Efrim Manuel Menuck – Plays “High Gospel” review

If a picture tells us a thousand words, than a song must equal just as much, if not more. In Plays “High Gospel” Efrim Manuel Menuck, also known as the leader of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion, attempts to express the inexpressible, using sounds to convey the words, that convey the emotion, that convey life’s experience, that remains so very mysterious and miraculous to us.

The matter of the album takes on bleeds of dying guitars, lo-fi vibrations, droning vocals, and electronic synths. Altogether these mesh to form a largely instrumental album thats hardly pronounced, but rather muffled, mystifying, and ambiguous. The melodies sweep the listener with a certain kind of feeling, a sadness, a fear, a heartbreak; the memories that each title implies suggest the roots of these strong sounds of emotion.

The album ender for example is entitled “I am no longer a motherless child” suggesting a kind of hard-one epiphany, or a final rite of passage after a long emotion journey. Perhaps these titles represent for Efrim those experiences we often look back on that define us, the childhood dreams, life-or-death dilemmas, the role models, the relationships, or those inexplicable recalls – those random events tucked away, like that day you saw an orange on the table, or that night you looked up at the sky and realized for the first time how beautiful it was.

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