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Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Post Rock/Math rock

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress album cover
3.73 | 133 ratings | 8 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Peasantry or 'Light! Inside of Light! (10:28)
2. Lambs' Breath (9:52)
3. Asunder, Sweet (6:13)
4. Piss Crowns Are Trebled (13:50)

Total Time: 40:23

Line-up / Musicians

- David Bryant / electric guitar, Yamaha Portasound, organ, drones
- Efrim Manuel Menuck / electric guitar
- Michael Moya / electric guitar
- Mauro Pezzente / bass
- Thierry Amar / bass, double bass
- Aidan Girt / drums
- Timothy Herzog / drums, drones
- Sophie Trudeau / violin, drones

Releases information

LP Constellation ‎- CST111-1 (2015, Canada)

CD Constellation - CST111-2, cst 024 (2015, Canada)

Recorded by Greg Norman at Fidelitorium, Hotel 2 Tango and The Pines. Mixed by Greg Norman and GYBE at Mixart and Hotel 2 Tango. Mastered by Harris Newman at Greymarket.

Thanks to streetlight_alex for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress Music

GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress ratings distribution

(133 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars This. Is. Awesome! I thought that perhaps GY!BE had slightly slipped on their last album "Allelujah! Don't Bend Ascend" even though I love that album, it just didn't seem as great as their past efforts. I wondered if the best days were over for this band....but I am glad to report that I was soooooooo wrong. This album is amazing and beautiful and just simply beyond words.

Basically, what this album consists of is a single 40 minute composition that has been entitled "Behemoth" and it has been played in many live shows since 2012. It has been perfected and finally released on this album. The album divides the composition into 4 parts which make up the 4 tracks. And you don't have to worry, there is so much to be happy about this album. Don't let the fact that this is a 40 minute composition worry you, the band does not get lost in long noodling sessions or huge walls of never-ending noise. The music is well structured and flawlessly performed with changes in sound and dynamic. This is a masterpiece if there every was one. This is completely instrumental with no field recordings or spoken words, but it doesn't need that this time.

The first track (or section) is called "Peasantry or 'Light! Inside of Light!" and probably offers the most memorable melody that GY!BE has ever performed. The main theme is based around a middle-eastern sound that develops nicely and utilizes the full band. It doesn't incorporate the usual formula of post rock in that it instantly kicks in full force and continues with it's excellent orchestration through the entire 10 minutes. This seems to me to be the most positive and least dark music I have heard from the band and it really feels like a song of hope amidst the undercurrent of despair. This one will go down as one of my favorite GY!BE tracks. The next track enters into the drone section of the piece which is the 2nd movement. This drone is a lot different from the drones that were on the previous album in that instead of being a wall of noise built around the same chords, it is more of a minimalistic approach. It is dark and foreboding, yet somewhat industrial sounding to a point, without the loud noise, sort of reminiscent of King Crimson's most experimental period that incorporated the ProjeKcts, and probably the first drone that I would rate at 5 stars without hesitation. It is not what you have come to expect of dronework, but it actually seems to have direction instead of just noise.

The 3rd movement is also a drone, albeit shorter this time. It leads in off of the single note that the previous track ends off on as a continuous sound. It is impossible to tell exactly when one track ends and the other begins, but as the sound develops from this drone, it tends to be minimalistic again at first, and sounds a lot similar this time to a Bass Communion drone with percussive sounds. This continues to build though, layer upon layer, until it flows almost seamlessly into the last movement which returns to the full band. Here you get a return to the formula of the final climax built upon increasing intensity and force. The ending is well worth the build, as the climax is one of the best in the sub-genre. The climax comes at full power repeating a motif with building layers until the final release and once that release happens, the sparks continue to flicker and finally fade away as the music slowly dies out.

I have considered the best post rock as the composing of modern masterpieces using classical elements with modern instruments. The best pieces are orchestral and that is what this is, one of the best. I am glad to hear that GY!BE still have the power in them to put together an amazing masterpiece like this. No doubt that this is an instant classic and GY!BE fans need to rejoice that the band is still amazing! One of the best prog releases so far this year. 5 brightly shining stars!

Review by admireArt
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 (neither in its current PA address) 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, other musicians which are into these noisy fields as Sonic Youth or the more obscure Cabaret Voltaire and of course, the primitive but effective, Sex Pistols themselves, 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" proposes, 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 or really original.

To be optimistic I will mention that this is all instrumental and there are some nice contrasts between the acoustic and electronic ones here and there mostly found 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!

Review by Warthur
4 stars Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress is a Godspeed album which might trip up even long-time listeners of the band; the opening and closing tracks are masterful post-rock compositions of the standard we have come to expect from the Canadian unit, but the middle two tracks get a certain amount of flak, being as they are wild improvisational jams.

