Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Luciferian Towers

Written by: MIN on 31/01/2018 09:09:26

For a band coming out of a seven-year hiatus less than eight years ago, Canadian post-rock connoisseurs Godspeed You! Black Emperor aren’t exactly resting on their laurels. In 2012 the band released the fantastic comeback album “’Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!”, and in 2015 they returned with “Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress”, cementing that this reformation was no passing phase. The band has continued to tour regularly ever since, yet they’ve still managed to find the time to compose their sixth studio album, “Luciferian Towers”, which, according to a press release by Constellation Records, was recorded in a “burning boat”. Along with said description, a list of demands were made, including “an end to foreign invasion”, “an end to borders”, “the total dismantling of the prison-industrial complex”, “healthcare, housing, food and water acknowledged as an inalienable human right” and “the expert fuckers who broke this world never get to speak again”. For an instrumental post-rock band, this group sure knows how to be vocal about certain matters – just as they have right from the start of their almost 25-year long career.

Whereas previous album “Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress” felt very much divided between the band’s heavy, distorted riffs and droning ambience, “Luciferian Towers” combines the two more effortlessly while managing to provide the listener with something new. Opening track, the sanctimoniously titled “Undoing a Luciferian Towers”, works as the proper choice to unveil the band’s latest record, as it slowly unfolds and builds up; from crackling ambience over piercing strings and guitars, onward to horns and intricate drum-patterns, layers upon layers of instruments emerge in one soothing motion. Surely, we’ve heard all the ingredients added through Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s new album before, but never put together quite like this.

Structurally, “Luciferian Towers”, is as post-rock (or, it’s as Godspeed) as they come, as it slowly but steadily progresses. The three-piece suit “Bosses Hang” follows much in the vein as the album’s opening track, although it goes through different phases with different climaxes, making sure that it –despite clocking in at over fourteen minutes – constantly manages to entertain, ultimately feeling more like three stages than one continuous sprint while managing to remain rooted in the same frame.

The album’s highlight, however, occurs during its final song, “Anthem for No State”, likewise split in three. In contrast to “Bosses Hang”, “Anthem for No State” feels more like one stretched-out duration, just like the band’s earlier material. Driven by a hypnotic guitar and a wailing set of strings, the melancholic first part of the song speaks louder than words. Part two works like a bridge between one and three, primarily by virtue of letting in a tiny glimpse of hope just before the song’s final suit kicks in and defiantly raises the roof. All crackling guitars and bagpipe galore, the first few seconds of part three is a slumbering volcano finally awakening. As the intensified drums kick in, you can almost see the lava seething out of the cracks just before finally bursting wide open. The horns during the last few minutes of this piece is some of the most beautiful blares you’re going to hear all year; they simply capture the essence of hope and freedom. No matter how much shit you’ve been going through lately, it’s all going to be okay – and frankly, that’s hard not to put into the context of the band’s left wing politics.

“Luciferian Towers” is further testament to Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s power and importance. As one of the best and most influential post-rock bands of all time, it’s amazing how they never ceases to impress. Surely, nothing this time around sounds absolutely groundbreaking, but it doesn’t have to when the final result is this inspiring. Stick around, and Godspeed you, Canadians!


Download: Bosses Hang, Anthem for No State
For The Fans Of: Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, Yndi Halda, Do Make Say Think
Listen: Duh, band has no official FB page, but whatever: Facebook

Release date 22.09.2017
Constellation Records

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