Kollaps Tradixionales, the last full-length record from Silver Mt. Zion, truly began a departure from some of the band members' more highly coveted project, Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The differences really were there at the beginning with the addition of vocals and more truncated songs. But since dropping the Tra-la-la Band from the name, the orchestra has turned up the volume. Tracks like "I Built Myself a Metal Bird" just rocked in a way the band hadn't demonstrated before.
This direction is even further explored on their latest, F**k Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything. Opening opus, "F**k Off Get Free", still holds the customary doom in their music. It's only further accentuated by the background vocals of violinists Sophie Trudeau and Jessica Moss. As usual, their play is mesmerizing. The way they work off of each other on "Austerity Blues" with Thierry Amar's bass line leading the way is just plain incredible. These first two compositions demonstrate a real concentration on vocal harmonies that only adds to the group's already considerable bag of tricks.
Recorded and mixed by Greg Norman of Chicago's famed Electrical Audio studio, the sound of the album comes in from all directions in an audio blitzkrieg. There's a lot of space in the recording that all gets filled, especially on "Take Away These Early Grave Blues". Then comes a lovely, peaceful reprieve from the onslaught with "Little Ones Run". They even manage to improve on the best track from their previous EP, The West Will Rise Again, finally uniting the two parts of "What We Loved Was Not Enough". Efrim Menuck's voice may not be good technically, his performance on that track is heartfelt and perfect for the piece.
With every SMZ release, parts are added and rearranged as though the band is always trying to make a new puzzle, never satisfied with the one in the box. With FOGFWPLOE, they have gone outside of that box and melded together a staggering work that is gloomy, dark, and beautiful.
F**k Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything is available now through Constellation Records.