Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Luciferian Towers review



Reviewer:
7.2

25 users:
6.92
Band: Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Album: Luciferian Towers
Release date: September 2017


01. Undoing A Luciferian Towers
02. Bosses Hang
03. Fam / Famine
04. Anthem For No State


This is the weirdest and most unexpected Godspeed You! Black Emperor album I've listened to, from the press release to how it baffled expectations. Let me explain.

The album's name is Luciferian Towers (and together with the cover art it should already evoke some industrial metropolis hell) and it is Godspeed You! Black Emperor's most political record. Hell, just take a look at the grand demands that came with the press release:

"+ an end to foreign invasions
+ an end to borders
+ the total dismantling of the prison-industrial complex
+ healthcare, housing, food and water acknowledged as an inalienable human right
+ the expert fuckers who broke this world never get to speak again
"

With the current political climate it would be expected that they would get political and did in quite a strong manner. They've been telling us that the government is corrupt since 1997. I do not want to get too deep into the politics of this, but with all this far-left revolutionary background that they give this album, they afterwards release their most melodic and controlled and accessible record. It's baffling how uplifting it is, when everything up to it built different expectations, including the previous two releases, which had some of their heaviest moments. I guess we should at least be thankful we didn't get another Prophets Of Rage.

Now I do not want to downplay the album solely on how it defied my (and likely not just my) expectations or on how it reconfigures their sound, ye olde "they're not the same". I appreciate changes in sound, whether radical or subtle, yet I cannot simply comment on innovation without looking at craft, so let's look at both.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor have always been the soundtrack to chaos, to the dystopian and the fallen, though never without any ray of hope, yet here it seems like that ray of hope is a lot brighter than it used to be. Completely devoid of their trademark field recordings, it feels like Luciferian Towers is placing a lot more emphasis on one side of the balance they used to have in their sound - call it the life-affirming rather than the destructive.

Those changes in sound affect the feel of the album quite a bit, in the sense that even at its most climatic, in the peak of the apogee, there is a sense of yearning. Nothing in these album reaches the cathartic feel of past crescendos, no matter how well built some of them are. They put way too much weight on the life-affirming and tipped the scale. Perhaps they realised that they ran out of steam and wanted to channel all the energy left in a new direction.

And yet, underneath all these feeling of the uncanny, there still lies an entrancing charm to it. The grandeur is downsized, but it still finds its place. You could even do with no dialogue; the drones and the build-ups are there and they can feel amazing (especially "Anthem For No State"). This would be an amazing post-rock album, had it not been placed on the shoulders of giants. So every once in a while, you briefly exit trance, you feel like it could've been better, and then you fall a little further down.


 



Written on 29.01.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 159 users
29.01.2018 - 13:22
Netzach
Nice reference to their debut there at the end - "fell a little further down"... I agree with the review, my biggest gripe with this album is how the tracks somehow have been changed for the worse since they started playing them live a few years ago, especially "Anthem" (listen to the bootleg called "Railroads" on Youtube, also the first and third tracks were combined into a single song which imo works a lot better). Good album but could have been so much more, I think.
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29.01.2018 - 13:45
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Netzach on 29.01.2018 at 13:22

Nice reference to their debut there at the end - "fell a little further down"... I agree with the review, my biggest gripe with this album is how the tracks somehow have been changed for the worse since they started playing them live a few years ago, especially "Anthem" (listen to the bootleg called "Railroads" on Youtube, also the first and third tracks were combined into a single song which imo works a lot better). Good album but could have been so much more, I think.

Yes, I was aware that most of these songs were played live way before but not of how they were changed, I need to check those out.
----
Is it future of is it past?
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29.01.2018 - 18:43
Netzach
Written by RaduP on 29.01.2018 at 13:45

Yes, I was aware that most of these songs were played live way before but not of how they were changed, I need to check those out.

I linked the bootleg tracks over at the thread for the album itself a while ago. The changes to "Anthem" are quite substantial, they cut 5 minutes off of it (maybe to fit onto one LP?) and the guitars play a different rhythm.
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04.02.2018 - 10:16
Teravolt_Danny
> healthcare, housing, food and water acknowledged as an inalienable human right
> far-left
"the government is evil"

Does not compute.
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04.02.2018 - 15:18
Lanthros
Written by Teravolt_Danny on 04.02.2018 at 10:16

> healthcare, housing, food and water acknowledged as an inalienable human right
> far-left
"the government is evil"

Does not compute.

Still better then rightwing speciel suicide.
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08.02.2018 - 03:41
Teravolt_Danny
Written by Lanthros on 04.02.2018 at 15:18

Written by Teravolt_Danny on 04.02.2018 at 10:16

> healthcare, housing, food and water acknowledged as an inalienable human right
> far-left
"the government is evil"

Does not compute.

Still better then rightwing speciel suicide.


Lol, I'm not here to debate left vs. right. I'm a centrist, anyway, so partisan shit doesn't appeal to me. I'm just saying this band has no idea wtf they're talking about if they are preaching those things simultaneously.

Anyway, sorry for off-topic.
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08.02.2018 - 14:14
Lanthros
Written by Teravolt_Danny on 08.02.2018 at 03:41

Written by Lanthros on 04.02.2018 at 15:18

Written by Teravolt_Danny on 04.02.2018 at 10:16

> healthcare, housing, food and water acknowledged as an inalienable human right
> far-left
"the government is evil"

Does not compute.

Still better then rightwing speciel suicide.


Lol, I'm not here to debate left vs. right. I'm a centrist, anyway, so partisan shit doesn't appeal to me. I'm just saying this band has no idea wtf they're talking about if they are preaching those things simultaneously.

Anyway, sorry for off-topic.



Yeah i hear ya there. I dont directlt pick sides between parties. Im a nonpartisan (i dont believe in the party system at all). Theres a reason i call them republitards and demitwats.

And yeah what they are sayi g would lead to the death of humanity from the outside. Just as the rightwings policies would lead to death by our own hands.
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09.02.2018 - 20:53
Drunkendeadgoat
Written by Teravolt_Danny on 04.02.2018 at 10:16

> healthcare, housing, food and water acknowledged as an inalienable human right
> far-left
"the government is evil"

Does not compute.


"The government is corrupt"

Just to stay on topic
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10.02.2018 - 11:39
Netzach
Written by Lanthros on 08.02.2018 at 14:14



Yeah i hear ya there. I dont directlt pick sides between parties. Im a nonpartisan (i dont believe in the party system at all). Theres a reason i call them republitards and demitwats.

And yeah what they are sayi g would lead to the death of humanity from the outside. Just as the rightwings policies would lead to death by our own hands.

I have a hard time taking Godspeed's anarchist politics seriously since they are now mostly middle aged guys living in small houses with their wives and kids... Anyway, it makes for a good story I suppose.
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