It was inevitable that we would have to feature them at some point. The collective known as Godspeed You! Black Emperor has created some of the most compelling post-rock ever recorded. They have not only renewed orchestral compositions for a new era and fanbase but have also carved a new brand of politically infused grandiose rock that melds genres as much as it abides by classical instrumentation. Across their catalogue, the band's dynamics have swayed heavily from darker, droning sounds to bombastic orchestral grandeur to the paranoid spoken word of Bailey Finnegan.
Evidence for this stems from their sparse, quieter debut, 'F♯ A♯ ∞', which evolved into the classic, continuous 2-hour epic, 'Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas Heaven'. Not to forget the EP 'Slow Riot for Zero Kanada', which is an incredible bridging piece between the two albums, as well as a great introduction to the band for those looking to get into post-rock. Otherwise, we recommend the works of Sigur Ros or Swans as other contemporary hallmarks of post-rock.
These three releases mark a creative foundation unrivalled by any other working band today. And since the band have continued to release variations on the established trademark sound that is the GY!BE brand of classical and contemporary rock, with highlights being 2002's 'Yanqui U.X.O' and their odyssey released upon their reformation 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!'. This has culminated in their latest release, 'G_d's Pee AT STATE'S END' which is another worthy entry into the legendary catalogue.
The rabbit hole this project offers is as rewarding as it is deep. The many side projects of members offer more takes on the sounds of GY!BE post-rock, for which A Silver Mt. Zion makes for a second helping for fans, otherwise, the underrated Esmerine blends aspects of Turkish Folk into the mix to make another strain of post-rock
Some may recognise their piece, 'East Hastings' being used in the 2002 Danny Boyle '28 Days Later', or otherwise may have encountered them via their supporting of Nine Inch Nails in 2013, or their much-publicised criticism of the Polaris Music Award they won for their 2012 comeback. Or their incident in which they were mistaken for terrorists. Regardless, GY!BE manages to remain one of the most captivating, urgent and important acts to emerge in the new millennia. For all music fans must not claim to be so until they have listened to Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
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Gallery Page: Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Featured Albums: Godspeed You! Black Emperor