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He Has Left Us Alone But Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of Our Rooms

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Album Review

A Silver Mt. Zion has created a quiet album of beautiful and hypnotic melancholy, giving it the lengthy name He Has Left Us Alone, but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of Our Rooms. With this early 2000 release on Montreal's Constellation label, Efrim, Thierry, and Sophie of Godspeed You Black Emperor! (also on Constellation) create a sound similar to that of GYBE!, but less mournful and more gentle. Layers of string sections surround inner rings of light echoes, surrounding a core of sparsely played, reverberating guitar. This mostly instrumental album occasionally calls to mind the simple, quiet, and space-filled works of modern composer Peter Garland, as well as the solo albums of Dirty Three guitarist, Mick Turner. Efrim (piano), Thierry (contrebass), and Sophie (violin) are joined by other members of the Montreal bands Godspeed, Exhaust, and more, resulting in an often lush and raw sound that can include drums, clarinet, guitar, and tape loops. Dedicated to Efrim's late dog, Wanda, this release is in keeping with the other serious and vulnerable music found in the Constellation catalogue.


Formed: 1999 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, A Silver Mt. Zion (just one of its many names) came to life in 1999 as a project for Godspeed You! Black Emperor member Efrim Menuck in his attempt to learn to score music. The original idea was pushed aside, and the project would go on to become a group setting, and was more in touch with the idea of the organic growth and exploration of music than the heavily composed and arranged theoretical work of Godspeed. Inspired to record an album of the music that had been...
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He Has Left Us Alone But Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of Our Rooms, Silver Mt. Zion
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