Thee Silver Mount Zion Corporation, Sheffield, 01/05/2007

Sun 13th May 2007

Support from Josh T. Pearson


Thee Silver Mt Zion and their wispy, ethereal songs visited Sheffield this week, fresh from their appearance at last weekend's All Tomorrows Parties festival. The murky depths of Corp seemed an odd place to go and see them, not metal or rock in the slightest, but undeniably epic. So what were they like?

Well, before that, we got about ten minutes of the very late and very beardy Josh T Pearson, his microphone stomping and country-esque guitars cut in and were gone almost too quick, be on time next visit, Josh!

Onto Thee Silver Mt Zion experience then. To the uninitiated, SMZ feature members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but with a more orchestral, less tension-filled sound that you can float away on. The setup was very strange to see on the Corporation's main stage, a space more used to guitar, bass and drums. Tonight it played host to violins, four vocal mics, a few cellos and a sideways facing drummer and it looked great. Playing for about an hour and a half, SMZ brought their epic sound to a room of respectful silence. Quiet and meandering, they announced each song to a hearty cheer and played their hearts out. Efrim Menuck's poetic style and dischordant vocal style really set up the atmospherics for songs like 'Take These Hands And Throw Them In The River' and the incredible, choral refrain of 'Mountains Made Of Steam'.

A small rant about the record industry and the revelation that the band are indeed familiar with Tesco's supermarket seems trivial when the music on offer is this mournful and high-brow, but they close with the brooding and beautiful 'There Is A River In The Valley Made Of Melting Snow'.

A truly absorbing experience and one that I hope encourages Corporation to book bands of a similar style, a very pleasant change!


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