Angels of Light | Everything Is Good Here/Please Come Home | by Brandon Stosuy

Pitchfork 'best of 2003' issue

On the Angels of Light's epic third album, frenzied dirges, pagan laments, and celebratory incantations build tension like Poe's tightest tales and then, without fail, release a piss-storm of Old Testament wrath as redemption. In the CD booklet is a picture in which a copy of Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Yanqui U.X.O. rests atop a pile of mail, papers, and musical detritus-- the homage is intentional, yet while The Angels of Light share Godspeed's sense of protracted anguish and triumph, Angels frontman Michael Gira did it first with Swans, and still does it better. Practicing compassionate masochism through visceral intrusions rather than suggesting global politics through facelessness, static diagrams and expected loud/soft dynamics, Gira embodies disaster and its attendant unpredictability, concocting a breakneck prophetic power struggle that comes off like holy writ. Or at least the orchestral punk-rock edition of Paradise Lost.