A horrible hack

A Silver Mount Zion

He Has Left Us Alone but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace The Corner of Our Rooms

Year Released: 2000
Format: CD
Label: Constellation
Reviewed by Frank Kneejerk on Jun 13, 2007
...in which three members of Godspeed You Black Emperor play some music in the vein of... well, Godspeed actually. As a basic introduction, expect Godspeed with less drums, more piano and occasional vocals. If you don't know what Godspeed sound like (and you should if you don't), expect massive melancholic sound-scapes awash with urban decay in the form of musical epics. Pretentious? Probably, but then they're good enough to pull it off... The album is split into two halves: "lonely as the sound of lying on the ground of an airplane going down" and "the world is sickSICK (so kiss me quick)" (how good is that?). Both halves subdivide into individual tracks, but you get the feeling you're supposed to put this on, calmly lie down on the floor and listen to it from start to finish. I did actually do that a couple of times, and it's pretty fantastic: Guitar, Piano and Violin slosh around in an pretty good mix and leave you feeling emotionally drained by the end of it all. If there's one major criticism to make of this lot, it's probably their connections with Godspeed: all three players here are in Godspeed, including Ephrim, who is the main composer both here and in the other band. As a result, this sounds A LOT like Godspeed, and the packaging is pretty similar to their new album as well (it's nice though). When they do break from the Godspeed mould, for example with the Leonard Cohen style vocals on "movie never made", they shine a little more, but overall I'd be stuck to choose between buying this and F#A#~. All the same it's worth picking this up and immersing yourself in it for an hour or so every now and again...

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