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Kollaps Tradixionales [Import]

Silver Mount Zion Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 14.28 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Feb 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Constellation
  • ASIN: B002VVQ8MU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,727 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

BBC Review

Stumbling woozily into the sunlight come Montreal’s Thee Silver Mt. Zion (Memorial Orchestra, for this outing), clutching a battered shoebox to their collective chest, the contents of which – yellowing papers, faded photographs, odd buttons and brightly-coloured bottlecaps – make up this, their sixth full-length in some ten years.

Despite being shorn of their Tra-La-La Band and having undergone their umpteenth or so line-up change, the weft and warp of the band’s sound in nevertheless reassuringly intact. This is another tippy-toe step forward in a strange journey that’s seen them steadily chart a course beyond the ubiquitous post-rock tag to take in orchestral pomp and clattering psych-outs as they forge some sort of hairy, woebegone chamber music for an indie set raised on Dirty Three and The Black Heart Procession. Or, at least, one that’s been secretly harbouring hopes for a twisted carnie cousin to Arcade Fire’s happy-clappy viola stomp.

Comprising four modest six-minute pieces and a slender interlude bookended by two more expansive 15-minute workouts, Kollaps Tradixionales effectively runs the SMZ gamut to date, hinging upon de facto leader Efrim Menuck’s strangulated vocals and febrile guitar whilst all around him whinnying strings soar and surge, drums pound like a vast cetacean heartbeat and strange, elemental noises are wrung from the rafters. The atmosphere is rarely anything less than electric as the band is led like a drunken, rag-clad choir through hymnal chants and crooked round-robins. 

Unassuming opener There Is a Light eases you in with gentle hands, Menuck’s quavering vocals and shaky guitar line lighting a lamp for lush, doleful strings to follow so that by the time the clangour has risen to a roar you’re barely aware of its pressing weight and couldn’t quite say from whence it arose. Elsewhere, I Built Myself a Metal Bird, with its insistent Neu! pulse, rousing brass and climactic strings, could perhaps be the band’s most straight-laced effort yet, while ‘Piphany Rambler stretches and sprawls around itself, heaving, swaying and swooning before blowing itself – and the album – out in a mournful wash of white noise and pure sonic abandon. --Alex Deller

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Thee Wait 18 Feb 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It seems like all the music I've ever loved since the sixties has been distilled and channelled into SMZ. Like all their albums, this needs a few plays to get comfortable with, and like all their albums you'll be rewarded for persevering.
It's their first with printed lyrics, here's a sample:
No idea what it means but it's damn fine stuff.
No hesitation in giving this 5 stars, even if I don't think it will quite grow to the stature of 'Horses in the Sky' (which undoubtedly deserves 6 stars).
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than 13 blues 11 Feb 2010
Format:Audio CD
"Kollaps Tradixionales" is the sixth album from Silver Mt Zion, and it's definitely a move - sideways at least - from their last full player, 2005's 13 Blues For Thirteen Moons. The band is slightly different since last time - they've become a 5 piece, but on the most part this seems to have concentrated their output slightly more which is no bad thing. As a longtime devotee of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, I've followed Silver Mt Zion's releases with interest, although I found 13 Blues to be overblown and uninspiring. I approached Kollaps with caution, but was pleasantly surprised to find a much more coherent and exciting record than I anticipated.

The stand out tracks here are the opening 3; "There Is A Light" starts off on a gentle arc which hits a typical uplifting crescendo around the 9 minute mark. "I Built Myself A Metal Bird" is Mt Zion sounding like an all-out rock band, and adds some nice variation to their catalogue, and "I Fed My Metal Bird The Wings Of Other Metal Birds" is *almost* pure Godspeed in sound. The rest of the record is good, but not as great as these three tracks - Kollaps Tradicional (Bury 3 Dynamos) comes close though.

It's not a record without its negatives however; Efrim Menuck's vocals have always been a point of issue for many people, and although they don't grate quite as much as on the last record, it's hard to describe them in any particularly positive way. Of course, there are moments where the cracked and nasal delivery work in relation to the music, but more often than not they become an annoying distraction. This is obviously personal preference, but I'm always wondering just how great this band could be with a different vocalist and a slightly different take on production.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
There is a quality to the music of Silver Mt Zion and their older brother Godspeed You! Black Emperor that I have never experienced anywhere else - not even from the many other 'post-rock' outfits who produced music in a similar vein. I remember the first time I heard Godspeed - everything else just got blown away. Now, most music just falls short in comparison.

For many years Efrim Menuck et al have produced some of the most engaging, interesting and challenging music around and while Kollaps Tradixionales may not be their best ever, it is up there and they certainly continue to hit the mark.

There seems to be a split in opinion on the vocals on Silver Mt Zion records. I personally think they work perfectly. He's never going to win any awards for techincal vocal competence, but to me this just adds to the sense that at times the music is just on the brink of control - and that is what makes it so exciting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing traditional about it! 8 Mar 2010
Format:Audio CD
Maybe that's a lie. I don't know.

