Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Luciferian Towers

Godspeed You! Black Emperor — Luciferian Towers

Constellation Records, 2017

This new Godspeed album is great. The project has left behind the conceptual darkness of F A and magisterial drama of Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress in favor of an album that’s more melodic and focused than any of its predecessors. But rather than being focused around stories, or around extended spoken-word monologues from the tired masses crowding the Coney Island shoreline, this album takes as its centerpiece the band’s radical leftist politics: a call to arms, so “the expert fuckers who broke this world never get to speak again.” That’s a direct quote from the press release. But while the ideological backing is a bit Mad Max, the music is anything but. There’s less dusty apocalyptic drone and dark orchestral sustain than we’ve come to expect from Godspeed at this point. What we do get are clearly defined harmonies and optimistic major chords contributing to a sonic landscape that’s brighter and more hopeful than its title suggests.

RIYD: post rock, epic orchestral mindfuck, Explosions in the Sky, literal explosions in the sky

BEST: 2-4, 6-8

 

1. Undoing a Luciferian Towers [7:47] — Expansive opener, vibrating strings and heavy guitars devolve into polyphonic chaos.

2. Bosses Hang, Pt. I [4:40] — Epic guitar distortion from on high. Trumpet melodies weave in and out.

3. Bosses Hang, Pt. II [4:41] — A subtle, more minimal second movement filled with repeated riffs.

4. Bosses Hang, Pt. III [5:25] — The repetition builds, gets more frantic and obsessive, until we reach our climax.

5. Fam/Famine [6:44] — The most atmospheric, “ambient” track comes as an interlude between the album’s two main compositions.

6. Anthem for No State, Pt. I [3:06] — Slow, gorgeous crescendo of rich strings.

7. Anthem for No State, Pt. II [2:56] — The crescendo sort of evens out, distorted guitars come to the fore.

8. Anthem for No State, Pt. III [8:36] — The guitars get fucking crazy and swell to monolithic proportions.

Will Gottsegen