. We are given two of the bands most direct, fluent and captivating songs: "Moya" and "Blaise Bailey Finnegan III." Just one of these tracks delivers more punch than the entire F#A# Infinity. The band has really mastered the art of the climax at this point, and the better production definitely has something to do with it, but the writing itself is clearly more textured and developed to produce more of an impact.

While, as an EP, Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada doesn't quite reach the height of the huge follow up full-length, Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven, and as individual songs, its two pieces don't quite stun you like "Sleep," this work is most definitely a masterpiece in its own right. It's also nice that there is a Godspeed EP to have for those moments we're in the mood for their music but can't put in the time required by a full-length. It's 1) a great starting point for those interested in checking this band out and 2) an essential piece in the collection of a music fan, as are the two subsequent releases by this monumental collective.

Report this review (#179189)
Posted Friday, August 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This EP release from 1999 demonstrates again what incredible music this band puts together. Moya is almost eleven minutes of blissful moodscapes. Slow methodic build ups, gorgeous cello and violin work and reaching an eventual climax. The subtleties on Moya require repeated listenings to fully appreciate and the second track Blaise Bailey Finnegan III is approximately seventeen minutes of the speaker presenting a diatribe on the third world status of America, poetic recitals and thankfully the music for the most part overriding the verbal tirades, just listen on twelve minutes into BBF3 to get an idea as frenzied and solid drumming drives home the severity of the band's missive. Truy awesome music. Politically focussed album for sure but the music illicits an emotive sadness which serves as a modern day representaive for modern day mankind perhaps? Four and a half stars for this Slow Riot.. released already a decade ago now.
Report this review (#207967)
Posted Saturday, March 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
5 stars There are not many EPs out there that you can actually call a masterpiece because of the time constraints put on them. However, this EP is a masterpiece. You can even ask one of my co- workers that the first day after I heard this album, I told him it was a masterpiece. It is a beautiful combination of guitars and strings and percussion with some spoken word thrown in on the second track. And I can tell you firsthand, that it sounds even better on vinyl. I own the vinyl of this recording and it is definately unique in many ways, but one of the strangest things here is the side with "Moya" on is played at 45 rpm, and the other side (entitled bbf3 on the vinyl edition) is played at 33 rpm.

Listening to this record (and also to many GY!BE albums) I am reminded of Ravel's Bolero. Bolero is to be played by an orchestra with no single player standing out throughout the entire piece. It builds to a beautiful climax by the end of the piece. The best way to perform this piece is each individual has to stay right in time, each person working as a whole and not as individuals. With a constant crescendo, it is so hard to stay in rhythm because the natural tendency is to play faster as it gets louder. Believe me, it is not easy to get everyone working on the same level, but when you do, this classical work is amazingly lovely. This is exactly the way this album plays out on both compositions, especially "Moya". No one person stands out as far as performance, these works are to elevate the band, not a single individual. That is the beauty and uniqueness of this music. This music is best when you can concentrate on what is going on and that is hard to do while you are driving, so listen to it at home somewhere where you can't be interrupted to get the full effect. Both tracks are unique and lovely. I am quite partial to second track however, and prefer it over the first, but both of them are simply lovely. Listen to this and let it carry you away.

Report this review (#268382)
Posted Thursday, February 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Godspeed You! Black Emperor's only EP is fantastic, distilling that which most will find enjoyable in their sound and presenting it in a timely (for Godspeed) frame. For those that found the meandering soundscapes that set the mood for F#A#oo boring or difficult to listen to, Slow Riot all but eliminates them in favour of presenting Godspeed's post-rock passages at the forefront. And the gamble in selective elimination in their sound pays off. Both tracks on this short EP are excellent in their own right (though they do segue together--it may as well just be another half hour Godspeed piece). "Blaise Bailey Finnegan III" stands out as the better of the two, featuring audio clips from a familiar voice if you've listened to "Providence." I'm pretty sure he's trolling them--not only is he quoting Iron Maiden lyrics, his name is an ill-hidden play off of Blaze Bayley's. Nonetheless, the dystopian themes and audible images that made F#A#oo such a great album are still present, and in a more easily-digested form. This is the perfect place for an introduction to Godspeed's sound, and a fantastic album in its own right.
Report this review (#275176)
Posted Monday, March 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars First things first. This, in my opinion, is the best EP ever made. Prog or non-prog, ANYTHING. The music here will stick in your hand and will keep drawing you back at the most random times. You'll hear it in when you're working, when you're resting, in your dreams, and at the back of your mind, at all times. It's just beautiful, haunting, and engaging. There's just two tracks here, but both of them are deep and well thought-out.

