Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
Godspeed You! Black Emperor come back after a decade-long hibernation with Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! to prove what we have all been missing in the interim. Their return carries with it a lot of the trademarks of their sound, from the slow boil of their quieter moments to the epic punk symphony that serves as their high-water mark. Here, though, GY!BE have surely matured, providing an album that does not rely on long stretches of sampled talking to carry each compositions’ otherwise instrumental narrative, but rather on sonic structures that are as beholden to Philip Glass as they are to Mogwai. GY!BE do more than repeat the same quiet/loud dynamic, making ample room for atmosphere, as in shorter tracks like “Their Helicopters’ Sing,” or in the simmering build of opener “Mladic,” which is more triumphant than bleak. Welcome back, GY!BE, you were missed. — Syd Bishop