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Since 1997, Godspeed has sounded like a prodigious teen's imagination: splaying the guts of the world with youthful abandon. The band had painted the sounds of life with a better view. Godspeed explored great heights and their influence could not have been anticipated.

After ten long years, fans will be pleased that Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! holds up within Godspeed's discography. Godspeed has released perhaps their most realized album to date — the boy is now the maestro he once imagined himself to be.

The 20-minute leviathan "Mladic" is the heavier of the album's epics, blasting holes in the Earth with a tasty Middle-Eastern flavor. The song is entrancing to the point of disorientation. You don't remember how this happened, but it would be ungrateful to argue.

Conversely, "We Drift Like Worried Fire" is grand and tender. With gorgeous texture and tonality, the song sweeps through density and sparsity without exposing its seams. If the world outside is on fire, it was inconsequential anyway.

The album's two "drones" are apt. Acting more as interludes, the two pieces make for a necessary foil.

In a word, this is transcendent. Godspeed is F#. Godspeed is A#. Godspeed is infinite.

  • Album: Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
  • Artist: Godspeed You! Black Emperor
  • Label: Constellation
  • Songs: (1) "Mladic" (2) "Their Helicopters Sing" (3) "We Drift Like Worried Fire" (4) "Strung Like Lights at Thee Printemps Erable"
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