'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
Critic Score
Based on 25 reviews
2012 Ratings: #12 / 928
Year End Rank: #22
User Score
Based on 255 ratings
2012 Ratings: #10
Your Review



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.

Oct 1, 2017
Their most massive and glacial album to this point in their careers. 'Allelujah' is tempered, fidgety, and filled to the brim with perfectly executed combinations of field recordings, drone sounds, and livid guitars/drums. Honestly some points in it remind me of Swans' recent work, and that isn't at all a bad thing. It's like if Godspeed You went on a date with Mogwai, and came home with Boris.

Favorite Tracks: All of them
Sep 5, 2014
For their first album in about a decade, GYBE still has the great sense of emotion from their previous albums. The droning instrumentation is back and builds a fantastic atmosphere. Great comeback album.

Favourite tracks: Mladic, We Drift Like Worried Fire
Dec 12, 2017
Oct 8, 2016*
A huge step-up from it's predecessor and an outstanding experience.
Nov 21, 2014
An unquestionably post-rock masterpiece!
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Added on: October 2, 2012