This album creates an atmosphere. It feels abandoned, lonesome, and dangerous. Not the scary kind of dangerous, but the kind that's slowly crawling behind you with a short knife, but never striking. It's so vivid and detailed that you would swear it was magic. Because of this, I can't recommend this to everyone, as it's not for all tastes, but if you're willing enough, I highly recommend it. No EP before or after has come close.

Report this review (#277235)
Posted Saturday, April 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
5 stars This is another one of those rare surprises that I owe entirely to Prog Archives for pointing me in the right direction. Not often does one have the privilege of experiencing music this beautiful that one would assume that it is played by angels welcoming you to joint the peaceful afterlife... but now I'm loosing the grip of the subject matter at hand here.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor (or GY!BE) is a band that has set out to create some of the most original and gorgeous music out there but that's not even half of it! There is also a message here that most liberal thinkers will appreciate if only one chooses to dig deep down under the layers of sound available for exploration. I was fortunate enough to have this EP pave the way for my future exploration of this nine-piece collective since if I had started off with any of the full length albums then I might have missed out on the attention to detail featured in their music. After all, GY!BE albums are quite hefty in size and would have most certainly overwhelmed any rookie listener not knowing what to expect of this music.

Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada is just below the 30-minute mark and features two of the shorter tracks in this band's repertoire, that is if you can believe that any track above the 10-minute mark can be called "short". Moya is a perfect introduction of the build-up style that GY!BE seem so fond of. It's definitely easier to gasp the mind set when dealing with an 11-minute composition than the band's usual format of double that size. The composition does take time the get off the ground but once it does you'll surely know what I was talking about in the beginning of my review!

BBF3 or Blaise Bailey Finnegan III is the definite highlight of the EP. Apparently there was a minor controversy regarding the narration used on the track which doesn't really bother me all that much, still if you're interested in details then you can look it up of Wikipedia. There is an interesting aspect of social criticism embedded in the spoken narration but those who aren't too keen of this use of the music format can definitely still enjoy the underlying instrumental arrangement that complements the "man on the street" interview marvelously.

If you've never heard/heard of GY!BE then I suggest that you start with this EP and work your way for here on. I'm sure that fans of the full length albums have already heard Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada but it goes without saying that it's a must-have release well worth exploring.

***** star songs: BBF3 (17:45)

**** star songs: Moya (10:51)

Report this review (#282265)
Posted Sunday, May 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
The Truth
Post/Math Rock Team
5 stars It's hard to make completely original and beautiful music anymore but some bands manage to do it and do it well. Godspeed You! Black Emperor are one of these bands. Their music never ceases to amaze me and the sounds they create are downright stunning. They create noise that grips practically every inch of consciousness you have and leaves you in an emotional charged stupor that's almost like a high. How many bands can you say that about?

On Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada the band drastically improves from their debut (which was a great album as well) and they start their upward climb to their peak on their next album, Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven. The two tracks are as good and at times even better than the material on the album to come. Intense, slow-building and epic: all words that describe the music here (and most of GY!BE's music).

Godspeed is one of those bands that I could listen to forever and still maintain interest in, they are a truly amazing group.

This EP is a great preview for anyone who wants to love this band like I do, and I hope that others do.

Report this review (#455293)
Posted Tuesday, May 31, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a tough one to rate. It feels wrong to give an EP, (especially a 2 song EP) five stars, though its content is deserving of such.

"Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada" is indeed, an awesome release from the post rock kings, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and was the first thing I ever heard from them. The music is post rock at its finest.

"Moya" starts off with a single, ominous tone that gradually builds and builds, moving with a slow but perfect pace, before letting up a bit just to start climbing again. The thing to remember, like with any post rock, is atmosphere over musicianship. Not a jab at their talent, it's simply just not the focus. The pace, rises and falls, and overall flow to the ultimate climax is what matters. Damn, it's a hell of a climax. A powerful, emotional explosion that has to be played at max volume. Beautiful, chilling, is orchestral, not just that it's full and loud, but lost in the sonic collage 9 people, even more actually, contribute, playing guitars, bass, violin, horn, harpsichord, drums. Every instrument filling it's space in the soundscape.

