Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven

BY Roman SokalPublished Nov 1, 2000

"You know that if they're going to do another, it's going to be just as good." These words, as perfect as can be, overheard at a recent Godspeed You Black Emperor! performance that was captured to tape in bootleg fashion. The gentleman's sense of anticipation is an ultra-realistic analogy of the sounds and music that Montreal's prestigious Godspeed You Black Emperor! create - a weaving of orchestral elements that usually begin in a state of placidity and slowly builds one's sense of expectation to a rumble until a great climax is reached, followed by a momentous anti-climax. For their latest two-CD studio release, the emotional effects of being exposed to both hi-fi and lo-fi textures are fully explored. Each of the ensemble's nine members (consisting of drums, guitars, violin, cello, horns, keys, glockenspiel and bass) are suitably assigned a spatial sonic range to ensure that the listener fully succumbs to their trademark march upon a massive scale of dynamics. And almost always a distant reverberated drone acts as the piece's central nervous system, and the rest of the instruments swarm around it like insects around a light bulb. Radio static from around the globe wraps around the music and, of course, the infamous and provocative monologues of disparity from street-level humans sounding off from deep within their souls make another appearance. At a rudimentary level, GYBE! can be alluded as sharing a section on the same vessel as Gorecki's Third Symphony and Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother. Realistically, they travel far beyond. From sorrow to hope to bliss, Godspeed You Black Emperor! is just as powerful when they are quiet as they are at a peak. A rare trait to have.

Tour Dates

Latest Coverage