Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! [Awesome]
Effortlessly, one of the best albums of 2012.
I have never listened to this band prior to this album but an easy search will most definitely state that it's been a decade long wait for fans since their last record, Yanqui U.X.O., and the new album already has two long tracks that has been part of the post-rocker repertoire since 2002-2003 when on tour. Stumbling upon it suddenly, I can only wonder how grateful it must be for a fan since the record blew my mind away since its first listen.
Consisting of nine members and making far better music than the likes of rubbish bands like Slipknot, GY!BE has a lot of textural dexterity and huge sounds, that would probably be noise on their own instruments but paint a deep, complex picture when combined together. An earlier album I reviewed, The Seer by Swans, and Russian Circles, are probably the closest comparisons I have to the four instrumental pieces here, and the fact that a 20 minute mark does not hinder the two main songs, 'Mladic' and 'We Drift Like Worried Fire', the band members simply (or so do make it seem) throwing in their musical offerings to the song and letting the track shape up by itself, like throwing fuel to a fire and watching it burn further. Characteristically, the two pieces consist of isolated moments of odd hooks and melodies before dissipating and rushing back altogether, allowing the song to breathe and progress at its own indulgent piece rather than manufacturing the product. Yet, the experiments are not bereft of technical mastery and constraint, as in audibly obvious in the slow, thumping 'Worried Fires', which culminates to an orchestral beauty of such sweet melody it is unpredictable and difficult to fathom at first listen.
The two segues act more as contrasts to the the epics, but are not in anyway undermined as the band puts in a lot of work into the textures (the production is spacey, rich and... indie). They do work like resting points between the two songs, and could possibly signal a new album soon with the hopeful promise of spacey drone soundscapes.
There are probably a lot more details I missed out for this album, but for now, it's a definite classic.
★★★★★ Excellent - Undisputed classic for critical listening