Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
It feels like a lifetime ago that I was able to purchase Godspeed You! Black Emperor CDs at my local Best Buy. And, at least by music industry standards, it has been. Despite their downcast, apocalyptic tendencies there’s something incredibly comforting about the presence of Godspeed during these tenuous and fractured times and though they returned to the stage a couple years back, “Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!” is the first recording from the Montreal-based nine-piece in a decade. It’s curious that the twin 20-minute pieces that are the bulk of “Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!” were first formed in 2003 before the band went on hiatus and, though it is difficult to judge the contemporary songwriting of the group, it’s important to note that the band has lost none of their sublime gifts for volume, dynamism, and grayed, ashen moods. Though not entirely diverse, the album is certainly a great example of their collective powers: “Mladic,” recalling early Mogwai, focuses on guitars and distortion more than they ever have in the past, “We Drift Like Worried Fire” offers gorgeous cinematic contours, and the two short instrumentals serve as frayed, unstable drones. Welcome back. - Ryan Potts, Experimedia