'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
Critic Score
Based on 30 reviews
2012 Ratings: #19 / 1070
Year End Rank: #23
User Score
Based on 636 ratings
2012 Ratings: #11
Liked by 22 people
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An album of music that is both new and old from a band that we thought we might never hear from again, one we should appreciate while we can.

The 405

It only takes a few seconds of Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! to realise that GY!BE are back to do what they do best; making a glorious cacophony of ringing guitars, singing strings and ferocious feedback. 


It’s tense, it’s beautiful, it’s bleak, it takes the listener from point A to point B while leaving it up to us what the point of the ride is to begin with.

Beats Per Minute

Allelujah! seems more immediate and more organic, but instead of feeling blown away by it’s unreachable drama and grandeur, with a decade of age behind us and the band, it feels inhabitable in a way Godspeed never has before.

A.V. Club

Where previous releases have seen the Canadian outfit reach toward a clarity of emotion and execution, ’Allelujah! sounds muddy and muffled in its messaging.

Drowned in Sound

For now, though, they’ve made a modestly magnificent record that entirely validates this reformation.


‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! rewards immersive, though somewhat uncritical, listening: a glorious hymn to the visceral and transformative power of sound.

Under The Radar

Marrying an experimental-rock ethos with a symphony's scope, Godspeed once again offers a record that easily matches the intrigue of their album titles and covers. 

Tiny Mix Tapes

The new recordings are thrilling and arguably more direct than on GY!BE’s classic albums, but I suspect it’s not the new music on the album that makes this album an event; it’s the band’s re-emergence as a cultural text at this moment.

Consequence of Sound

Allelujah! Dont’ Bend! Ascend! offers fewer catharses, fewer emotions, and fewer answers, putting more distance than ever between Godspeed You! Black Emperor and the listener.

'Allelujah! It's incredible! Godspeed You! Black Emperor has returned with what might just be their second best album to date. A haunting album artwork, and some big long drones make this a great listening experience. Grab a snack, because this album only quenches my insatiable bloodlust for the moment. Empty your pockets and give me everything you own.
I like to imagine that Mladic is the bombing of a city, and the three tracks that follow are the soundtrack to walking around in the desolate and war-ridden streets following the bombings. An incredible experience.
If this album proves anything, it's that Godspeed You still had it in them to create some amazing post-rock work even after a ten year hiatus.

This is yet another album presented by Godspeed You! Black Emperor where I loved almost everything I heard. Hell, like Yanqui, 'Allelujah is an album where I have a difficult time even finding anything bad about it. All four of the tracks given to us here are just fantastic post-rock songs. With two epic, twenty minute long, intense and incredibly ... read more
"Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!" proves that, even after 10 years, Godspeed You! Black Emperor still have the same amount of exciting tricks up their sleeve! It's all very evident on "Mladic", which is probably one of the best post-rock pieces of the decade! The other three songs are absolutely no slouch either and they all carry the atmosphere set on "Mladic" beautifully! Each crescendo is so extravagant, each drone is so carefully placed and each climax is so ... read more

A haunting listen with some good buildups, but to slow at times to have my full attention. As always the instrumentals are wonderful and good, but as I said to slow at times.
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Added on: October 2, 2012