Godspeed You! Black Emperor—  One of Music's best groups you probably don't know of

Godspeed You! Black Emperor- Musics One Of The Most Underrated Talents

Introduction: Extraordinary, audacious, deeply intense, these three words aren't enough to describe GY!BE (Godspeed You! Black Emperor). If postrock had a life, the group would probably be a contender for being the heart, also they add a different spin on the genre itself, often considered by critics as one of the best experimental musical groups, GY!BE is a Canadian experimental music collective that originated in Montreal, Quebec.

I was introduced to Godspeed You! Black Emperor in 2013, and since then GY!BE has become one of few bands that I could emotionally relate to, and one of those groups that I'm gonna forever remember.

The group was formed in 1994, in Quebec by three extraordinary personals Efrim Menuck (guitar), Mike Moya (guitar), and Mauro Pezzente (bass). A 1976 Japanese black and white documentary by the same name inspired the naming of the group.

Initially, the group was made as a supporting act for another musical group named Steak 72. Thereafter, the group performed live on a few separate occasions. And gradually started gaining attention.

The expansion was quick, the live performances started to flow, local musicians of Montreal often used to join the band occasionally to assist them in live performances. Then came the moment when they released their debut studio album F♯ A♯ ∞.

The group eventually stabilized themselves as a 9 person lineup with Menuck, Moya, and David Bryant on guitars, Pezzente and Thierry Amar on bass guitars, Aidan Girt, and Bruce Cawdron on drums, and Sophie Trudeau and Norsola Johnson on violin and cello respectively. Moya would depart in 1998 to focus on HṚṢṬA, being replaced by Roger Tellier-Craig of Fly Pan Am.


F♯ A♯ ∞

Pronounced "F-sharp, A-sharp, Infinity", with that album, the inception of an upcoming musical prodigy was to be predicted by many. This record was a slow soundtrack of regret and desire, equal parts morose and expectant. This album was ranked among the 50 best Canadian albums of all time by Chart Attack magazine.

The best and the greatest part of the album is through the middle part "East Hastings." It gave me an unforgettable experience while I first listened to it. You can truly feel every piece of instruments and the melodies that they are making in that track.

Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven

If this album is not their best album, then it is definitely this group's most praised and well-known LP in their tidy and consistent discography. This album had received tremendous critical acclaim and has been named as one of the best albums of the 2000s. It's my personal favorite post-rock album ever.

This album came out in 2000 and is a huge reason why these guys are a kingpin in post-rock. But in my opinion, these guys don't sound like any of their contemporaries, hence the genre label doesn't really say all that much to me. They are different than Mogwai, Talk Talk, Sigur Rós, or any other profound post-rock band you can name.

Yanqui U.X.O.

The word "Yanqui" is the Spanish of Yankee (It has several interrelated meanings, all referring to people from the United States). However, the critics of that record are very much divisive, and the group's most controversial one. While some critic says its the group's finest piece yet, others, however, derided it for its "sluggishness and a lack of invention."

I personally don't think it's one of their finest ones, but it is still a good record.

'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

The fourth album surely had some immeasurable breadths and depths and for me, it was a truly unforgettable experience. This album released in 2012, was a modestly magnificent record that entirely validated the groups reforming. This album was surprisingly so good given the fact that most of the time the album after regrouping of a band isn't that good.

Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress

The fifth studio album and second after the reformation, released in 2015 a different kind of transaction, and while listening to the album you have to let your guard down as that Godspeed transforms feelings into compelling records.

Luciferian Towers

Luciferian Towers, released in 2017, according to Constellation Records one-sheet about the album "was made in the midst of a communal mess, raising dogs and children. Eyes up and filled with dreadful joy – we aimed for wrong notes that explode, a quiet muttering amplified heavenward. We recorded it all in a burning motorboat." Personally, this is my least favorite GYBE album to date.

All Music's Paul Simpson said, "Like many of Godspeed's albums, Luciferian Towers might seem bleak or funereal on the surface, but ultimately, it's incredibly optimistic and hopeful. Perhaps out of necessity, the group seems more inspired here than they have in a while, and the result is arguably their best work since their 2000 opus Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven."

G_d's Pee at State's End!

Released just a few days ago on April 2nd, 2021, this album had already received widespread positive reviews from critics. Reviewing the album for AllMusic, Paul Simpson gave it a positive assessment and claimed that the track "Government Came" (9980.0kHz 3617.1kHz 4521.0 kHz) / Cliffs Gaze/cliffs' gaze at empty waters' rise / Ashes to Sea or Nearer to Thee was, "easily the most ecstatically triumphant music GYBE have ever made".

Nota bene:
It goes without saying that this 9 pieces epic band created the stepping stone for the evolution of the genre of post-rock, in the beginning of the article, the term "underrated" was referred among the average people. In fact, the group is not underrated at all! Almost every post-rock fans are more than familiar with the subtle political commentary under their album and song titles and insanely lengthy track, which is why the band has arguably the biggest cult following within the realms of post-rock.

Original date: April 6, 2021

Read next: Were GY!BE terrorists?

Post a Comment

Comments will go through moderation before appearing, and are subject to our community guidelines, which can be viewed here

Previous Article Next Article