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flag Canada - Full Moon 53 - 02/08/01

A Silver Mount Zion
Whelan's, Dublin, 18.01.2001

Such is the acclaim of Godspeed You Black Emperor!, mother ship of tonight's headliners A Silver Mount Zion, that it has warranted a call of "thank you for everyone in town for showing up" from the stage. Despite the fact that recent long player He Has Left Us Alone But Shafts Of Light Sometimes Grace The Corners Of Our Rooms cites only three official members of the band, Whelan's is treated to a six person performance.

Since their growth from anonymity, Montreal-based Godspeed have been drowned in praise for their dextrous ability to carry lush symphonies and ceaselessly penetrate them with piercing canopies of sound. Where ASMZ differ is that the night passes completely unpunctuated by percussion. Whilst militarised beats have become an integral part within the Godspeed sound, such syncopation would be superfluous to requirement. "Lonely as the sound of lying on the ground of an airplane going down" defines all that ASMZ represent. Built into a four-part movement, beginning with the vacuous and rare sound of vocals shrilly versed from stage. The melodies begin. They rise and build, then die slowly always giving birth to a fresh hook. From this each instrument borrows a note, makes it's own and eventually adds to a crescendo with it's peers.

As the final strains reverberate around the audience, Efrim hunches over his guitar squeezing every last bit of resonance from his strings competing with the rapturous applause from he crowd.

The over-population of avant rockeurs has reached the point of a crisis. But for music, as ambitious as it is beautiful, a place in your record collection must be reserved.

Copyright © 2001 Colm Downes e-mail address

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