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Boomkat Product Review
“Long awaited new LP from Godspeed You Black Emperor offshoot band – A Silver Mt.Zion. This second album finds the band expanded to a six-member core, with a similarly expanded name. The addition of cello, second violin & second guitar has allowed Mt. Zion to develop richer, denser arrangements while preserving live ensemble playing. The opening pieces pick up where the debut left off, with found-sound loops & treatments introducing repeated melodic themes that move slowly through various counter-melodies - the greater breadth of instrumentation brings greater subtlety, complexity & harmonic range to bear on these neo-classical dirges. Guitars & vocals move to the fore on the album's centrepiece tracks; "take these hands and throw them in the river" is an astounding juxtaposition of rhythmic thrust & ricocheting vocals, driven by a battered lyrical paranoia that conjures equal parts fear & rage. The calm after this storming piece comes by way of another song with vocals, this time fragile & near-whispered, with dual lines that alternately mask & reinforce each other. A piano & cello interlude prefaces the last side of the record: two guitar-driven pieces, the first a blazing rock piece that builds to an exuberant distorted climax, the second as close to a pop masterpiece as this band is likely to craft, highlighted by a lovely arpeggio guitar riff & the defiant refrain: "musicians are cowards". "Born Into Trouble...", while remaining anchored in an underlying sadness & mourning over this failed world, reveals a decidedly angrier, more urgent face as this phenomenal ensemble charts ever-widening sonic & emotional terrain”. Highly Recommended.