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A Silver Mt. Zion - He Has Left Us Alone But Shafts Of Light Sometimes Grace The Corner Of Our Rooms CD (album) cover


A Silver Mt. Zion


Post Rock/Math rock

3.96 | 97 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
4 stars What we have here is a funeral album although it sounds more like a holocaust soundtrack not just dripping but flooded with melancholy and lucid lugubrious lament. A SILVER MT ZION is a side project of the masters of apocalyptic soundtrack skills Godspeed! You Black Emperor and believe it or not was created solely as a one album project by Efrim Menuck who was morning the death of his beloved dog Wanda. While the Godspeed! main project had a sort of continuity in their releases, Efrim wanted to branch out a bit and what better way than to construct a musical eulogy for your best friend. Yep, the universe's cruel joke is that your beloved pets become as close as your own children but have the lifespan of the average $100 American bill.

The irony was that through the death of a precious departed one, new life sprung from the ashes. This one shot project has become a wise career move that has far surpassed the original Godspeed! project's number of releases. While this debut album is credited to A SILVER MT ZION, Efrim followed the Sun Ra approach when he renamed his notorious Arkestra every album or two just to keep things interesting ie The Sun Ra Arkestra, Sun Ra and His Astro-Infinity Arkestra, Sun Ra and His Myth-Science Arkestra, Sun Ra and His Intergalactic Research Arkestra. Thus a new band was born after the popularity of this tribute to Wanda was released and the A Silver Mt Zion would evolve into The SILVER MT ZION Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, The SILVER MT ZION Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La- La Band With Choir and so on and so forth.

While this release is lumped into the general post-rock category this is much more a percussionless parade of chamber music that is simply vocals, guitar, bass, piano and violin. The music is haunting and chilling and the closest thing that comes to mind when i hear this is the soundtrack to "Schindler's List." There is absolutely nothing uplifting and warm and fuzzy going on here. These notes flow together in a way that stabs you in the heart and twists the knife until you simply break down in utter agony and despair. Only the pain of losing a loved one could allow a composer to achieve this effect with such minimal instrumentation. This is one of those albums that i love but choose not to listen to on a regular basis because of the heart wrenching effects of violin tremolos, vibratos, arpeggios and sonic appoggiatura.

I, like many, prefer the albums that follow as they become more artistic and put the rock back in the post-rock, but this album serves a purpose and that purpose is magnificently achieved. The emotional flow of this album is haunting and evokes poignance and bereavement like few other musical works can. I can feel the extreme sense of pain and loss of love in every note on this one as it musters up some incredible dregs of dejection and execution of exuberance. It also makes me want to hug every loved one in my life and hold on dearly for i know the insufferable fate of separation will inevitably touch us all eventually. Sigh. Great album. Difficult subject matter.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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