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Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Post Rock/Math rock

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor Luciferian Towers album cover
3.81 | 145 ratings | 7 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Undoing A Luciferian Tower (7:47)
2. Bosses Hang (14:45)
3. Fam / Famine (6:44)
4. Anthem For No State (14:38)

Total Time 43:54

Line-up / Musicians

- David Bryant / guitar, keyboards
- Efrim Menuck / guitar, organ, synth
- Michael Moya / guitar
- Sophie Trudeau / Violin, organ
- Thierry Amar / upright bass, bass guitar
- Mauro Pezzente / bass guitar
- Timothy Herzog / drums
- Aidan Girt / drums

- Bonnie Kane / saxophone, flute & electronics (1)
- Craig Pederson / trumpet (1)
- Karl Lemieux / 16mm film projections

Releases information

LP Constellation ‎- CST126 (2017, Canada)

CD Constellation ‎- CST126 (2017, Canada)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR Luciferian Towers Music

GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR Luciferian Towers ratings distribution

(145 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR Luciferian Towers reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Warthur
5 stars The latest Godspeed You Black Emperor! album continues the trend of "Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress" to go for a terse single LP length for Godspeed album releases, with four songs ranging from about 6 to 14 minutes. Whereas Asunder, Sweet consisted of two conventional Godspeed compositions as bookends and improvised jams in the middle, here the psychedelic and garage rock primal DNA is integrated more into the compositions themselves, yielding an album which combines the stateliness and emotional power of classic Godspeed with the raw energy that A Silver Mt. Zion consistently captures and which the improvisational tracks on Asunder, Sweet tap into.

There's also more of an air of hopefulness on Luciferian Towers than in previous Godspeed works. Whilst recent releases had backed away a little from the unrelenting pessimism of their earliest work, here the album ends on a positively triumphant note. It's a strong return to form after the experimentation of Asunder, Sweet and proves that there's still gas in the Black Emperor's tank.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Though intellectually I feel that I should like everything that GY!BE does, I do not. I know I should be impressed with the musicianship, with the technical and theoretical mastery on display in their compositions, I am not. When I listen to GY!BE I feel as if everything is a slowly shifting muddle of sonic mud. It seems as if every wave in the sonic spectrum, 20 to 20,000 is full, that the band leaves no space left for anchoring contrast. And for those of you who know me and my musical tastes, I like space. It has only taken me ten years, with this release, to discover why it is such a struggle for me to listen to and review GY!BE music. I am sorry that more simplistic, less accomplished compositions rate higher on my lists of enjoyable Post Rock, but that's the way it's going to have to be. I am just not wired to like this music. The more I read, the more I feel guilty for this for obviously these guys know what they're doing and work hard to accomplish their lofty goals.

1. "Undoing a Luciferian Towers" (7:47) opens with a pulsing, vibrating weave that reminds me of a more sophisticated version of a SWANS song ("The Seer Returns"). With additional instruments (winds) joining in and adding to the mix, and a few key/chord shifts, the sound becomes cacophonous and almost overwhelming to me while maintaining that SWANS-like feel to the end. (8/10) 2. "Bosses Hanging (Pt. I, II, & III)" (14:42) strummed bass, tremoloed other stringed notes, precede the melody-presenting distorted electric guitar--until the 2:09 mark when drums and other instruments join (viola/violin) to present us with a kind of military funeral march. Kind of cool! At 3:13 more electrified stringed instruments (mostly guitars) join in in the higher registers, bringing a kind of plaintive urgency to the music. But this is only temporary, as at 4:22 everything drops away leaving a single guitar to play its two note arpeggio ad infinitum while a fast tremolo violin note accompanies. Gradually a plethora of other stringed instruments join in--all bringing with them their own two-note arpeggio to form quite an interesting TERRY RILEY-minimalist weave. When drums rejoin mid-seventh minute, the pace and complexity of the weave begins to build to a minor frenzy--kind of like the end violin solo in THE WHO's "Baba O'Riley." Halfway through the bass returns to strumming as the near-military drumming returns. Then the music stagnates and shifts, stagnates and shifts, several times over the next two minutes--including a couple of key/chord changes. At 11:25 the speed of these shifts quickens and a new upper register violin melody is added giving the song a little feeling of hopefulness. It's all here: death and destruction, chaos and confusion, as well as hope and optimism--this latter expressed beautifully (intentionally?) with the ending melody from (or a variation on) THE BEATLES' song "With a Little Help From My Friends." This song makes me appreciate GY!BE's genius. (9/10)

