Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress
When Montreal post-rock icons Godspeed You! Black Emperor emerged unexpectedly from an extended 10-year recording hiatus with 2012’s ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!, no one was sure if that meant we could expect to get regular releases from the notoriously press-averse band. So another GY!BE album not even three years later is a pleasant surprise, and while it takes a few listens to absorb, Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress captures everything we love about the gloomy experimental instrumental rock group.
This is their shortest album since their 1997 debut, F# A# ∞, but it feels much longer, with its slowly evolving compositions (especially if you don’t notice the locked groove at the end of the first side of the vinyl). The four songs are actually different movements of a longer composition known as Behemoth on their live set lists, which mutates from minimalist drone to angry orchestral crescendos to overblown fuzz guitar freak-outs. It requires some patience, but it’s worth sitting through the less immediately gratifying moments for the final section’s payoff.
Top track: Piss Crowns Are Trebled