When Godspeed You! Black Emperor released their debut full-length, 1997’s F♯ A♯ ∞, they burned down the walls separating heaven, purgatory, and hell in the wake of apocalypse. It only took 38 minutes. The album’s championing moment, and maybe the band’s best opening sequence to date, comes in the form of “The Dead Flag Blues”, a deadpan soliloquy about a man’s skepticism of the government and the decline of modern civilization. Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress is Godspeed’s first single LP-length release since then, and as a nearly 20-year gap would suggest, the two records stand at opposite ends of the emotional spectrum. F♯ A♯ ∞ weeps violently. Asunder smiles faintly.