'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! - Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Nov 15, 2012
    100
    The Godspeed ethos of wordlessly eliciting universal truths is remains as devastatingly effective as ever.
  2. Nov 15, 2012
    93
    Few can match their feel for arrangement or sense of structure.
  3. Nov 15, 2012
    90
    Godspeed have once again created a challenging, intense, evocative work, worthy of their canon.
  4. Nov 15, 2012
    90
    'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! sells itself.
  5. Nov 15, 2012
    90
    'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! is a truly unforgettable experience.
  6. Nov 15, 2012
    90
    'Allelujah!'s symmetrical sequencing-two 20-minute suites, two 6-minute drones-is as stark and stout as anything the band have released to date, unflinching as it stares extreme horror dead in the eye.
  7. Nov 15, 2012
    90
    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.
  8. Nov 15, 2012
    89
    The time-tested tracks not only showcase the band doing what they do best in notoriously long, dramatic, panic-inducing instrumentals but are also startling reminders on why the band was so vital and lead such a movement to begin with.
  9. Nov 15, 2012
    85
    The album lives up to its name in every way on this powerful, bruising, yet generous record.
  10. 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.
  11. Nov 15, 2012
    83
    The disc is padded with two shorter pieces that serve as ambient interludes only.... That doesn't detract from the alternating bombast and delicacy of 'Allelujah!, but it does make the album feel more like a prelude to a comeback than a full-on renaissance.
  12. Dec 17, 2012
    80
    Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! feels simultaneously enormous and tragic; the sound of victory, firmly set in the jaws of defeat. [Jan 2013, p.91]
  13. Dec 11, 2012
    80
    Post-Bush, post-9/11, post-financial crisis, they sound more like [a] documentary. [Jan 2013, p.77]
  14. Nov 20, 2012
    80
    Godspeed's music remains as deep, angry, tender, ecstatic and uncompromising as ever.
  15. Nov 15, 2012
    80
    This potent emotional strain that runs throughout 'Allelujah is a confident affirmation of Godspeed's return to prominence. Ten years have very much been worth the wait.
  16. Nov 15, 2012
    80
    They still show no interest in doing things the easy way, and we couldn't be happier about that.
  17. Nov 15, 2012
    80
    They've made a modestly magnificent record that entirely validates this reformation.
  18. Nov 15, 2012
    80
    It may take a while before 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! is accepted amongst the ranks of their earlier work, if that ever happens, but ultimately, this is the same epic, mystifying GY!BE as always.
  19. Nov 15, 2012
    80
    'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! rewards immersive, though somewhat uncritical, listening: a glorious hymn to the visceral and transformative power of sound.
  20. Nov 15, 2012
    80
    It's all powerful stuff and it can only be GY!BE.
  21. Nov 15, 2012
    80
    They use a quiet/loud formula to epic create drone-filled symphonies, which rumble, crackle and erupt perfectly.
  22. Nov 15, 2012
    80
    Allelujah! picks up where Montreal's premier apocalyptic instrumental outfit left off, setting the collapse of the first world to wordless music.
  23. Dec 12, 2012
    75
    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.
  24. Jan 2, 2013
    70
    This isn't the sound of a once-renowned band trying to cash in on their glory days; it's the sound of a band invigorated.
  25. Nov 15, 2012
    70
    The long tracks here are hard to experience or hold in memory as entireties-- too big, too detailed, too multiple.... Which makes what comes afterwards more genuine: the two shorter tracks (relegated to a dropped-in 7" on the vinyl version) each explore a moment that would have formed part of the succession of the longer pieces, probing atmospheres of breakdown, exhaustion and drift as if opening up the microcosmic heart of their work.
  26. Nov 15, 2012
    70
    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.
  27. 70
    Allelujah!'s defiance of strictures of classic post-rock cinematic crescendos, or extended kraut-rock grooves, or popular musical modes and tonalities are what makes it work more as political album than it does as a traditional emotional one.
  28. Nov 15, 2012
    70
    Compared to the discourse and debate surrounding the new album, the music itself is somewhat of a non-event: two epic 20-minute-long LP sides, and a 7-inch of drone tracks.
  29. Nov 15, 2012
    70
    After 18 years, the revered nonconformists have compiled an album that feels like a career-spanning retrospective.
  30. Dec 21, 2012
    60
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor offer a majestic, beautiful coda for a version of protest that is dated and unhelpful today. I missed having their music around, but I wonder whose eyes they're opening with a record that sounds like a document of yesterday's anger.
  31. Dec 11, 2012
    60
    Such willful awkwardness means they're never likely to rise above cult status, but this is still a very welcome form. [Jan 2013, p.105]
  32. Dec 7, 2012
    60
    As it is, it's a new Godspeed album and it's a good one, but when you have set your standards as high as they have, it can only seem like a failure. [Nov 2012, p.59]
  33. Nov 15, 2012
    60
    The album wears thin in totality, but has isolated moments: entrances and releases and dropouts.
  34. 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.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Apr 25, 2013
    8
    Life in a soundtrack. There are the drones and then there are the pieces that sound like classic Godspeed doing there dark yet sentimentalLife in a soundtrack. There are the drones and then there are the pieces that sound like classic Godspeed doing there dark yet sentimental look on the world. This album has beauty. It has strength. Most of all though it has you, its listener who it will toy with until its very end... Full Review »
  2. Dec 17, 2012
    9
    An almost perfect album. Godspeed You! Black Emperor return with guns blazing on this record. 53 minute album containing only 4 tracks. TheAn almost perfect album. Godspeed You! Black Emperor return with guns blazing on this record. 53 minute album containing only 4 tracks. The opener "Mladic" is quite the opener. It's nearly 20 minutes long and completely KICKS ASS. They have a knack for small details and texture to their songs. It almost seems like the song sounds different each time I listen to it because I always catch new things about it. It's a difficult album at first though. Really difficult. It's one of those albums that'll click with you one day. All In All, if you have the patience, give this beautiful album a listen. It'll blow you away. A- Full Review »
  3. Dec 9, 2012
    8
    At a time where post-rock is more a joke than a reputable genre, Godspeed You! Black Emperor return from Valhalla to show the world how it