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on 31 May 2001
This is one of the most emotionally gripping albums I've ever listened to. This should not be compared to Godspeed as it sounds nothing like them, although there are tape drones and field recordings. The band consists of members from Godspeed: Efrim-piano; Sophie-violin; and Thierry-bass, and together they make an album that fits its title as the music really does bring out loneliness and sadness. There are essentially two songs on the album made up of several parts. The second, 'the world is sickSICK (so kiss me quick), which features the last three songs, is unbelievable. '13 angels' is my favourite with a hamonious organ sounding like angels singing, a repetitive bass line, and a violin that swoons over the top in an almost prayer type manner. The singing on, 'movie(never made)', although not brillaint does act in contrast and helps bring a more human quality to their music. If you're into Godspeed, or any other Montreal based band you need this record, you won't regret it. It may take a while to get into because it's a little repetitive, but it's still just as good as anything Godspeed have ever done.
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on 4 September 2001
I stumbled across this whilst looking for some Godspeed You Black Emperor, and decided to have a listen...
At its most basic, it's some of the most gripping music you are ever likely to hear. There's an incredible amount of tension running throughout the CD, and the atmosphere, (although not the sound by any means), is comparable to recent Radiohead material. The sound ~is~ reminiscent of Godspeed, but it's far closer to Do make say think and, somewhat surprisingly, Sigur Ros.
Primarily acoustic, with stunning use of strings and pianos, I don't think you could possibly be genuinely disappointed with this. At worst, you'll find it interesting but slightly long-winded; at best, it will blow your mind.
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on 26 December 2000
This CD is amazing, and easily equals anything godspeed have done. It's not as dynamic as godspeed, but the melodies + general beauty are still there. i too cannot wait to see them in january : )
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on 9 January 2004
For anyone wondering about the content of this album, well, you gotta think that you're venturing on Constellation's territory. Of course, like a million times before, it gets compared to GYBE & I must admit it's getting a little annoying. You want some Godspeed, you buy some Godspeed. Now, if what you are looking for is music that speaks so loud & with such beauty it will make you cry, then I could never recommend any of the Silver Mt Zion enough.
Started as a side project by Efrim (piano, guitars, voice,...), Sophie (violin, voice) & Tierry (bass) from GYBE, they then expanded to a larger ensemble over the following 2 albums, which to me work as one piece (check out Constellation's website if u want to know more).
Of course, this is as remote to pop tunes as you could think. Instead, you get music that comes from pure hearts, tourmented at times, taking you along for a ride you will not forget. This is the kind of record that you'll be happy to have spent some of your life with, & probably still in 20years time. It's completely out of time, achingly beautiful, poetic & sad too. Listen to "13 angels standing gard..." & it will all make sense.
Buy all 3 albums in order & u'll will never regret it.
Simply amazing stuff...
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on 18 December 2000
Bloody marvellous. Some of the best music I have heard this year, along with "Lift your Skinny Fists..." by Godspeed You Black Emperor!, there is some very god music coming out of canada these days, those two bands are the best of the lot from what I can see. I can't wait to see A Silver mt. Zion in January.
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on 11 June 2009
Possibly the best title I,ve come across and the contents reflect the mystery,spirituality and uniqueness of that title.
There is a palpable sense of tension, fluctuating with subdued ecstasy, a sense of grace , subtle dynamics and infinite sonic possibility.
The use of found sound, electro-acoustic, hymnal voices, varied instrumentation, an undertow of melancholy and loneliness is captured and transmitted with ease, confidence and limitless imagination. It's up there with Godspeed, Sigur and in parts not unlike 65 Days, Explosions in the Sky and other artists working away on the fringes of post rock, electronica and experimentalism.
A shaft of light and loveliness which illuminates the room and your soul
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on 21 May 2014
This is not an album for everybody, but it is an album for me and for many others as well. Having worked my way through Can, Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk and the like over the years, this album sits very nicely in that mode, not that they are comparable as such, but there is a feeling about them, a sense of them, that allows them sit quite comfortably together in my record collection. Can I reccomend it, no, do I think you should get yourself a copy, of course.
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on 23 August 2011
This album, like all SMZ stuff, is hard work to listen to, inaccessible, jarring and the vocals are, basically, poor. HOWEVER, if you make the effort, you will start to connect with the intense emotional energy with which the music has been created, and the experience is a rewarding one. It's as if the artists deliberately make it this way to prevent anyone gaining enjoyment from a casual listen. Think of it as "anti-pop".
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on 27 November 2012
I thought the older work or Godspeed You Black Emperor! was good but I must say that A Silver Mt Zion has surpassed them in terms of atmosphere. You can clearly here that this is the work of some GYBE! members but it is different, darker in a way.
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on 21 July 2012
I love the dark ambiance and sounds scapes from this Godspeed you black emperor side project. Brilliant album and a must have for someone who wants something different.
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