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Old 12-07-2008, 06:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default F♯ A♯ ∞ - Godspeed You Black Emperor!



We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine
And the machine is bleeding to death



There are some albums, that as you encounter them through your many trails in life, are from absolute left field, baptizing you in a completely new sonic experience. That is the sort of thing you get with Godspeed You Black Emperor!'s F♯ A♯ ∞. This is a soundscape detailing the end of days, with weeping violins and street preachers. If there was ever an album to listen to with big fat headphones laying on your bed with the lights off, this is it. Guitar chords are pumped full of reverb and play in the background like the soundtrack to two gunslingers drawing their revolvers. I can see the desert landscape, the decrepit, vacant buildings. The tumbleweed.

I can't give this album a rating. I recommend it, if you are a music lover, but I cannot give it a rating. It's deeper than that. I'm not saying it's one of my favorite albums, but to call this an album sort of devalues it. It's a sonic experience. That term may sound pretentious and douchey, but it's the only thing I can think of, so forgive me.

It reminds me of Norse Mythology, and their version of the end of days, Ragnarok. Gods are unleashed which leads to the battle of all battles, all Gods and dead spirits involved, clashing on a battlefield, destroying the world in the process. "Then Surt will fling fire in every direction. The nine worlds will burn, and friends and foes alike will perish. The earth will sink into the sea."

But it isn't the end, because through death there will ultimately be rebirth.

There is a period of complete silence in the final track. It's about four minutes long. There are only three tracks, each one over fifteen minutes(the last one being almost a half hour). After this silence, which I certainly thought was the end...there was rebirth. The rebirth in Norse mythology is a happy one, a rebirth where sorrow, misery and greed are forsaken, but not so on F♯ A♯ ∞.The same tone of violence, tension, and subdued, beautiful finality emerges from the steaming womb of the sea, and I laugh, knowing it's all the same. Have you ever read Slaughterhouse Five?

So it goes.
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Haha, loved the ending to the review.
Your description was very alluring, I'll probably download this in a bit a give you my impressions.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Excellent review. You described this album perfectly. I agree that you can't really rate this as in album and that it is a "sonic experience" (nice term). This is one of those albums that captivates you and deeply affects you.

By the way, I heard rumors that The Dead Flag Blues may appear on the soundtrack to movie version of The Road.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mannny View Post
Excellent review. You described this album perfectly. I agree that you can't really rate this as in album and that it is a "sonic experience" (nice term). This is one of those albums that captivates you and deeply affects you.

By the way, I heard rumors that The Dead Flag Blues may appear on the soundtrack to movie version of The Road.
Haha, that's funny, because when I first heard the lyrics of the song(not really lyrics, but a poem) I thought it could have been written by like Allen Ginsberg or Jack Kerouac because it is so in that style.
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I heard that monologue was written for a flim that Efrim Menuck was working on but never went through. Anyways, I feel like it would be perfect for The Road.
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Great F*cking Review mate, ive always tried to give this piece a proper rating and review but i failed everytime. You basically aced it.
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I haven't listened to this in awhile, but your review made me want to hear it...GYBE! is epic stuff
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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probably one of the most interesting albums I have ever heard in my life.
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Without a doubt the single best (and perhaps most important) post-rock album of all time. It certainly set the bar high for other groups at the time, lol!

Plus, how can you not get chills when listening to East Hastings?
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Old 02-01-2009, 06:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There is a slight hint of Wishbone Ash - Handy on here...not that it is a bad thing.
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