Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra at the Cedar

Dylan Hester

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra brought their rambling and righteous brand of chamber-rock to the Cedar Cultural Center last night. Originally a more subdued offshoot of seminal post-rock ensemble Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Silver Mt. Zion has become the more prolific of the two in the past decade. Their two most recent albums, 2010’s “Kollaps Tradixionales” and 2008’s “13 Blues for 13 Moons” are their loudest and most vocal to date, and last night’s show pulled heavily from them.

Opening the show with a new song, “Take Away These Early Grave Blues,” the band paused between each ten- to twenty-minute piece to chat with the audience. De facto leader Efrim Menuck continually asked for questions from the audience, humorously dodging any that had to do with Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

The crowd favorite was clearly “Horses in the Sky,” the acoustic title track from the band’s 2005 release. Last night, it was reworked as a blistering electric powerhouse before winding down into its quiet, choral refrain. “Blindblindblind” and “Black Waters Blowed / Engine Broke Blues” were likewise searing renditions. The audience hung onto every sound and lyric the five-piece put forward during each long, moody song.

Several other new songs were performed, including “The State Itself Does Not Agree,” “What We Loved Was Not Enough,” and the encore, “Psalms 99”. The latter was a highlight of the night, and if it’s any indication of things to come, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra has no plans of slowing down.