Music Review | posted 19.10.2012
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Allelujah! Don't bend! Ascend!
Constellation, 2012
Text Björn Bischoff , Translation Julia Frohn
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Cover Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Allelujah! Don't bend! Ascend!

Has it really been ten years? ’cause nothing has really changed since then, it seems. Godspeed You! Black Emperor are looking at the same kind of misery as they did with »Yanqui U.X.O.« in the year 2002. It took the musicians from Canada all this time to pull themselves together after a long break and start working on the monumental project Godspeed You! Black Emperor again – and still it’s taken the project only three records and one LP in order to outshine everything that postrock had to offer. Yet another thing that hasn’t changed until today. The name of the record is »Allelujah! Don’t bend! Ascend!«, and everyone seems to believe that they are owed this album after all this time. It consists of four new tracks in almost 50 minutes, half of it all being drone and feedback. It would all be part of the album, too, if Godspeed You! Black Emperor weren’t trying to take the format of a vinyl release to the point of absurdity: Here, the tracks are enclosed separately. Hence, the essence, the actual core of it all comes down to only two songs, »Mladic« and »We Drift Like Worried Fire«, but these easily carry over a time span of 20 minutes each. The samples were stripped down in that part and hardly take up any room, at all. The language is subtly moving into the melodies, while at the same time, Godspeed You! Black Emperor has never brought anything forward this heftily. The drums, the strings, the walls of the guitar are all slightly more bombastic than normally and seem to be about to burst at any moment. The tension of the first half of » We Drift Like Worried Fire«, for example, is almost impossible to take. The rhythm stumbles, until only the melody remains in the room – it performs a few notes and could hardly be more beautiful on this broad guitar. The basic idea is still the very same that Godspeed You! Black Emperor already used ten years ago; from there, they have just picked it up and developed it further. It might not be an innovative approach, but it’s more concentrated and powerful than ever before. The sound sweeps over you like a wave and buries you until your breath is taken away. It’s the same feeling as it was back then. Just drift along in the sound, until you’re being spat back out at the end of the record. What’s ten years, anyway? Nothing ever really changes, after all.

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