Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Luciferian Towers (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Luciferian Towers (2017)


Godspeed You! Black Emperor couldn't have picked a more perfect time to drop Luciferian Towers. So much of what's wrong with the world today match what they've spoken out against and in terms of politics, everything they fought against in the past seems to be happening in droves at present. So, while seen as prophetic in that sense, there's still the musical aspect to comply with and usually, you think thundering doom and post-apocalyptic sprawls of loud noise with GBYE. This album however quiets that fighting spirit and goes for a lush, hopeful and optimistic spread of melodies away from the chaos. It's very Mogwai-esque (as per that band's last album - Every Country's Sun) and while Luciferian Towers evokes a lot of gorgeous imagery to soothe the soul, it lacks a lot of inventiveness and imagination I usually associate with the band.

For the most part it's tame. The tracks segue well enough into each other, leading to a post-rock documentary that feels stitched together, yet somehow I can't grab any sense of intensity from what's being offered. Apart from "Fam / Famine" -- which is where the album kicks up a gear -- the album languishes in territory that's just so familiar at every turn. Most of the tracks come off like way too similar, just attacked from different angles. "Anthem For No State Pt. III" is the third chapter on this particular theme on the record, as the title so clearly implies, and it's here the pace is picked up and you get a deathly sense of rock and roll urgency. This is where GYBE address the dying nations and mentalities plaguing the world. 

Now, don't get me wrong. The strings, horns, electronic beats etc. are all well and good on this album, but the louder, angrier and more direct dimension is where GYBE shine through the thick haze. When it call comes down to the final assessment, I definitely want to keep a few notes on proceedings for you to simmer over before making your decision. Is this record interesting? Yes. Beautiful? Yes. But when I come to GYBE, I come to get my adrenaline going. Luciferian Towers feels way too experimental, even for my taste, and doesn't fully accomplish the rush I need. The good thing is, it feel like a grower that I may well view differently in another emotional state of mind later down the line.