'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! is the fourth studio album by Canadian post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor, released on October 15, 2012 by Constellation Records. After reforming in 2010, the group went on tour and silently released the album at a concert in Boston on October 1, 2012, with official release dates on October 15 in Europe and the following day in other countries. The album received positive reviews and has been heralded as a comeback for the collective, winning the 2013 Polaris Music Prize.
The album marked the beginning of a major stylistic change for Godspeed You! Black Emperor, being less technically complex and emphasizing further on drones while abandoning the concept of movements altogether.
'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! received positive reviews from critics. Eli Kleman of Sputnikmusic stated that the album has "immeasurable breadth and depth" and is a "truly unforgettable experience."Drowned in Sound's Andrzej Lukowski said that the release is "a modestly magnificent record that entirely validates" the band reforming. Mark Richardson of Pitchfork also draws a connection between the group's entire output, finishing his review by calling this "an album of music that is both new and old from a band that we thought we might never hear from again, one we should appreciate while we can." Tyler Kane of Paste gave the album an 8.9 out of 10, writing that, "the time-tested tracks not only showcase the band doing what they do best in notoriously long, dramatic, panic-inducing instrumentals but are also startling reminders on why the band was so vital and lead such a movement to begin with."The Guardian's Dom Lawson gave the album 5 out of 5 stars, because "the Godspeed ethos of wordlessly eliciting universal truths remains as devastatingly effective as ever".
The album was listed 13th on Stereogum's list of top 50 albums of 2012.
The vinyl ion of the album packages the lengthier tracks "Mladic" and "We Drift Like Worried Fire" on a 12" LP accompanied by a 7" featuring the shorter, "drone" tracks "Their Helicopters' Sing" and "Strung Like Lights at Thee Printemps Erable". On the 12"'s inner sleeve there are instructions regarding which order the sides are to be played as this differs from most vinyl albums. The vinyl track listing is, in fact: A1 ("Mladic"), B1 ("Their Helicopters' Sing"), A2 ("We Drift Like Worried Fire") and B2 ("Strung Like Lights at Thee Printemps Erable"). The CD ion of the album compiles all four tracks on a single disc. "Mladic" and "We Drift Like Worried Fire" are re-workings of previously unreleased live tracks formerly known as "Albanian" and "Gamelan", which have been performed live as far back as 2003.