12. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Hallelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
While some might roll their eyes and think, "yeah, real shocker" on this one, I would ask such person to note that I have never had a GY!BE album on a year-end list before. OK, so I just started making these lists five years ago, and they've been on hiaitus for ten years - ya got me. Still, the point is that I have not always been a fan of theirs. GY!BE takes a lot of patience - at least for me - however, I'm finally starting to realize that the effort is worthwhile. Sometimes their compositions take a great long time to unfold - to wit, I would cite tracks one and three from this album, which clock in at just under twenty minutes each. In fact, the album's two other tracks are basically nothing more than a long interlude and an extended outro track, really. However, the musical control and artistic expression exhibited by these musicians is nearly beyond compare. This long-awaited release from Canadian post-rock giants GY!BE is a glorious return to form, and should not only please existing fans, but also create a few new ones.