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A Silver Mt. Zion


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Montreal, Canada (1999 – present)

A Silver Mt. Zion uses a number of different variations of the name on different releases with respect to line-up changes.

A Silver Mt. Zion is a band formed in 1999, in Montreal, Quebec, by Godspeed You! Black Emperor musicians Efrim Menuck, Sophie Trudeau and Thierry Amar. According to an interview with VPRO Radio in The Netherlands, originally the project was for Efrim to learn how to score music, but the idea was soon abandoned as Efrim decided that he preferred music not to be defined by rules, preferring simply what sounds best. Despite this, he continued the project out of a desire to experiment with ideas that would not work within the context of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The decision to record an album was partly inspired by the death of his dog Wanda, who had died while Godspeed You! Black Emperor was on tour. He wanted to record an album in her memory, but did not feel that he could effectively do this through Godspeed’s collective, consensus format.

Unlike Godspeed You! Black Emperor, A Silver Mt. Zion’s music often features vocals. The last few albums they have released contain no purely instrumental tracks. Efrim confessed that he was uncomfortable with this at first, feeling “foolish” and uncomfortable with the role of the singer in music generally. That is, he did not want to be the focus of the band’s music but rather wished to use vocals as a stylistic tool. Some fans were initially ambivalent about the use of vocals, but Efrim’s poetic lyrical style is now well respected among fans. Furthermore, A Silver Mt.


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  • tsintskaro

    I understand preferences but you're talking about an album that is 14 years old and overlooking over 10 years worth of material made by a host of great musicians who have passed through the bands ranks (including Becky Foon, who left the band around 5 years ago). That's plenty of time to get used to the vocals and all the other changes the band have been through. They've made some remarkable music throughout their history. I like the first album a lot, but I don't think it's close to being their best work and as such I don't use it as the bench mark to judge all their other records. People change. Circumstances change. Bands change. It's not like they are churning out the same album over and over again, which is a good thing.

    16 Apr 11:16am Reply
  • EclipseDarkness

    tsintskaro, I don't really have a choice. It's just that songs like "Movie (Never Made)" amongst a list of instrumental pieces, seemed beautiful and surprising in an album like He Has Left Us Alone. I don't know if I'm not evolving or the band isn't. Most probably the former.

    11 Apr 8:35am Reply
  • Brett_J_Nelson

    I saw a picture of the merch table from one of the NYC shows, and they still had copies of "The West Will Rise Again" single. Anyone going to a show on this tour want to pick me up a copy? I'll cover shipping costs, too! PM me if anyone's willing to do so. Thanks.

    10 Apr 3:55pm Reply
  • tsintskaro

    Just get over it. They've been a vocal group for 10 years.

    10 Apr 3:06pm Reply
  • EclipseDarkness

    Enough with the vocals. I wish we had more of Sophie and Becky with strings.

    10 Apr 8:34am Reply
  • haunted_body

    Such a pity SMZ aren't going to come back to Russia.

    6 Apr 7:06pm Reply
  • noense

    Menuck goes disco, wtf? He's good even at that.

    4 Apr 8:53am Reply
  • Hopkinator

    Fuck Off Get Free is fantastic. [6]

    31 Mar 3:26am Reply
  • 2487

    OLD ZION ARE BETTER [2]. This. Nothing beats He Has Left Us and Born Into Trouble.

    28 Mar 2:31am Reply
  • Kavehim

    آخر لعنتی تو از کُجا پیدات شُد ؟ از کجا اومدی بگو

    18 Mar 5:57am Reply
  • manichateball

    oh man I'm gonna lose my shit if they play 'Piphany Rambler at the Philly show

    14 Mar 2:58pm Reply
  • rawen333

    Fuck Off Get Free is fantastic. [5]

    12 Mar 9:42am Reply
  • fokkeantonides

    fuck off... get free!

    10 Mar 9:40pm Reply
  • noiselink325

    Fuck Off Get Free is fantastic. [4]

    6 Mar 5:30am Reply
  • Brett_J_Nelson

    There's also this: 75 minute performance at La Route du Rock fest wherein they play new song "All the Kings are Dead."

    27 Feb 5:07pm Reply
  • SirGhostly

    but for real i'd like to see what they do with what is pretty much my fav smz track

    27 Feb 1:20am Reply
  • SirGhostly

    i'm laughing so hard fucking post-rock dance remix

    27 Feb 1:19am Reply
  • Brett_J_Nelson

    Well, this is gonna be different: "Hang on to Each Other" reworked as a pair of analog techno "remixes" with Ariel Engle on vocals....

    26 Feb 3:52pm Reply
  • tsintskaro

    Thanks va-chier. Hebronix supported in London last night and the ASMZ setlist was the same as what Seagrass listed, except they didn't play blindblindblind. The new track 'all the kings are dead' is brilliantly heavy.

    24 Feb 12:45pm Reply
  • va_chier

    "were any bands supporting?" No

    21 Feb 4:13pm Reply
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