2 December 2012
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Allelujah! Don't Bend, Ascend!
The first album in 10 years from any sort of band is always gonna cause some sort of a stir. Especially one from the genre creating Canadian drone masters - Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Only (Only he says) four tracks long, two of which hit the 20 minute mark - and it is as if they had just finished their last album yesterday. The opening track "Mladic" does not really kick in till about five minutes into the song, beginning with the familiar drone that made these guys famous in the first place. Both "Mladic" and "We Drift Like Worried Fire" (both of the 20 minute songs) are separated by little brother "Their Helicopters Sing" which sounds like it could have been used in a Scottish battle to scare the English away before they lifted their collective kilts, and at the end you have the delightful "Strung Like Light At Thee Printemps Erable" which is just a soft build of feed back and mono violin with a slow but constant barrage of bass slowly pulsing in the background till the full attack comes in and equally ends. Both of these and "Mladic" are just the sideshow to "We Drift Like Worried Fire". Words cannot do justice to this track, the slow burning pace and emotional waves which just keep on building are to put it politely, spectacular.
If you have been following these guys, there will not be much of a surprise that these guys can take such a long break and come back with something so special. However, whilst this will keep the faithful happy and excited for months to come, it will not be very likely to bring much in the way of new business. It is a very specialised sort of field to be into in the first place. It is also very easy for people to look at a 20 minute song and say "I could listen to 15 Discharge songs in that time" which I have had someone give me as a reaction. For the faithful flock, this is a wonder and one that should be high on many people's lists for 2012 - I reckon it could do very well in the list I will be creating which I'm sure will bore the 5 people who see it. ;-) For the people who never got or understood why this music is the wonder that can make the hair on your neck stand up, it will be passed over them like a wave which is a shame.
9 out of 10 - Almost perfect, almost....
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