A SILVER MT. ZION, "HE HAS LEFT US ALONE,..."
In an album of sparsepiano chords, faded radio interceptions, and plaintive violin, thealbum title may perhaps be the most ornate part of what is a beautifulfreshmen release from members of Montréal's godspeed you black emperor!
With the popularity of gybe! at the moment, it's impossible to escapecomparisons between A Silver Mt. Zion and its more widely-acclaimedbrethren, and I can't seem to shake off these comparisons either whenlistening. But, it's best to consider "He Has Left Us Alone..." as anexample of "chamber godspeed." Not quite as expansive as some of thegodspeed's more epic works--perhaps becuase it's minus six members ofthe fabled ensemble--the minimalism of the tracks on this albumcontribute an austere beauty. But, far from being ascetic, this albumis one of the most emotional and visceral works I've heard from anyband in quite some time. The highlight of the album comes halfway intothe track with the sole appearance of vocals. Sung in a somewhat timidvoice, the lyrics come across as one of the most honest deliveries I'veheard. "He Has Left Us Alone But Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace theCorner of Our Rooms" will easily be on my top five list of this year,and provides the perfect example of an album so emotionally packed itcan be described only as visceral.