A Silver Mt. Zion (A.S.M.Z.) is by far the most amazing band I've ever come across. Their music is beautiful and wrenching... it can only be appreciated by listening alone, in the dark (at night), with headphones in a perfectly silent room. Unlike Labradford, silence isn't utilized as often, but the pureness of the instruments, heard against the crunch and reverb of disturbing tape-loops, is really moving.
The quality of their art is described simply: they create music for the sake of creating music. Period.
Media whores do not move them, album sales are too miniscule to saturate them, celebrity is unknown (and absolutely forbidden) to them, and critics receive threatening "stop commenting about us!" letters from them. They play music because they love to play music.
Their music can be described as post-rock, i.e., classical and rock intwined; the most influential parts are when the pulsating violin (played by Sophie) dances and curls around the looping tape reels, bringing rise to drums; then the piano (played by Efrim) sneaks-in until it is the most prominant sound, at which it then slams and bangs at the high notes, in a fury of misplaced passion, elevating you into a disturbed and withered and weakened state of consciousness.
The album begs of interpretation, but gives you none. What happens, then, is that you interpret it be a reflection to your own life and self, a sort of "soundtrack" to your soul...
Besides the political/social overtones and influence (that "dead dog" mentioned in an above post is "Wanda", Efrim's dog who recently (relative to the album's release (March 28, 2000)) died due to cancer, this album will take on its own meaning, becoming the `Ode to Melancholy' of your life.
In other words, obtain it in whatever way you can, and listen to it! (Amazon.com carries it... I've never seen a local music store with it, however.)