Review: Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress (Canada, 2015)

I guess being able to repeat masterpieces such as F#A#Infinity or Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven is not easy at all, but this one Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress surely is their best one after the God’s Pee reunion in 2012. So it gives me high hopes for future releases.

In what Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! failed, namely the absence of a truly remarkable moment, Asunder… made it. Starting from the…well, start, Peasantry or ‘Light! Inside of Light!’ is a magnificent tune capable of showing the grandeur of this Canadian collective. And honestly, it has nothing to envy their most praised records. A main theme evolving all over the composition, slowly but perpetually. The instruments come and go, while the initial mysterious air gently leaves time to breath, until a sumptuous movement takes over and then finally closes the song with a bluesy/cool outro.

Unfortunately this record can’t sustain this high level of intensity for much longer than this opening act. In fact both Lambs’ Breath and Asunder, Sweet rely in a more ambient/drone dimension, which could be good, but they also bring in a kind of weakness (after you heard a big tune such as Peasantry…). More in depth, that’s a big “no” for the earlier, while the latter (partial) title-track has a good crescendo sublimating into the closure song which is really unusual for a drone track, and it makes it little interesting.
But finally, with this latest Piss Crowns Are Trebled the typical splendour of GYBE is back. And again we’re facing a wall of intricate musical solutions, flavoured up with droning noises, strings inserts and that always-welcomed God’s Pee aura.

All in all, if you’re already familiar with this band, maybe, this review told you something. Otherwise you could have found it a little bit cryptic, and I can’t blame you. The reason is that GYBE’s music is something very personal to digest and to enjoy, and everyone just has a different perception of it.
My simplest suggestion: if you like “trippy” music, and you don’t know them, they this might be your next favourite act. Enjoy!

Label: Constellation Records
Websites: Facebook
Release Date: 31st March 2015
Reviewed by Teo

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About Matteo "Teo" Gruppi 120 Articles
TSL co-founder, co-owner, editor, CEO, reviewer, interviewer and writer. Basically I do a lot of stuff and I can’t get anything done well. I was born in 1991 and started loving music since 1981. Got my very first band in high school and now I play as a lonely dumbass in 3 projects: Chiral, Il Vuoto and |||. I listen to every kind of music as long as it is good and intense. Favourite genres include: everything as long as it’s good! (but also folk, black metal, 70-80’s rock and post-rock).

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