Rewind Review – “F# A# Infinity” by Godspeed You! Black Emperor

If you ever wanted a soundtrack to the bleakest post-apocalypse imaginable, F# A# Infinity is your album. This 60 minute long debut album (which came out in 1998!) by Godspeed You! Black Emperor is a powerful, soul-crushingly gloomy farewell to life on earth. From the opening spoken-word segment to the half hour long finale track, there isn’t a moment where sunshine peaks through the clouds long enough to offset the sheer despair. GSY!BE are so in-tune with the end of the world you could swear that they’ve lived through it.

The band treats their songs as classical music pieces, each one having several movements that create the greater whole. The change of scenes come suddenly, often times the music swells to a frantic pace before coming to a crash. Weeping guitars, shaky violins, tribal drums, and more sounds straight from an orchestra work together with the dead atmosphere to create a depression unlike anything i’ve heard from music before. The band also includes several samples that serve to make the isolation even more frightening. The fact that the band never sings, and all voices heard are used more for instruments of atmosphere than to deliver a message (barring the spoken word segments) makes hearing voices that much more jarring.

But for all of the beauty and ghastly production work, it takes a special state of mind to really be able to enjoy the album. This isn’t an album for a rainy day, this is the worst rainy day in an album. It’s certainly not going to appeal to everyone, but it has quickly become one of my favorite albums. It’s bone-chillingly haunting, and that’s a delight to my ears. If you’re in the mood for something slow, depression, and masterfully performed, F# A# Infinity is the best album for it.

Published in: on July 10, 2009 at 3:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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