Albums to watch

'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

Canadian post-rock titans GY!BE were long rumoured to have split up until they started playing shows in 2010, with this being their first new release in 9 years

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  1. 10.0 |   The Guardian

    It's beautiful, thrilling and exhausting
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  2. 10.0 |   The Skinny

    Godspeed have always connected with listeners on a primal level, and they're as captivating and emotionally stirring now as ever
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  3. 9.3 |   Pitchfork

    An album of music that is both new and old from a band that we thought we might never hear from again, one we should appreciate while we can
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  4. 9.0 |   PopMatters

    ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! sells itself, and I will leave it at that
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  5. 9.0 |   Spin

    Godspeed is all about wide-open spaces here. And it's easier to find transcendence in the desolation, to get hypnotized by a single note, or get lost in rearranging the four vinyl sides into your own personal manifesto. To infinity and beyond
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  6. 9.0 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    A truly unforgettable experience
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  7. 9.0 |   BBC

    Godspeed have once again created a challenging, intense, evocative work, worthy of their canon
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  8. 8.9 |   Paste Magazine

    It’s tense, it’s beautiful, it’s bleak, it takes the listener from point A to point B while leaving it up to us what the point of the ride is to begin with
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  9. 8.5 |   Prefix

    [A] powerful, bruising, yet generous record
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  10. 8.5 |   Beats Per Minute

    Allelujah! seems more immediate and more organic, but instead of feeling blown away by it’s unreachable drama and grandeur, with a decade of age behind us and the band, it feels inhabitable in a way Godspeed never has before
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  11. 8.5 |   The Quietus

    There's a palpable fierceness, a disciplined savagery, to the playing here - no doubt honed over a long period, but not polished
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  12. 8.3 |   AltSounds

    Not just a powerful listen, but an emotional roller coaster of sorts, beautiful but ugly, serene but violent and painfully realistic for a band whose music inspires such hope
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  13. 8.3 |   A.V. Club

    Where previous releases have seen the Canadian outfit reach toward a clarity of emotion and execution, ’Allelujah! sounds muddy and muffled in its messaging
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  14. 8.0 |   DIY

    The template remains the same, the same crescendos, the same wound up tension and release, but crucially the layered guitars, the ebb and flow of the strings and the spiraling crescendos remain equally as affecting
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  15. 8.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    A modestly magnificent record that entirely validates this reformation
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  16. 8.0 |   The Digital Fix

    Whilst the years away may have taken them in different directions this album is vintage GY!BE
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  17. 8.0 |   musicOMH

    A glorious hymn to the visceral and transformative power of sound
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  18. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Godspeed's music remains as deep, angry, tender, ecstatic and uncompromising as ever
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  19. 8.0 |   Uncut

    Might be said to be ahead of their time. Print edition only

  20. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Feels simultaneously enormous and tragic; the sound of victory firmly set in the jaws of defeat. Print edition only

  21. 8.0 |   No Ripcord

    It will satisfy most fans of the band and win few new ones because of its uncompromising stance
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  22. 8.0 |   The Observer

    By turns stark, or raging with guitars and strings, yet driven by compassion and hope
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  23. 7.9 |   The AU Review

    This album may not be their most accessible work, yet it reminds us of the true power of sound - a power that only some are courageous enough to fully harness
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  24. 7.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    An Allelujah!… we get a Godspeed reinvigorated, imbued with their best spirit, the spirit of the rag-tag collective, not equipped (or willing) to meet on the terms of their oppressors, but determined to persist nonetheless
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  25. 7.5 |   Under The Radar

    Marrying an experimental-rock ethos with a symphony's scope, Godspeed once again offers a record that easily matches the intrigue of their album titles and covers
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  26. 7.4 |   PlayGround

    It’s hard to get the idea out of our mind that we are looking at one of their minor albums, not only because seventy percent of the music on it comes from a handy updating of old songs, but also because it constantly gives the impression that this is more a comeback than an ordinary new album
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  27. 7.0 |   All Music

    Given the discipline and experimentation in the short pieces, and in the creative imagination displayed in rearranging the longer ones to accommodate a larger band, 'Allelujah! Don't Bend Ascend proves, that GY!BE still has plenty of captivating things to say
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  28. 7.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    Two 20 minute pillars hold the album up, each more aggressive and lush than anything the band has recorded previously
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  29. 7.0 |   Slant Magazine

    A sprawling, four-movement storm that had the potential to be their greatest work yet, a middling comeback, or a rehash of talked-up concert appearances. Frustratingly, it's all three
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  30. 7.0 |   Blurt

    The band's first full-length effort in almost exactly a decade, and the record is so good that it completely validates Godspeed's return to the studio and the touring circuit
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  31. 7.0 |

    At times magnificent, scary, exciting , infuriating but never less than utterly compelling. A very welcome return
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  32. 6.0 |   Q

    A very welcome return. Print edition only

  33. 6.0 |   Independent on Sunday

    It's all a bit "junior school music project" at times, and there's nothing John Cale wasn't doing half a century ago, but it's nevertheless an impressive work
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  34. 6.0 |   State

    Thinking outside the box: yes. Overdoing it: perhaps
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