The same thing can be said for "BBF3" except for this one they've added a recording, of what I'm not sure but it sounds like some guy with a think New York accent being interviewed, going on, (quite passionately) about his hatred for the US government, an outburst he had in court, and the sad state of the country, a "third world, third rate, third class slum" as he put it. Later he talks about his extensive gun collection and recites his poem, which is largely from the song "Virus" from Iron Maiden.

...OK, not really sure what's going on, but it is a powerful, angry, recording always backed up perfectly by the music, spaced by peaks and valleys before soaring again to its final crescendo. At the risk of overusing the word, powerful is the only way to describe it.

One of the strongest moments is when asked what he thinks the country will look like in 2003, the man simply responds with "I havn't even got a mind that inhumane" and when I listen to that in 2011, and think back to how things were in 2003, then follow the state of America since sends shivers down my spine.

Post-rock in it's greatest and most grandiose fashion, this EP should be the textbook definition for the genre. Brilliant piece of music that simply can't have it's length held against it.

Five Stars

Report this review (#574893)
Posted Friday, November 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars A release just as central to the Godspeed catalogue as their debut album - if anything, it's a marked improvement on it - the Slow Riot EP consists of Moya, an instrumental track, before we get to the real treat, Blaise Bailey Finnegan III, in which the band's music is accompanied by more extracts from a very unusual man-on-the-street interview which what seems to be a rather cranky individual.

The fact that the poem he recites actually consists of Iron Maiden lyrics from the Blaze Bayley era prompts the question of whether the interview is real and BBF3 is a liar as well as a crank, or whether the entire thing is fake, but either way it's a thought-provoking encounter, particularly considering the band's political views. Its inclusion seems to be an act of self-criticism and self-reflection on their part; can their own opposition to government policies thrive by itself, or will they invariably be associated with people like Finnegan, who proudly describes how he made an embarrassing and juvenile spectacle of himself in traffic court?

The thought-provoking nature of the interview is supported perfectly by the music, just as the found audio snippets on King Crimson's Discipline album synced brilliantly with the musical backing. On the whole, Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada is an absolutely perfect bite-sized introduction to Godspeed's musical universe, and a great gateway drug for post-rock in general with it.

Report this review (#635663)
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars By most accounts, Slow Riot for Zero Kanada is GY!BE's undisputed masterpiece. I certainly share the sentiment when it comes the albums crashing climaxes. However, I am not as universally impressed with the material which has to be overcome before they can be achieved.

The first track is Moya is by a wide margin the stronger of the two on the album. It does come out of the gate a bit flaccid, but after only a couple of minutes the band manages to find their feet and begins mounting a charge which end in one of those gorgeous life affirming musical moments. Following the climax, it slowly winds down and bleeds directly into the second track.

The second and substantially longer track is there the heart of the problem lies. Large portions of Blaise Bailey Finnegan III are devoted anarchic to the poetry and sentiments of an allegedly disaffected American citizen. This portion of the work is entirely unpalatable for a number of reasons. Firstly, as my research indicates, it is largely lifted from the Iron Maiden song Virus. Second, there is no Blaise Bailey Finnegan III he is just a fabrication by the band intended to sound sincere. Lastly, it's awfully rich for a Canadian group to be passing such heavy handed judgements against America. This whole episode blights more than half of the track. GY!BE does eventually slough off this unfortunate episode and comes to another triumphal upheaval of sound, but I can't help but feel like 10 minutes, or over a 3rd of the running time of the album was completely wasted in getting there.

The good moments on the EP are so far above the bad moments that I can't help but give it at least 3 out of 5. Be warned, this isn't merely some middling album, it is a fraught near triumph dragged down by its own hubris. I would recommend it for people who enjoy a really rich wall of sound and are patient enough to get there.

Report this review (#730690)
Posted Monday, April 16, 2012 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
5 stars The 2nd release from GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR is the SLOW RIOT FOR NEW ZERO KANADA E.P. which continues the crushing bleak apocalyptic atmospheres that shocked the world on their debut. Stylistically this is basically in the same vein but a little more refined and half the length. The packaging is rather confusing as it makes no indication to the name of the band or tracks and the cover is graced only by Hebrew that translates into "formless and empty," a title that brings to mind the post-apocalyptic world of a dead and lifeless landscape.

The first track "Moya" is the shortest of the two and sounds like the bleakest chamber rock of "Heresie" era Univers Zero with additional post-rock accompaniments. It winds and wends throughout the now established slow and organically reached climax that GODSPEED created on the debut before mellowing out and ceding to the longer second track...

