Over the course of two (admittedly lengthy) compositions, this forward-looking Montreal nonet bridges the gaps between several styles and takes listeners on a constantly shifting sonic journey. They combine the swirling atmospherics of ambient music with the uncompromising textures and socio-political vision of the Rock In Opposition crowd, framing it all in a semi-classical, string-dominated style that recalls the avant-chamber prog of Univers Zero or Art Zoyd.
The instrumental "Moya" is full of subtle dynamic shifts and intriguing sonic juxtapositions, but it's "Blaise Bailey Finnegan III" that's most striking. It features snippets of a taped conversation with an outspoken/slightly "off" self-styled poet (presumably the piece's namesake), who offers his vitriolic views on America's current political/economic climate over Godspeed's instrumental backing. Highly original and unforgettable.
CMJ (3/15/99, pp.25-26) - "...a dreamy, symphonic sweep. With a mere two songs and an extra ounce of oomph, Emperor! has crafted one of 1999's best-rehearsed and most magnificent records thus far."
Mojo (Publisher) (9/99, p.108) - "...operates in the unexpected terrain between stasis and rupture....Fiercely private, relentlessly experimental....If you find Mogwai dreary and uninvolving, this, exquisitely, is the real deal."
NME (Magazine) (5/1/99, p.38) - 8 out of 10 - "...It's impossibly beautiful music for plain impossible times. Yes, we are a long way from home. But here, in this low and lovely noise, is a place to keep you warm."