Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra
Born Into Trouble As the Sparks Fly Upward



by Wanker USER (15 Reviews)
January 17th, 2005 | 22 replies

Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

A Silver Mount Zion - Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upward

Released in 2001 off of Constellation Records, Born Into Trouble As the Sparks Fly Upward is the second album from this Godspeed You! Black Emperor side-project. Growing from three members into six since their last album, He Has Left Us Alone, But Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corners of Our Rooms, ASMZ (in many people's eyes) have fallen somewhat short since their last album. This album takes on the shape moreso of a GY!BE album with its fortissimos and crescendos or bombastic guitar and stringed instruments. Violin, cello, piano and samples are some of the main resources they draw from.

You will also notice that on Born Into Trouble As the Sparks Fly Upward, Effrim's voice makes several appearances on tracks such as Take These Hands And Throw Them In The River and The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes.

Sisters! Brothers! Small Boats of Fire Are Falling from the Sky! 9:08

The first track begins with an ever-loudening, repeating ambient noise that seems to fly right past your ears and toward the back of your head. Sad violins join the mix as the other noises recede slowly but never quite go away. Now there's a piano that comes in and plays its own melody as the violins shift to another meloncholy harmony to compliment it. The volume grows slowly as the separate sounds combine and make you feel like you should be in some sad, sad movie... and dancing. Yeah, dancing. This continues, loudens, and then finally draws to a close.


This Gentle Hearts Like Shot Birds Fallen 5:47

At the start of the next tracl, the band employs a sound clip of a baby making 'noises'. I'm sorry, I like samples and all, but this one just annoys me. However, as soon as the baby isn't heard anymore, a sad guitar is heard in the distance, and is soon joined by horns and strings as the sound grows and grows at a very slow pace. This theme continues until the song ends.


Built Then Burnt (Hurrah! hurrah!) 5:40

A monologue by (supposedly) the violinist, Sophie, starts this track off, but soon she is accompanied by a distant harmonizing theme. The monologue is generally not up to par that I would expect from the same people that wrote 'The Dead Flag Blues.' There are some lines that stick out though. Lines such as, "Good words, strong words, words that could've moved mountains, words that were never said."

Once the monologue is finished, the horns and strings form a similar melody as the previous track. Undeniably similar. After a few minutes, the theme slides away into a barrage of screeching violins that continues into the next track.


Take These Hands and Throw Them in the River 6:58

Almost like a slap in the face, this sense of urgency will wake the listener up from the previous track with the shake of loud, dissonant violin and cello. Soon enough, Efrim begins singing in his awkward, but powerful voice. After a couple verses, the instuments build and build their sound until there's almost an anti-climax where the sound recedes back ever-so slightly. Efrim's voice can get a trifle annoying near the end of this part as it keeps repeating the same line and then dies out into near-silence.


Could've Moved Mountains 10:59

The track begins slowly with spacy guitar and a cello. Efrim's voice is heard again, but it seems as though he's singing two different songs. The music flows along as the guitar takes a center role in the piece. Efrim's voice comes in again along with a woman's voice. They're singing almost inaudibly but this time around (as opposed to earlier in the song) it souns a little better. The music gets picked up a slight bit as a slow melody rises up and falls back down. Subtle Voices are accompanying the ever-thickening sound that the instruments put forth as the paces picks up a tiny bit. The sound builds and builds as various sound clips play in the background. The pace recedes again until there is nothing but a sound clip of a children which leads into the next track.


Tho You Are Gone I Still Often Walk W/You 4:46

Piano starts off as the main focal point of this track. Its quick pace is accompanied by strings until slows down once again. The piano changes melodies and continues in an eerie manner due as the pace quickens and slows down once again. The piano and cello introduce a variation of the last theme until it slows down, stops and becomes quiet.


C'mon Comeon (Loose an Endless Longing) 8:06

Suddenly, a metallic, distorted guitar rings out in time with percussion. This track is beginning to feel very "Godspeed-eee." The instuments all combine to make an eerie, daunting atmosphere of sound. Penetrating through everything sounds like the howl of a french horn. The pace increases slightly as the metallic bumps increase in frequency and bombard the listener. But soon thereafter, the sound fades away and leves behind a howling noise that takes the form of horns in a very "Do Make Say Think-like" way. Once the horns emerge completely, a wave of static begins to rise along with a the heavy crash of cymbals and beat of drums. It all eventually combines into a sonic Tower of Babble that collapses in on itself.


Triumph of Our Tired Eyes 6:54

Very dainty ambient noises introduce the next track along with the help of Efrims voice. A cello enters the mix along with a clean-picked violin. "We will find our way" are the hopeful words that are muttered by Efrim in accompaniment with violin. Efrim's voice becomes doubled once again as he cries out "musicans are cowards!" The violins continue along and then quiet down when Efrim's begins singing again. The message is ery political which is to be expected. The plucked violin returns as Efrim repeats "So come on friends, to the barricades again." The music eventually dies out and is replaced by girls singing a little song about the barricade until there is silence once again.


A Silver Mount Zion hasn't taken a very big step at all since their last album, but actually might have taken a small step back toward sounding a bit too much like Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The crescendos are still there, and the sound isn't as crisp as one would expect it to be.

Still, although the production lacks somewhat, and this formula has been overdone, ASMZ is still their own band that is able to put more heartbreaking music in an album than I can shake a stick at.

Overall Rating: 8.8/10

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user ratings (353)

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 4th 2005


Good review. The best song on this album is the scary one.

March 17th 2006


I find this CD to be so beautiful. Haunting, yet very compelling. I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff, but still, I find this record very moving and incredibly potent. Great music!

May 23rd 2006


I just listened to this album for the first time yesterday and have mixed thoughts. While Could've Move a Mountain and Triumph of Our Died Eyes are really interesting listens I find that a few of these songs end before they even start.

Two-Headed Boy
October 31st 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

put more heartbreaking music in an album than I can shake a stick at.


Yeah this album owns, but He Has Left Us... owns the pants off of this one.

June 27th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

I've finally gotten this and I'm listening through it for the first time. It certainly is breathtaking music, but the vocals in Take These Hands... make me kind of die a little on the inside.

November 14th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Bad review...

"The volume grows slowly as the separate sounds combine and make you feel like you should be in some sad, sad movie... and dancing."

I have to agree with that. I feel like I'm dancing a waltz with my wife, I'm a young handsome man about to go off to war in a black and white movie, this is my last dance, my last waltz, never again will it be the same.

November 14th 2008


this has such a badass cover

November 15th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Fucking hell, I don't have 20% of my fucking ratings at 5, let me rate shit Sputnik you fucking cunt.

I bet cunt won't be censored.

November 18th 2008


this album still continues to blow my mind on a regular basis

November 21st 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Wind... I wrote this review before Sputnik even launched. Back in the ol' MX days, track-by-track reviews were common. Just to clarify why it's so bad.

November 24th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, probably.

July 15th 2009


Album Rating: 4.5

This album is so beautiful to me, for unexplainable reasons. I think it's because this is just as haunting as He Has Left Us... but the album is laced with hope whereas their first album is pure despair. I think I might write a review for this album.

November 6th 2009


I like this more than Skinny Fists.

April 2nd 2010



November 20th 2010


not up to par with the best godspeed releases but still an epic listen.

November 20th 2011


I like how the title is mostly drawn from the Book of Job:

“Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upwards” (5:7).

January 29th 2012


Album is underrated, also

Activista anti-MTV
April 18th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

only band i can get into right now

September 30th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

omfg this is better than i remember jesus fuck

April 6th 2017


this starts off nice and ends up fkin gorgeous

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