" BBF3" is the longer track which is notable for using the lyrics from the song "Virus" by Iron Maiden. The joke seems to be that the guy being interviewed, who is the same one as the debut is named Blaise Bailey Finnegan III and thus the lyrics of "Virus" were from the lineup with Blaze Bayley as vocalist. A little humor amongst the otherwise humorless music is an unexpected extra here. The music unfolds its sound as the others do with the repetitive riffs giving birth to new sounds slowly emerging to a fully more climatic ending.

Only so much you can say about this type of music. It is all about the spectral experience of the mood set forth by the guitars, bass, drums, cello and violin trying to extract every ounce of melancholy there is to be had. A very well done and enigmatic little EP they have created here and one that rightfully deserves the popularity and praise that it has earned. Clocking in at less than 30 minutes it graciously releases you from its grip so you can put on something more uplifting like possibly the soundtrack to "Schindler's List."

Report this review (#1216139)
Posted Saturday, July 19, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars Recorded in between F#A# and Lift Yer Skinny Fists like Antennas to Heaven...(LYSFLATH), this half-hour EP sounds just like one might expect it to sound, given those two albums. Here we have two extended pieces that start very quiet with beautiful guitar melodies and violin harmonies that build slowly to a climax and back, overlaid with street noises, and broken into multiple sections that maintain listener interest. There is a street poet that must have been recorded in Rhode Island that features both here and on LYSFLATH, to generally good effect. The first track "Moya" is the standout, and has featured for years as part of their live set (must be named after Mike Moya, one of the composers). But the second track, often shortened to BBF, is also excellent, and very close in quality to Moya. More refined and efficient than F#A#, Slow Riot is an obvious must-have for any GYBE fan. It is similar in style, although not perhaps quite as musical, as their masterpiece (LYSFLATH). I give this album 8.5 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 4 PA stars.
Report this review (#1697632)
Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2017 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada" is the first EP release from the Canadian experimental musical collective GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR. It was released in 1999 on vinyl by the Montreal-based record label Constellation Records and on CD by the Chicago-based Kranky Records.

The disc, clocking in at approximately 29 minutes, features two long instrumental compositions: 11-minute "Moya" and 18-minute "BBF3". The former is dedicated to the band's founding member Mike Moya who left the ensemble in 2008. In fact, this is a sort of re-working "Symphony No. 3" by Henryk Gorecki, a Polish composer of contemporary classical music (that's why it is sometimes mentioned in the concert setlists as "Gorecki"). The latter refers to the vox pop interviewee going by the name of "Blaise Bailey Finnegan III" whose eccentric ramblings form the core of the song. Finnegan recites a poem which he claims to have written himself. But in fact, the poem is mostly composed of lyrics from the song "Virus" by Iron Maiden that were written by their then-vocalist Blaze Bayley. Both tracks are just superb and can be referred as "classics" of GY!BE from their first period.

Interesting facts for collectors: The cardboard album case opens in the opposite direction of a conventional CD case; this is due to the Hebrew text being read from right to left. The front of the album contains Hebrew characters, in transliterated form, "Tohu VaVohu" (Formless and Empty). This phrase is from both Genesis 1:2 and Jeremiah 4:23, the former to describe the Earth before God separated light from dark and the latter to describe the Earth after the Lord's Day.

Report this review (#1913737)
Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2018 | Review Permalink
4 stars The album develops the sound and craftmanship of the band, especially when it comes to the first masterful track "Moya". There isn't a single weak second when listening to it. The first evidence to that is a combination of melancholic violin and cello that make you feel being alone in a small dark room with a clear motive developing. The second distinct part with classic post-rock distorted guitar, drums and bass is majestic as usual, taking each beat proudly and wandering around. The peak is reached with two guitars, one providing colourful riffs in the background and lead guitar with menacing melody. Drums become very intensive. Violin finishes the song on a calm note, afterwards.

The second, longer track "Blaise Bailey Finnegan III" starts with a memorable interview due to its contents, sinister intensity and music copying the intensity of voice. With repeated listenings, it becomes annoying to me, music would do without meaningless words and negative emotions. Was this to show the radical left views of the band? The typical post-rock part with two guitars comes only after 7 minutes marred by another monologue but not for long. Great drumming with guitar echoes coupled with violin conjure up real power. Classical music moments with cello and violin let the listener forget about the negative emotions from the dialogue in the beginning of the track.

This album has 5 stars for its creativity and originality and 4 stars for the composition and execution.

Report this review (#2282943)
Posted Wednesday, November 20, 2019 | Review Permalink

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