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Album Review: Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

Album Review: Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

Tuesday 8th January, 2013 9:36AM

The opening monologue to Godspeed You! Black Emperor's 1997 debut album F# A# ∞ is one of the most chilling and apocalyptic album openers ever. A low drone, then a deep, depressed voice intones, "the car's on fire and there's no driver at the wheel, and the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides, and a dark wind blows." The album unfolds to a series of extended suites featuring melancholic strings, full-on guitar wig-outs and driving crescendos over the course of an hour. Fifteen years later, it still holds up in a veritable ocean of cinematic post-rockers all reaching for that ineffable climax in a storm of delay pedals. The band upped the ante on their subsequent releases, the New Riot for New Zero Kanada EP and Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven, the latter containing two long pieces that built on the drones and crescendos on a scale so epic that it was hard to know where the band would, or could, go from there. Yanqui U.X.O. emerged in 2002 sounding very similar to the previous albums yet somewhat bereft of energy or new ideas. Members of the groups' core operated in other more stripped-back ensembles (A Silver Mt. Zion being the most well-known and prolific), and when the band announced an indefinite hiatus in 2003, it seemed like it was the end of an era....

Click here to continue reading Michael Harvey's review of GY!BE's new album.

Godspeed are in the country for the first time ever next month for two shows which will SELL OUT - see below for details.

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Sat 9th Feb
The Hunter Lounge, Wellington
Fri 8th Feb
Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland

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