3. "FamFamine" (6:44) opens with some loosely conjoined one-and two-note droning from a variety of stringed instruments. Gradually the weave tightens and forms into a kind of FRIPP-ENO edgy-ambient thing. Interestingly, I would have liked this one had a JOHN LENNON/BEATLES sound and melody not appeared and moved to center in the fifth and sixth minutes (the same melody from the opening of the album's opening song). (8.5/10)

4. "Anthem for No State (Pt. I, II, & III)" (14:41) opens in a quiet simplistic way that I should like, but the use of the pedal steel (or "infinite guitar," saw, dobro, or whatever that whining, droning, incessantly sustaining sound is caused by) is not to my liking. Also the heavily fuzzed guitar doing most of the lead work is just to fuzzy for my tastes. The Country Western simplicity is maintained for six full minutes before bagpipes and distorted guitar strumming take over and turn the song into a SWANS-like emotional release. (Who came first, SWANS or GY!BE?) With four minutes left the song finally achieves full development. Nice drumming behind the weave of electrified stringed instruments. At 12:30 the song finally reveals a melody worth noting, worth remembering--which plays out with the song's finish. (8/10)

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars No this doesn't make my elite list of Post-Rock albums but I feel this is the best album this band has done for quite some time. Hard to believe they've only released 6 studio albums and there was a ten year gap between the third and fourth studio albums. It feels like the band have maybe matured a little here although the song titles would lead to believe otherwise. Like they are still trying to relate to the University and College kids along with the non-wealthy. Anyway it feels like Sophie Trudeau is in a major way leading the troops here. Lots of droning and violin throughout this album and some catchy melodies too.

"Undoing A Luciferian Tower" requires some prayer I'd think. Sounds vibrate as we get a beat. Lots of sounds though all mixed together as they drone. A horn comes to the fore before 4 1/2 minutes and some dissonance before 5 minutes. A melody after 6 minutes breaks out to the end. "Bosses Hang" has violin and guitar to start as it quickly builds. Another guitar joins in but this one is distorted. Drums after 2 minutes. A calm around 4 1/2 minutes then it starts to build after 5 minutes. Drums return at 6 1/2 minutes as it continues to build sounding like it did earlier. The violin really creates a melody here. It kicks in harder at 13 minutes.

"Fam/Famine" has a catchy violin melody as other sounds join in. The melody eventually fades away as sounds drone. "Anthem For No State" opens with violin and keys joined by bass after a minute then guitar. It settles right down 3 minutes in then builds. Organ too. It settles again after 5 1/2 minutes then we get some noise 6 minutes in and is that bagpipes? Drums before 7 1/2 minutes as it builds more. A slow guitar melody comes in over top before 8 minutes then the violin joins in. Great sound 9 minutes in as the drums pound away. After 10 minutes it settles back but not for long as the guitar makes some noise. Violin is back after 11 minutes and leads before 12 1/2 minutes to the end.

A pleasant surprise and one I enjoyed spinning despite all the droning.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
4 stars One thing that GODSPEED! YOU BLACK EMPEROR cannot be accused of and that would be that this Montreal based post-rock band has glutted the market with product. Unless of course you count the many splinter groups that have emerged in its wake. While GODSPEED was at the top of their post-rock game all throughout the 90s and turn of the millennium, after "Yanqui U.X.O," the band waited an entire decade for a followup but got back into the swing of things with a mere three year wait for "Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress." While a band like GODSPEED is utterly unpredictable as to when and if a new product will emerge, the band surprised even the most loyal fans by releasing another album a mere two years after the previous, a record for this band that takes their sweet time to craft their next move at least in modern times.

