Three years after the release of the very surprising and phenomenal album ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend’, Canadian instrumental-rock group Godspeed You! Black Emperor offer up their latest album release ‘Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress’. The new album sees Godspeed You! Black Emperor reworking their highly impressive 40-minute track known as ‘Behemoth’ into one cohesive and structured album experience, with the performance being divided up into four separate tracks. There’s an incredible energy to ‘Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress’, one that sees energy being channelled in some rather unusual though incredibly pleasing ways. At times, the new album is a little polarizing, though this is perhaps a piece of work showcasing the band at arguably their most creative.
Certain elements of ‘Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress’ are to be expected of course, mostly in the opening of the album which offers incredible guitars set to impressive violins and backed up by a slow marching drum beat. Elements of the music feel incredibly familiar to previous Godspeed You! Black Emperor material, though presented and fashioned up in a wholly different way. Everything feels incredibly bombastic and large, utilizing the talents of many musicians to create a glorious musical experience, before stripping everything away until driving tones push forward at a slow pace, offering up something different, slightly inaccessible and utterly engrossing. It’s mostly an odd album experience, though one that is cohesive in presenting a full album experience where everything works well with each other.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor have certainly pushed out an interesting and exciting album effort on ‘Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress’, though there’s a few polarizing elements which could alienate a few fans of the band. Previous albums from the band have certainly explored areas of drone music, though it seems it’s been pushed forward to a much greater extent on the bands’ new album, resulting in an album experience that greatly differs from what one would normally expect from the band. It is perhaps off putting to certain fans, though there’s still something phenomenal and interesting being presented by the band, who showcase even more creative ideas and techniques.
‘Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress’ is certainly an enjoyable album effort, though it perhaps fails to really reach the same heights as some of its predecessors. With that being said though, it is hardly an album to be dismissed entirely, as it is representative of new styles and new techniques from the band, who flesh out experimental concepts into full formed ideas, all coming together wonderfully in the form of an impressive album experience. Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s wonderful style of instrumental rock might never follow any distinct style between albums, but there is always something amazing being presented by the band.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
- Peasantry or ‘Light Inside of Light
- Lamb’s Breath
- Piss Crowns Are Trebled
Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s fifth studio album ”Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress” is out now.