The trick to remember is that this is how the Godspeed live experience works - it's a side to their sound which they haven't gone out of their way to include on their studio albums before, but I think it works as a wild interlude between the two major pieces. The improvisations in question aren't brilliant as standalone pieces, mind - but then again, Godspeed have always put together albums which go best as integral listening experiences in their own right, rather than bits to shuffle into a playlist at random.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars By the time the second decade of the 21st century had begun, hardcore fans of GODSPEED! YOU BLACK EMPEROR probably were under the impression that the band had released their best output and moved on to the myriad other projects they had been creating and when the band finally emerged with "Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! ten years after "Yanqui U.X.O," fans may have been tempted to believe the band was finally getting a second wind and finding new inspiration however in reality that album was really just reworked from unreleased material that was churned out during the prolific era around the turn of the millennium. It wasn't until three years later in 2015 with the release of their fifth album ASUNDER, SWEET AND OTHER DISTRESS that GYBE! came up with a newly created album of original material. True that the members had been busy with their offshoot solo projects ranging from Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, Fly Pan Am and Esmerine just to name a few so it's not like the creative forces disappeared into the ethers but rather were dissipated by outside influences. It's always great for a totally unique sounding band like GYBE! to reunite and pick up where they left off and that's exactly what they do on ASUNDER, SWEET AND OTHER DISTRESS.

Like previous albums, GYBE! continues the post-rock compositional style of creating long sprawling tracks (in this case four) that slowly unfurl out in patience testing doses and ultimately connect to create a single long album listening experience. ASUNDER also happens to be the shortest album the band had recorded to date as well and clocked in at a more normal time limit of just over forty minutes which IMHO suits the band quite well as the music is just as apocalyptic and intense as ever. "Peasantry or 'Light! Inside of Light!'" starts things off and has a distinct heavy guitar riff which distinguishes it from the more chamber rock drone type compositions of the past, but have no fear. It is simply one instrument amongst many to add an extra melodic element to the sprawling musical ant march across the great divide. The opening track begins with a heavy looped guitar riff but becomes incrementally softer and diminishes its heft as it slowly dissolves into the droning middle tracks "Lambs' Breath" and "Asunder, Sweet" which for all intents and purposes conspire to give the feel of a single behemoth track before the heavier rock sound make a reprise on the closing "Piss Crowns Are Trebled."

While it's true that at this stage there is no more wow factor with this type of apocalyptic post-rock soundtrack music as it is a good twenty years old at this point, it never fails to amaze me how good this type of music can be and despite the minimalism and test of endurance as the sounds slowly ratchet one way or another like a complex carbon-based molecule chain, GYBE! show why they are the masters of emotional manipulation as if they connected our consciousness to a transistor knob where they can simply tweak our reactions with the slightest bends of notes or the infinitely long suspension of others. As with all their music, there is a huge debt owed to the minimalism of musique concrète, impressinalism and progressive electronica from the past, but GYBE! manage to take the best features of those disparate genres and take them to a sort of post-apocalyptic world where a world like Blade Runner churns on after the utter collapse of reality as we know it.

Absolutely no one sounds like GYBE! including all the splinter bands that have emerged in their absence, so this is a style of sophisticated post-rock that i personally can't get enough of. While ASUNDER, SWEET AND OTHER DISTRESS hasn't seemed to have gotten the love that its predecessors have, there is no reason that it shouldn't as it delivers all the GYBE! goods in a fully mature fashion that adds enough twists and turns to ensure that they are not simply dog paddling in the same musical arenas time and time again. This album is excellent and an intense and satisfying return of one of the masters of horrific grandiosity and a sign that the band is still alive and kicking despite the incessant flow of its member's outside projects.

Latest members reviews

4 stars As others have pointed out, this album starts and ends with a bang, and the two middle tracks are more experimental/drone without any established melodies. For the longest time I didn't know how to rate this album, but four stars out of five seems about right. The first time I heard this album ... (read more)

Report this review (#1789890) | Posted by thesameoldfears | Sunday, October 1, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is better than their predecessor 'Allelujah! Don't Bend Ascend'. It remains rooted in the harder style noted on 'Mladic' (the best composition from that album), but on this one the entire album flows together much better. Indeed, although the album is broken into four tracks, they are ... (read more)

Report this review (#1694746) | Posted by Walkscore | Monday, February 20, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1468375) | Posted by Insin | Tuesday, September 22, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The latest album by reigning post-rock masters Godspeed You! Black Emperor consists solely of the song "Behemoth", which has been performed live going back to 2012. At a hair over forty minutes, it's their shortest full-length album since the vinyl edition of their début album, F♯ A♯  ... (read more)

Report this review (#1388008) | Posted by CassandraLeo | Thursday, March 26, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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