Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
Buy On
  1. Mar 31, 2015
    93
    It’s a true piece of art, and we’re lucky Godspeed You! Black Emperor gave listeners a proper document.
  2. Mar 31, 2015
    91
    Despite its brevity, Asunder has more meat on its bones. And though it calls back to many of the strengths of early GY!BE albums, it also highlights an evolution of intent.
  3. Apr 6, 2015
    90
    The message might be shorter this time around, but it is just as pointed and effective.
  4. Apr 3, 2015
    90
    Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress is, without a doubt, and seemingly with all intention, their most immediate record to date.
  5. Mar 30, 2015
    90
    Asunder, Sweet is Godspeed at their most conciliatory, most bloody-minded and most untouchable.
  6. Jun 11, 2015
    80
    For the first time in years, Godspeed is both operating at peak strength and not (as far we know) about to go on hiatus.
  7. Mojo
    May 20, 2015
    80
    This is music of compelling intensity. [Jun 2015, p.92]
  8. The Wire
    May 15, 2015
    80
    Perhaps their most forceful to date. [May 2015, p.49]
  9. May 7, 2015
    80
    The album frequently descends into seemingly chaotic feedback and amp fuzz but the dirt is very much artfully, deliberately applied.
  10. Apr 24, 2015
    80
    The band’s signature slow riffs and brutal, unison forces are all present, while it’s between these chord changes that the interplay of feedback, overtones, drones and whistles play, against and with, in and out of the bludgeoning drive of the enormous, portentous menhirs of minor melody.
  11. Their vision remains a bleak one--but it makes resistance sound holy, and love sound like a revolutionary act.
  12. Apr 2, 2015
    80
    The occasional soppiness of post-rock, which ultimately rendered it a dirty word in certain circles, has all but disappeared from the work of its godparents. Godspeed You! Black Emperor are now truly playing the music they were destined to play, and in its purest, weightiest possible form.
  13. Mar 31, 2015
    80
    This is a beautiful, concise blast that conveys this band's musical essence.
  14. Mar 31, 2015
    80
    Asunder may not be the second or third best Godspeed record but its likely to be one of the best records you hear this year and heralds a band that is not yet done creatively.
  15. Uncut
    Mar 30, 2015
    80
    [The album] follows a familiar trajectory: martial climaxes and blackened ambient passages, bombast and afterburn. Rarely, though, has that trajectory been charted so effectively. [May 2015, p.82]
  16. Mar 30, 2015
    80
    This relatively curt 40-minute set--the Montreal multi-instrumentalists’ second recording since their lengthy hiatus ended in 2010--ranks among their most immediate.
  17. Mar 30, 2015
    80
    Exchanging their volatile tendencies for restraint and focus, Godspeed You! Black Emperor have created another incredible work and one that finds them again evading the confines of formula--even if it happens to be their own.
  18. Mar 26, 2015
    80
    Asunder, Sweet begins in devastation and lament, takes time to plot, then surges with a single purpose: it is resolute and defiant, much like the players themselves.
  19. Mar 26, 2015
    80
    It requires some patience, but it's worth sitting through the less immediately gratifying moments for the final section's payoff.
  20. Mar 26, 2015
    80
    It’s post-apocalyptic, and it’s a gorgeous awakening for a band that continues to define the standard within its genre.
  21. Apr 1, 2015
    76
    You have to let your guard down, and Godspeed have to transform feelings into compelling records. They're still on track.
  22. 75
    Asunder is polemical in its trudge, drawing out notes the way a politician pauses between words to emphasize their meaning. As with 2012’s Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!, Godspeed pulls it off.
  23. Mar 31, 2015
    70
    Everything swirls in cacophonous, ever repeating, four-beat drones; only Trudeau's violins offer variation in a frenzied, harmonic counterpoint.
  24. 60
    Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress’ is good enough, by post-rock standards. But it really falls short of the bar that GY!BE set themselves before they took a break from the game.
  25. Apr 6, 2015
    60
    Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress’ is not a failure; it’s merely familiar.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 57
  2. Negative: 2 out of 57
  1. Jun 5, 2015
    10
    Godspeed are incredible musicians and I've followed them since the beginning. They never seem to make anything bad. Yanqui was their weakestGodspeed are incredible musicians and I've followed them since the beginning. They never seem to make anything bad. Yanqui was their weakest point, yes, but it's still awesome. I think of this as a continuation of Allelujah! If you love Godspeed, then you'll for sure love this album. The buildup to track 4 is great and track 4 then flourishes. It's a majestic, beautiful, hallucinogenic moment for Godspeed! In the running of AOTY possibly, in my opinion. Full Review »
  2. Mar 31, 2015
    7
    overall a much better effort than their previous release, don't bend, ascend - which i found to be skewed far to much to rock and noise thanoverall a much better effort than their previous release, don't bend, ascend - which i found to be skewed far to much to rock and noise than more composed and thoughtful compositions. with asunder, we receive a more focused and tight release that has refined the drone segments.

    it is still a noticeable departure from the days of zero kanada and skinny fists that saw heartbreaking string assembles. we also do not get to enjoy any voice samples that those two albums leveraged or how infinity symbol started, which set the tone for the whole performance - the car's on fire and there is nobody at the wheel and the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides and a dark wind blows.

    gy!be has progressed over the years and their message has shifted a bit but the structure they created with infinity symbol still remains. the band has progressed in a similar fashion to silver mt. zion... once a quiet band that used crescendos from time to time and had equally important lulls creating a tense and suffocating fear has now moved to a band that fills all the empty space with heavy guitars taking the lead for most of the dance.

    overall i find it to be a strong release that continues to prove why gy!be are at the very front of the pack within this genre of music. there is fear, anger, hope and concern conveyed in these minutes - just like each of their albums that has come before it - i just wish they would step back, create a little more nuance in the quiet spaces, let the violins whine a little bit more and paint a sky's sunset tactfully instead of throwing paint against a canvas aggressively to a point that eventually a pattern emerges when it dries.
    Full Review »