Godspeed You! Black Emperor – “Allelujah! Don’t Bend Ascend!”
Unbelievably, it’s been 10 long years since their last album and the world has been a poorer place without them. I had no idea the album was even out when I stumbled across it whilst window record shopping in my lunch break. As I mentioned in the ‘Festive 2s comments, I have been a fan of Godspeed… since the first LP came out in 1997 and very much treasure my lovely silkscreened embossed vinyl with multiple inserts and crushed coin and have eagerly bought each album since. So I was more than a little excited to unexpectedly get a new album, and the wait was well worth it.
“Allelujah!…” consists of two long 20 minute tracks and two short drone numbers (on the vinyl version these are on an LP and 7″ respectively). The long ones are classic Godspeed… complex instrumental post rock with the drama ratcheting up as the music builds and builds, with “Mladic” (my number 2 pick of the year) as possibly the best track of their career – they have been playing it live for a long long time, so they had a lot of opportunity to perfect it before they finally committing it to wax this year. The short droney tracks work as a perfect counterpoint to the epic ones and point to a possible interesting new direction for more inward looking music for their next album.