This record is excellent. It's a huge challenge to the listener, even if you're a fan of GY!BE and previous SMZ, but 'new music' fans already recognise the best music comes as a challenge. don't we? I suppose in that sense, we recognise an artist (in the true sense of the word) and then search within his output for something our 'aural palet' can digest. If you don't recognise that, take heed. Hahaha.

The vocals have changed a little bit and voices are coming from all over the band now. Still, Efrim is the focal point. His style has altered. At times it seems like he's pushing an unnatural almost cartooney tone, and I agree on the first few listens it distracts from what is essentially, mind blowing compositions.

However, the babble is brilliant and not really babble at all; and the flawed performance just gives the music so much character. I actually feel a sort of longing for this music. In my stomach. It's so far removed from everything else in the world.

Thee Silver Mount Zion Memorial Orchestra have been a great soundtrack to my first year of fatherhood, and to cap it off, they're playing in my 'home town' this month (march 2010).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it! 25 May 2010
By Nelo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I've been following A Silver Mt Zion since the beginning, and I can't get enough. I'm always excited to see what they've come up with next.

So after buying this album and listening to it several times, I went back and listened to each of their other albums from start to finish, one after another. Each album is quite different and should be enjoyed in it's own right, without comparing them to each other. My own impressions of their music cannot be put down in words. This kind of music must be experienced, not described. Brilliant and awe-inspiring is about the closest I can come in terms of descriptions. Expressions of Truth, Beauty, sadness, brutal honesty, reflection and Hope are encoded throughout.

"But there there ain't no Truth but the No-Truth but the No-Truth, yeah!"
"Ain't no Thing but the Nothing but the Nothing, yeah!"
"Ain't no Fall but the long Fall is a long Fall, yeah!
"And there ain't no Light but the True Light is a Dim Light, yeah!"
-- There is a Light

I may like this album a little better than their other more recent offerings. For me, this album marks a return to the core of what A Silver Mt Zion is. They have refined their approach, using what works best, and in the process they have created a really unique sound. Fresh, raw and organic. Honest, and brilliant. Just how I like it!

If you are fan, then please support this artist and buy their album! This kind of ingenuity and artistry needs to be encouraged. I only wish there were more artists like A Silver Mt Zion.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've held out with this review for long enough. 12 Nov 2012
By Nathan Hatton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I purchased this album as soon as it was released because of my affinity for experimental music. A great divide is notorious within the band's fans of what their best and worst material is, usually determined by Efrim Menuck's vocal style. I include myself in the category of being deterred by Menuck's voice, a fact which determined my initial reaction to this album. When I stuck this disc on for a play-through I hoped and hoped that Menuck would have kept his vocals much more reserved. As I slightly expected he did not, and I was aggravated. However, after nearly three years of digestion, I can finally determine the album's true worth.

For the longest time I had held 'Born Into Trouble As the Sparks Fly Upward' as the band's crowning achievement. I felt that Menuck used his vocals in wonderful harmony with the music, orchestration, and sparse audio samples. Following that album, his voice became much more controversial among fans which continued through to this album. As I listen to 'Kollaps Tradixionales' now, though, I find myself more and more impressed with the daring instrumentation and overall presentation of the music. The mood is perfectly accented by meaningful words and necessary song structures. The musicianship is as raw as I like it and as powerful as I could have asked. The style is vastly different from previous albums which any listener will notice upon only the first few minutes of listening. However, this works. It really works.

So, again, after three years I have finally come to realize an important fact about this album: it is absolutely one of the band's most essentials, and I will gladly hold it up to the same height as 'Born Into Trouble.' My opinion was solidified today as I was driving home to the closing minutes of ''Piphany Rambler' with a perfect mental visual. Buy this record and give it a chance. It took me three years, but it is finally in its proper place.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They've still got it. 20 April 2011
By mskulkin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Efrim Menuck is still able to create beautiful art, more than a decade out of Godspeed. This album provides clear proof of that. Not easy-listening, but for someone who loves post-rock, a clear choice.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The end of an era... 24 May 2010
By White Shadow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
With the news that GY!BE were reifying, this album finally made sense to me. There is a certain GY!BE quality to the record that one must acknowledge before appreciating this slightly different direction. The tracks recreate the juxtaposition of despair and hope, as seen in the disparity between the driving first track, the middle track, which sounds a good bit like a tradition hymn, and the last tracks which are complicated, almost minimalist at times, undertakings.

A Silver Mt. Zion, as with most of Efrim, Sophie and Thierry's efforts, are what they are. They are unapologetic efforts to communicate a focused message, generally about a hopeless campaign to end world jingoism. Apparently, the members are starting to feel that their impact might be better felt again through the steamtrain known as GY!BE, whose message, while less direct, can almost be more efficacious due to its sheer genius. I, for one, am glad to have experienced A Silver Mt. Zion as a similar project packaged differently. Enjoy this album, knowing that other incarnations of genius will follow...
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazine 15 May 2010
By TJ Kerger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
An amazing album, but this and you will thank yourself. Not as good as 13 Blues For Thirteen Moons, or Horses In the Sky but it's hard to compare their other works to each other in my opinion.
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