Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2015 Ratings: #79 / 772
User Score
Based on 305 ratings
2015 Ratings: #214
March 31, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Constellation / Label
Post-Rock / Genres
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There’s a reason why GY!BE can go out in front of a crowd and play one song and have that be enough, and that’s because Asunder is Godspeed: the Band condensed into one piece. Their building tension (plenty of that). The lulling drones. The tear-summoning climax.

A.V. Club

At just 40 minutes, Asunder is also 13 minutes shorter than Allelujah! But despite its brevity, Asunder has more meat on its bones. And though it calls back to many of the strengths of early GY!BE albums, it also highlights an evolution of intent.

Drowned in Sound

Asunder, Sweet is Godspeed at their most conciliatory, most bloody-minded and most untouchable.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor don’t really deal in limitations. What they do deal in is catharsis, which the world needs as much now as it ever has. Maybe they came back just in time.

Asunder… is a focused distillation of a composition that is one of the band’s most affecting pieces.


It’s an invigorating makeover of Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s firmly entrenched sound, and thus Asunder is both a thematic and musical awakening for the band.

Exchanging their volatile tendencies for restraint and focus, Godspeed You! Black Emperor have created another incredible work and one that finds them again evading the confines of formula — even if it happens to be their own.
Under The Radar

Asunder may not be the second or third best Godspeed record but its likely to be one of the best records you hear this year and heralds a band that is not yet done creatively. It's thrilling to see the kind of compelling adult this punky prodigy has grown into.

This is a beautiful, concise blast that conveys this band's musical essence.
Because they write music without words, you're forced to find meaning in the substance of Godspeed's music. Their vision remains a bleak one - but it makes resistance sound holy, and love sound like a revolutionary act.
The Skinny

Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress is slim but huge, and tests the GYBE aesthetic with courageous enterprise.

No Ripcord

The band might well still be fluctuating and developing, but, at least in parts on Asunder… they've truly perfected their sound, and there’s not many bands that that can be said about.

The Guardian

Asunder, Sweet begins in devastation and lament, takes time to plot, then surges with a single purpose: it is resolute and defiant, much like the players themselves.

NOW Magazine

While it takes a few listens to absorb, Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress captures everything we love about the gloomy experimental instrumental rock group.

There is nothing about this album ... that would have sounded out of place if they had released it in 2002. Change is not Godspeed’s way, but the other side of that coin is that, despite many imitators, there’s also nothing else out there that sounds quite like them.
Consequence of Sound
Recorded during late 2013 and 2014, it’s a dramatic look at evil once again being destroyed — or perhaps as the one doing the destroying.

The conclusion of Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress is, as musically foretold on F# A# (Infinity) in 1998, the undoing of a world. The process of evolution is destruction. In GY!BE's musical universe, everything has already passed over the margin and returned to the void from whence it came. What can be left but silence?

Tiny Mix Tapes

Here, the band seems to retreat from such (was it always over-)determination instead to make joyous, explosive anthems born out of the turmoil, a little less on-the-nose politically, but more on-the-nose noisily.

The Line of Best Fit

Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress has little to say and fails to spark the imagination in the same way GY!BE have always accomplished. It’s a crushing disappointment to hear a band of this ilk release something that sounds so much like its contemporaries.

I'm sorry, but Godspeed You have just disappointed me with this one.

After a promising comeback from a decade long hiatus, I did have hopes that the remaining couple of albums I had yet to hear from this group would keep up the streak of fantastic instrumental post-rock records. Hell, I knew that these last few would be good considering they are getting just as much praise as the previous ones did! Unfortunately, the first of these last two releases has not set the best example for what a good ... read more

There's really not much you can say about every single GY!BE record that isn't the same thing, so I'll keep it brief. This is a lot more immersive and chaotic than LYSF, and I feel that the instrumentation and personal feeling on here is a lot more emphasized.

Color: White
FAV TRACKS: Piss Crowns Are Trebled, Lambs' Breath, Asunder Sweet
while not as epic in scope as some of Godspeed's earlier projects, Asunder, Sweet is still a very enjoyable release, and is really underrated in their catalog.

the intro track, Peasantry or 'Light! Inside of Light!,' which has possibly the most Godspeed title of any song ever, is one of their most direct and forceful songs. it ditches the long crescendos and intense, physical buildups for a more immediate and heavy sounds, and i think it works amazingly. the electric guitar solo, something i ... read more
"Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress" was extremely close to being yet another amazing record. The first and last tracks remain some of GY!BE's most riff-heavy, mind-blowing work yet! But, as much as this has been said before, the drone tracks in the middle are unnecessary and only add filler to this album. The drones aren't bad, per se, but they're sorely lacking the interesting arrangements and subdued beauty the band is usually known for. Overall, I'll still be returning to this ... read more
A good album but kind of disappointing considering the group's previous works.

Best Track: Piss Crowns Are Trebled
Worst Track: Lambs' Breath
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Added on: February 24, 2015