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'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

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Vinyl, October 16, 2012
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (October 16, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,762 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Mladic
2. Their Helicopters Sing
3. We Drift Like Worried Fire
4. Strung Like Lights At Thee Printemps Erable

Editorial Reviews

We think Godspeed has made a record that maintains if not exceeds the standards of their previous work a high bar, many would agree. GYBE picked up right where they left off, and after almost two years of practicing, playing and touring, Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! delivers two mighty sides of music (bookended by two new drones) that the band had been working up prior to their 2003 hiatus, which they have now shaped into something definitively stunning, immersive and utterly true to their legacy. The future looks dark indeed, but on the evidence of this new recording, Godspeed appears wholly committed to staring it down, channeling it, and fighting for some rays of sound (and flickers of light) that feel righteous, unflinching, hopeful and pure.

Customer Reviews

This was definitely a worthy purchase.
charles chamberlin
Like most of their music, it takes several listens to really start to capture all the subtleties and genius of their compositions.
R. Suntop
Admittedly, I'm already a fan so I was going to like this anyway.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Jack Tripper VINE VOICE on October 16, 2012
Format: Audio CD
As a longtime fan of mind-altering music, there are few words to describe just how I felt when, a couple weeks back, I found out that Godspeed You! Black Emperor were releasing their first album since 2002's minimalist-yet-powerful 'Yanqui U.X.O.' Though admittedly somewhat skeptical they'd be able to rekindle the magic from a decade ago, after finally hearing 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!'--recorded by the four core members only this time around--there are even fewer words, if any, to describe the emotions I felt while listening. But I'll do my best.

After the quiet beauty of their last album, nothing could have prepared me for the squalling guitars that assaulted my ears during the 20-minute opener, "Mladic," a song the band had occasionally played live, in slightly different form, before their 7-year hiatus. Following a 5-minute buildup of Middle-Eastern drones, an explosion of sound suddenly erupted from my headphones, tickling some musical funnybone in my brain, and sending me off on a euphoric innerspace journey that, hours later, I'm still feeling the effects from. The combination of grinding guitars, strings, and drums being pummeled into splinters was extremely cathartic, especially after my increasing anticipation during the slow buildup, and I was slightly worried that the album may have already peaked.

But after more tripped-out droning on the short (relatively speaking), bagpipe-laden, almost funereal "Their Helicopters' Sing," the epic "We Drifted Like Worried Fire" kicks it back into overdrive with an intense, just-plain gorgeous post-rock symphony that, imo, is quite possibly the high point of Godspeed's already remarkable career.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth on October 20, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I like Explosions in the Sky and appreciate some of the less bombastic work of Mono, but I've often wondered whether the spirit of experimental rock in the 1990's, that helped give rise to what was later dubbed Post-rock, has been somewhat lost by the sort of music the Texas four piece and its Post-rock contemporaries have been making throughout the last ten years. To paraphrase a quote from Tiny Mix Tapes "Is Post-rock about stretching the possibilities of the live rock band, or delivering the emotional peaks and crescendos of the classical orchestra circa high-romanticism, with the economy of a touring punk band?" Godspeed You! Black Emperor is often seen as being one of the bands that turned Post-rock into something of an unrestrained spectacle in the late nineties. Their mixture of abstract vocal samples; lengthy movements and Slint indebted crescendo/diminuendo dynamics, basically shaped the landscape for what the genre would become in the 2000's.

If it weren't for the fact that Godspeed released several masterworks in this style before going on a ten year hiatus, they perhaps could be blamed for the lack-lustre state in which post-rock currently finds itself in. Of course it would be churlish of us to ridicule GY!BE for having such a strong influence on the bands that followed them, their amazingly apocalyptic music was far too powerful not to invite imitators. It's just a shame that nobodies been able to take that inspiration (beside Sigur Ros) and produce anything as forward thinking/genre defining as what the Canadian Octet were able to do before retiring indefinitely. When I heard GY!BE had reformed in 2010 I was veritably pleased (as you could imagine), but I didn't think they'd release any new material, at least not in what has become a terribly clichéd form anyway.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Guy Haynes on October 19, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I'll keep this one brief, to me Godspeed You! Black Emperor are the daddies of post-rock, they are absolute masters of building atmosphere and when they let rip it sounds like your very own personal apocalypse is blasting out of your headphones. Sinister strings, dread infused samples, evil sounding guitar tones - what more could you want from a symphonic instrumental rock act?

Ok, so even if you consider the two drone pieces included here as merely pleasant diversions the two meaty 20 minute plus compositions are all-conquering thundering behemoths of noise. I still can't decide which is my favourite of the two - 'Mladic' sports Middle Eastern riffs so ferocious in their execution they sound like they were written to snake charm Nessie while the last 8 and a half minutes of 'We Drift Like Worried Fire' might just be the band's best ever recorded moment, a truly astounding mix of military drums, eerily squealing guitar noises, soaring strings and ecstatic riffing.

It would have been a travesty if these songs had never been put down on tape and I'm so pleased the band got back into the studio after over ten years away to deliver the Godspeed goods. Go get.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Headphone Commute on December 19, 2012
Format: Audio CD
The storm is coming. It's Monday, October 29th, and hurricane Sandy is scheduled to land on the shores of New York City in just a couple of hours. The governor has declared a state of emergency. The stock market has shut down. Even the presidential election has been put on hold. There's something inevitable about Sandy's approach. There's nowhere to run. There's not much to do. We just have to wait it out. It's ten o'clock in the morning, but the sky is dark as night. I shut off the lights and roll up the window blinds. I open the windows, and let the wind do its dance through my home. I can smell the electricity in every tiny particle that enters my room. And all I need now is some music.

There's nothing more apocalyptic than the sound of Godspeed. The Montreal based band has been credited with influencing the so-called post-rock music genre since their debut, titled F♯ A♯ ∞ (1997). Named after a documentary on Japanese biker gang, The Black Emperors (1976), Godspeed You! Black Emperor (which is commonly abbreviated as GY!BE) has put out numerous records on the Canadian Constellation imprint, home to many shoegaze, instrumental rock, and post-rock bands such as Esmerine, Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, Lullabye Arkestra and Do Make Say Think. The albums have also been reprinted by the Chicago based Kranky label, which exposed the band to a larger audience and gained them somewhat of a cult following among the experimental, ambient, and indie scenes.

It's hard to describe the sound of Godspeed. Like an unstoppable moving storm, ready to consume and destroy everything in its path, the music of Godspeed is all about the dynamics. These build ups, inevitable from the very first note, first lurk behind the curtains and then explode onto the stage.
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