18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Lift Your Fists and Give Thanks for This Band!!,
This review is from: Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven (Audio CD)
Godspeed You Black Emperor! enjoy a pre-eminent position in the post-rock field, proved by the fact that the majority of other bands in this genre are compared to them in reviews. Most pale by comparison.
`Lift Your Skinny Fists..' is generally reckoned to the band's defining work and with good reason. The power and gravitas that the nine musicians achieve is simply extraordinary. Your CD player will tell you that there are only four tracks over the two discs, but in reality the work is split into over twelve passages that segue into one other to form an album that needs to be listened to as a whole to be fully appreciated.
Musically, the range and breadth of styles here is dizzying. There are gentle passages of mournful strings, piano and plucked guitars which in the next heartbeat may build to fearsome guitar crescendos. Godspeed You Black Emperor also employ `field recordings'; found sounds and samples of spoken words which are by turns mundane, banal, nostalgic and evangelical. The sense of atmosphere that the band evoke is thrilling, yet the music is also accessible and melodic.
There are few relevant musical reference points here, because the band's large personnel allow them to create an orchestral power that is virtually unique, but I was reminded in places of the equally epic `Soundtracks for the Blind' by Swans. This is most apparent in the pounding drums that cut in towards the end of `Gathering Storm' on the first CD. Godspeed You Black Emperor's use of spoken word samples also owes a debt to Swans in my opinion. If you love this CD and have not heard `Soundtracks for the Blind' do check it out - you will not be disappointed.
Essential stuff for any serious music fan. Five stars well deserved.