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Boomkat Product Review:
This third full-length recording by Godspeed offshoot band Mt. Zion finds the band continuing to work as a six-piece, with guests on drums & a couple dozen folks on choral duty. The core personnel remains Efrim (guitar, piano, tapes, effects, vocals), Thierry (bass), Sophie (violin), Beckie (cello), Ian (guitar) & Jessica (violin). The new record was sketched in rehearsals through the autumn of 2002 & then extensively arranged in studio at the hotel2tango. The result is four long pieces, each in two or more sections, all featuring group and/or lead vocals. Efrim's increased vocal presence is the most obvious evolution from past efforts, yielding the most direct articulation of themes & emotions that have run throughout his work with Mt. Zion & Godspeed you! black emperor. Long instrumental passages remain however, marked by the most compositionally deliberate, complex & precise writing the band has set to tape thus far. Dense layers of strings collide, blend & differentiate against a backdrop of ragged repeating guitar figures & noise treatments. The choir assembled for the 'Fasola' sing-along on the opening track sets the tone for an exuberant community-rallying protest music that constitutes the spiritual foundation of the record. Destruction of communities (foreign & local) are lamented & eulogised in the following tracks.