Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

When asked if people take them too seriously, Godspeed You! Black Emperor replied “probably”.On the face of it, Godspeed You! Black Emperor appear doom laden apocalyptic prophets but if you re-attune your ear and psyche to this music, the revelation is HOPE not DESOLATION.

We all want to get to heaven.

So what of Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!? This is their punk rock.

With four tracks clocking at around 50 minutes in total, Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! takes us on a journey into another place. For me, I want to dwell in the Impending Doom that the music appears to prophesy but somehow the dynamic crescendos and quieter atmospheric interludes rip cracks in the darkness to let light shine through.

This is their first record for 10 years. Conceived in the maelstrom of Montreal’s civic unrest, they offer us a majestic epic of monumental music. The trademark sound is there but the music is as refreshing and inspiring to me as the time I tuned into ‘Late Junction’ arriving half way through ‘Dead Flag Blues’ and wondered just what the hell was going on and that was at least ten years ago.

The band were reclusive then. Nothing has changed and yet everything is different.

There is a certain integrity that infuses the sound of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, it is hard to identify just what ingredients set them apart. This is no rehash of a tried and trusted formula because the listener is being challenged and invited to move onwards and upwards with the composers.

Another Country …let’s go there ?

“The fruit rots on the vine while millions starve.” — Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

It is hard to disagree with their dark assessment of the times we live in :

“It’s just that we know that music is just a thing that people make in between bigger struggles. We love music, we love people, we love the noise we make.”

Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! is the sound of a band travelling on the narrow way without fear while they observe the world and paint what they see in sound. I really cannot do this album justice with words: they rarely use them and I have used too many. I really think it is for the best if you just buy the album and consider the way these guys work.

I take them very seriously .

Keefy of the Apocalypse now..

PS: I refute the Independent who called this album a “school project”.

Words: Keefy of the Apocalypse “How”.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Website.

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