Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress

BY Nilan PereraPublished Nov 17, 2016

Godspeed's taste for pageantry has not left them, though they have, on this LP, left some of the spectacle behind. None of the spoken word tape/musique concrete interventions are there, and with a release that clocks in at under 41 minutes (if you don't count the locked groove drone at the end of the first side) this is as concise a statement as one could expect from an ensemble that have taken their time making sure we all get there at once.
That being said, what is left is the essence of what makes Godspeed the great rock band that it is. The building of layers and texture flows naturally and without pretention. While there is a noticeable absence of violin and cello sections, as well as a distinct departure from the silences and extended cinematic sweep of previous releases, Godspeed's knack for the anthemic still goes to the heart of what makes rock social. The pounding drum grooves, Celtic, Arabic and even desert Americana riffs, coupled with the roar and drone, connect more swiftly but as completely as before. This is a beautiful, concise blast that conveys this band's musical essence.

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