Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! (Constellation)
The Canadian instrumental chamber-rock monolith returns with a fourth studio album, the first in a decade. Its timing is impeccable, arriving days before a U.S. presidential election between two politicians who relish killing strangers via unmanned aircraft. Check out the band’s 20-minute apocalypse-drone centerpiece “Mladic.” It begins with eerily plucked violin strings and builds into a wrathful surge of metal-edged, Arabian-scaled guitars. A total masterpiece of cathartic dirges. ★★★★☆
Lord Huron, Lonesome Dreams (IAMSOUND)
If all you know of this L.A. pastoral-pop band is Paul Simon-aping single “Time to Run,” go back and listen again. This debut brims with wide-open sounds and spaces, like the spectral, harmonica-laced “The Ghost on the Shore,” perfect music for a drive to Lake Mead. Or the cosmic-cowboy yodel of “Ends of the Earth,” singer Ben Schneider promising “there’s a world that was meant for us to see.” Opulently romantic. ★★★★☆
Soulsavers, The Light the Dead See (Mute)
British production team Ian Glover and Rich Machin know how to do downtempo. This time they recruit moody, self-lacerating Depeche Mode front man Dave Gahan, who penned lyrics to the 12 songs on this CD, which enjoyed an Oct. 24 release. Gahan sounds caught between religious damnation and erotic salvation, from gospel-folk ballad “Take Me Back Home” to bluesy barroom confessional “Tonight,” when he sings: Are you sure you’re ready for forgiveness? Your answer: yes. ★★★☆☆
Upcoming albums on Jarret’s radar …
NOV. 6: Vancouver synth-instrumentalist Teen Daze delivers his sophomore full-length The Inner Mansions, said to be a “spiritual and musical journey.” The tracks leaked so far sound dazzling. NOV. 13: Avant-electronic legend and U2 co-producer Brian Eno unwraps LUX, a 75-minute composition inspired by visual art. Ambitious has always been Eno’s middle name. NOV. 20: Seminal D.C. hardcore band Bad Brains is back with their first disc in five years. This one’s self-produced and titled Into the Future. NOV. 27: Underground hardcore rapper Lone Ninja throws a shuriken-size disc of sinister beats and ominous rhymes called Rogue Agent.