'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!Album |
Scorching post-rock maximalism.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor haven't released a new album in a decade, and they've been missed. The enigmatic Montreal collective's return is as powerful as previous explosive gems like Yanqui UXO and Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven, albeit perhaps more simply structured. Consisting of two 20-minute compositions and a pair of six-minute drones (the vinyl packages the two long tracks on an LP and the drones on a seven-inch single), 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! separates the two key attributes of their music: slow-building epics that eventually explode into corrosive waves of noise and calmer, almost meditative soundscapes. On tour over the two years prior to the album's release, opener "Mladic" was known as "Albanian," and there is indeed a certain Balkan feel to both its rhythms and the melody that recurs with slight variations throughout the piece. Opening with an unsettling found-sound recording and closing with what sounds like a field recording of hypnotic percussion at what could be either a street festival or a protest march, it's one of the band's most powerful extended works. Similarly, the tension-and-release vibe of "We Drift Like Worried Fire" explodes in its final five or six minutes into perhaps the most direct, celebratory and primal rock'n'roll they've ever produced. (Here, as throughout the album, violinist Sophie Trudeau is the band's secret weapon.) As impassioned as instrumental experimental rock ever gets, this is a long-overdue and most welcome return.
|GY!BE: Critical Connections|