LUCIFERIAN TOWERS is the sixth full-length album and came with a list of demands for the press release which included 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 f.u.c.k-ers who broke this world never get to speak again. Despite the rather ominous album title, GODSPEED have changed their sound substantially from the overtly ominous to a more melodic major chord dominated form of post-rock that offers the same chamber rock effects in military march fashion but eschewed the lengthy drones, cloud covered sky gloom and doom and detached apathy that have deftly adapted as their alone with the signature mood setting staples on their albums of yore. Dare i even say this album evokes a sense of self-empowerment and optimism.

While the band has existed in a sort of suppressed victim mentality that lashes out in a stream of sonic rebellion, GODSPEED have found a new sense of duty and rather than lamenting about the injustices of the world have finally found the inner resolution to make the demands of the change that has been desired all along. Perhaps due to the fact that many of the members exist in a communal style of living with families who invoke a new sense of responsibility and pave the way for the realization that we, of course, are the saviors we've been waiting for all along. LUCIFERIAN TOWERS provides a bridge between the sense of helplessness and despair with the more empowering stance of having had enough and taking the power back through sheer will power.

Musically speaking, this is unmistakably GODSPEED! YOU BLACK EMPEROR that attacks the senses like an orchestral swarm of bees as violins pierce the soul, waltz time signatures march rank and file into eternity and organ and synth atmospheres still cover the sun but offer breaks in the cloud cover to offer the glimmering hope of the rays of sun. Also gone are any field samplings and therefore the musical trajectory slides gently through glissando glazed gallantry in a post-apocalyptic society that has had the blueprints of reconstruction suddenly beamed down from benevolent spiritual forces from another realm. While dual drumming action provides a healthy percussive spinal column of the otherwise atmospheric procession into anarchic declarations, the musical mindset is more one of placid calming acceptance of the cosmic cards drawn and the inner fortitude of how to proceed with the next logical plans of action.

GODSPEED! YOU BLACK EMPEROR successfully delivers another emotionally fueled collection of musical tracks that unite to create yet another soundtrack to life and with a shorter time run that constitutes a mere single album instead of the whopping double album monstrosities of the past. LUCIFERIAN TOWERS downplays the escapist downtime and focuses on the swirling melodies that evoke a sense of action rather than one of pacifistic stupor. While many view GODSPEED! as only an apocalyptic whirlwind tour de force of nature with their chamber post-rock intricacies, LUCIFERIAN TOWERS displays a different side of the band and how their idiosyncrasies can easily adapt to the more optimistic realms of self-empowerment. Hopefully this is a completely new chapter for GODSPEED! that finds no end in the foreseeable future.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is the album I'd been waiting for. A little backstory, shortly after the release of the last album Asunder, Sweet I saw on Youtube that they had been playing an even newer long song that really blew me away. Then I saw the band play it live in 205 and said to drummer Timothy Herzog after the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1824397) | Posted by thesameoldfears | Saturday, November 18, 2017 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After many listens, this is an amazing album. They project the word Hope in their live performances, and this is what this album sounds like. The 6 minutes or so drone pieces are huge walls of sounds, but less electronic than the ones on Asunder or Allelujah. The violin takes a lot of place and ... (read more)

Report this review (#1789943) | Posted by villageglobal | Monday, October 2, 2017 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I know a lot of people will hate this album. Many will claim that there's no element to the godspeed sound and other will say that they're old, too happy and can't make a great album like lift your skinny fist anymore. LT is no way like lift your skinny fist or F#A# but it 's even so one of the best ... (read more)

Report this review (#1782408) | Posted by loulou24 | Friday, September 15, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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