Thee Silver Mount Zion
He Has Left Us Alone...


4.5
superb

Review

by S. G. Shaw USER (15 Reviews)
November 11th, 2006 | 107 replies | 18,714 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist


4 of 4 thought this review was well written

A Silver Mount Zion has changed so much over the span of their four albums and one EP, that fans eventually gave up on trying to remember what the band is calling themselves nowadays. They have gone from A Silver Mount Zion, to The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, to The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band with Choir, to Thee Silver Mountain Reveries and then finally back to Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band

Tired yet?

Not me. The constant name-changing isn’t meant to ward off potential listeners, it’s meant to convey the present state of the band (and perhaps just to piss off music journalists).

A side-project at the time, A Silver Mt. Zion was comprised of three members: Efrim, Thierry and Sophie. And their instrumental capacity ranged from stand-up bass, piano, samples, violin & more. With their first album, ASMZ express themselves through incredibly sorrowful pieces. This is one of the most beautifully depressing albums I’ve ever heard. Using post-rock as a base structure for most of their songs, ASMZ depart slighty from the basic notions of post rock when Efrim sings in Movie (Never Made). He sings haunting lyrics over disjointed piano and stand-up bass: ”The towers had fallen / And the wind calls out my grandfather’s name, an eerie and coincidental parallel to 9/11, Efrim expresses his vision of the future: Let our crowds be fed on tear gas and plate glass / ‘Cause the people united is a wonderful thing.

13 Angels Standing Guard Round The Side Of Your Bed and For Wanda are similar in structure, where a piano or noise begins and is built upon by violin or some phantasmal noise. Reportedly, For Wanda was written about Efrim’s dog, Wanda, who died while GY!BE was on tour.

The tracks are, on average, about six minutes long; the longest track however, Blown-Out Joy From Heaven's Mercied Hole, (and several other tracks), is (are) evidence of ASMZ’s dabbling in some kind of chamber rock, or chamber music in general… sad, slow, hopelessly desolate-sounding. A slow bassline leads into a piano and some strange effects, and then into violins rocking back and forth, signaling the feeling of a slow death march. Near the end, the piano becomes frantic, rushing around blindly until the instruments collapse to a slow, rhythmic end.

At the beginning of the album is Broken Chords Can Sing A Little, where an agonizingly slow piano part is played. It playes until an unfulfilled climax is reached and then falls into the background. As dual samples of men babbling prophetic rhetoric about the end of the world, violins wrap around each other and the piano. The result is a genuine creepiness that sets the tone perfectly for the rest of the album.

At the end of this record, in For Wanda, is the only glimpse of hope: a quiet electric organ/synth sounds off into silence.

Pros: Amazing music to read to; music that perfectly represents a mood (even if that mood is hopelessness); and a must-listen for fans of post rock or neo-classical.

Cons: Like with all other post rock albums, the length of some tracks can turn some people off; this album can easily rain on anyone’s parade if they’re not prepared for it’s overall mood, tone, and message.

Stand-out Tracks:

Broken Chords Can Sing A Little
Movie (Never Made)
13 Angels Standing Guard Round The Side Of Your Bed
Stumble Then Rise On Some Awkward Morning



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Comments:Add a Comment 
The Jungler
November 11th 2006



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You could have talked a little more about the music, but it was a really good review. I don't know why I haven't heard any of these guys yet, Efrim is one of my favorite guitarists.

Wanker
November 11th 2006



139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sorry about not talking about the music that much. I added a little more to the review, describing some of their sound.

The Jungler
November 11th 2006



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool, though it only makes me want this more.

slack
November 11th 2006



248 Comments


Hell yes. I love this album.

711
November 11th 2006



1342 Comments


Sweet review. Ive been wanting to hear these guys for a long time... do they have a myspace or anything where I could stream some songs?

Wanker
November 11th 2006



139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Try this site: http://www.progarchives.com/Progressive_rock_discography_BAND.asp?band_id=1749#mp3

711
November 11th 2006



1342 Comments


Gah, why didnt I think to look on progarchives?
Thanks, Ill check it out

Two-Headed Boy
November 12th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like this a wee bit better than F#A#, but only because F#A# moves too slow for my anticipations. They're both equal musically though.

As for the review, you really didn't say much, but what you did say covered enough ground. Good work.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
January 6th 2008



15697 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Mmm tastey.

Altmer
March 9th 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good album, mainly because the songs aren't like ASDF 20 minutes urgh like godspeed you! black emperor

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2008



15697 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's a little boring though since it never really climaxes. Ever.

And the overly simplistic lines in the 2nd and 3rd tracks don't do it any favors either.

Though I will say Movie Never Made and Broken Chord Can Sing a Little are awesome.This Message Edited On 03.09.08

Altmer
March 9th 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah it's not like a 5 or anything but it's good. And I like the second track.

frederf
June 15th 2008



4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

There can't be any parallel with 9/11 cauz it was out in 2000

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2008



6965 Comments


Such an amazing album to sleep to ... can anyone recommend other albums for that?

Digging: Perfume Genius - Learning

tombits
December 30th 2008



3463 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is alright.

Lions
July 3rd 2009



1015 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is this most depressing sounding album I've ever heard. It's good, but I can't listen to it. Maybe because the one time I decided to listen to it and really pay attention to it I was real depressed to begin with and this didn't help me at all. Good review though, good band.

Oliver
November 9th 2009



118 Comments


Just listened to a stream of this on Youtube, and I have to say it was utterly bleak and beautiful. I must get a copy of this...

robin
Emeritus
February 1st 2010



4223 Comments


mmmm overblown music

Thane
November 29th 2010



2110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was talking to a guy last night about these guys, and he said I should be careful about where I start with them. I can't remember which album he said I should start with though. Only thing I remember was to stay away from the stuff with vocals at first. So, what should I get first?

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
November 29th 2010



6965 Comments


Start with this album or Born Into Trouble...



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