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Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
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Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

15 Oct. 2012 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 15 Oct. 2012
  • Release Date: 15 Oct. 2012
  • Label: Constellation
  • Copyright: 2012 Constellation
  • Total Length: 53:07
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B009PGSAK2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,122 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
After a long musical hiatus, Godspeed You! Black Emperor return with a new line-up and a surprise new album `Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!', their first record in 10 years since 2002's `Yanqui U.X.O.'

`Mladic' begins as a delicate middle eastern-tinged drone, patiently building multiple washes of soaring distortion and screeching strings. Particularly impressive were the waves and waves of clashing percussion, driving the track throughout its 20 minutes. Possibly the noisiest track Godspeed You! Black Emperor have created, it's a beautiful showpiece opener, a slow-focused visceral onslaught that leaves you breathless. `Their Helicopters Sing' brings you back down from the elation of `Mladic' to channel you into tenser, flakier transitions. Bowed strings and dissonant pulsing drones are placed at the forefront, producing an altogether very different, almost elemental experience.

`We Drift Like Worried Fire' is the other 20 minute opus, and possibly Godspeed's most ambitious track. Some plucked strings set the tone, more instruments emerge but the development is at a strolls pace. The shifting music is allowed to grow organically but you don't often feel that any sound is wasted. Ten minutes in and the first climax has elapsed, a multitude of varying melodies and rhythms follow, a harrowing and moving journey ends with an uplifting final sequence. `Strung Like Lights...' ends the album, shallow layers of drone grow into thicker slabs of muzzled noise, diminishing back into a long continuous drone. A great way to end the album, after all the stirring and emotional upheaval, things settle, you move on.

You may quibble that `Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!' only has 4 tracks, or that `Mladic' and `We Drift Like Worried Fire' aren't even new tracks. But once you press play you forget everything and just enjoy the music which is so beautifully crafted. Godspeed You! Black Emperor return with a tremendous album, its a pleasure to have them back.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth on 20 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD
I like Explosions in the Sky and appreciate some of the less bombastic work of Mono, but I've often wondered whether the spirit of experimental rock in the 1990's that helped give rise to what was later dubbed Post-rock, has been somewhat lost by the sort of music the Texas four piece and its Post-rock contemporaries have been making throughout the last ten years. To paraphrase a quote from Tiny Mix Tapes "Is Post-rock about stretching the possibilities of the live rock band, or delivering the emotional peaks and crescendos of the classical orchestra circa high-romanticism, with the economy of a touring punk band?" Godspeed You! Black Emperor is often seen as being one of the bands that turned Post-rock into something of an unrestrained spectacle in the late nineties. Their mixture of abstract vocal samples; lengthy movements and Slint indebted crescendo/diminuendo dynamics, basically shaped the landscape for what the genre would become in the 2000's.

If it weren't for the fact that Godspeed released several masterworks in this style before going on a ten year hiatus, they perhaps could be blamed for the lack-lustre state in which post-rock currently finds itself in. Of course it would be churlish of us to ridicule GY!BE for having such a strong influence on the bands that followed them, their amazingly apocalyptic music was far too powerful not to invite imitators. It's just a shame that nobodies been able to take that inspiration (beside Sigur Ros) and produce anything as forward thinking/genre defining as what the Canadian Octet were able to do before retiring indefinitely. When I heard GY!BE had reformed in 2010 I was veritably pleased (as you could imagine), but I didn't think they'd release any new material, at least not in what has become a terribly clichéd form anyway.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By droflim on 19 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've loved GYBE since they had their exclamation mark at the end instead of the middle (no, me neither) and this was a real surprise, their first new album in ten years, released somewhat under the radar in October 2012. I'd heard this on a pre-release stream but that does not adequately prepare you for the CD which sounds huge. It's great to have them back. Apparently some of the tracks have been road tested under other names, so the band is well on top of it's material here. The bit on Mladic which on the streaming sounded a bit like Hawkwind here sounds more middle eastern and really massive. Surprisingly heavy. The two shorter tracks are more drone and trance like. We Drift Like Worried Fire is more like godspeed of old - classic. You can read a lot about the political import of what the band does, but this is, as always, instrumental music, which you can interpret or not; an attitude comes across which is sorely needed in a conforming music world. In doing so it is the music which rises above all else. As a rare press interview in the Guardian had it: "Do people like me just take you too seriously?" "Probably." Allelujah! indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jimmi C on 31 Dec. 2012
Format: Audio CD
I have long been a fan of Godspeed, ever since I picked up a copy of their album F#A# based on a magazine review and was first captivated by this strange sound-scape. Sometimes impenetrable, creepy, hostile and driving, it ushered me into a new world of post-rock, populated by the likes of Mogwai, A Silver Mt. Zion, et al.

This album is possibly even better than that in my opinion. I'd also go out on a whim and say that it is one of their more accessible pieces of work. Although two of the songs are six times the length of your average pop tune, they are broken up into 'acts', filled to bursting with melodic hooks, key changes and a mighty, rumbling, cavernous energy.

Mladic is a real stomper that bursts in on you with immediacy. Huge riffs do their best to stifle the desperate cries of the orchestra, whilst a drummer - channeling the ghost of Keith Moon - doesn't so much simply keep time as beat the merry hell out of their kit. Their Helicopters Sing is a hissing, industrial piece that perfectly sets the tone for We Drift Like Worried Fire. Worried Fire starts off paranoid and haunted. If it was a person, it'd be sleeping under a railway bridge hiding from a terrible secret. As the drums kick in however, the song appears to grow wings and beat them furiously against the darkness. The paranoia returns around the mid-point, but by now this beast is in full voice and the violins soar majestically again at some sort of redemption. By the time of Strung Like Lights At Thee Printemps Erable, we're exhausted and feeling the after effects of what has come before, like the white noise of a television echoing the Big Bang.

Let's hope this isn't the last we've heard of Godspeed; although if this does turn out to be a final swansong it is one hell of a closing chapter.
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