Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

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spacemanrich
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Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by spacemanrich » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:19 pm

Anybody picked this up yet in the U.K. ? Seems like this is quietly released this friday (Sept.22) stateside. Already got it pre-ordered.

This long-playing record, a thing we made in the midst of communal mess, raising dogs and children. eyes up and filled with dreadful joy - we aimed for wrong notes that explode, a quiet muttering amplified heavenward. we recorded it all in a burning motorboat. 1. UNDOING A LUCIFERIAN TOWERS - look at that fucking skyline! big lazy money writ in dull marble obelisks! imagine all those buildings much later on, hollowed out and stripped bare of wires and glass, listen - the wind is whistling through all 3,000 of its burning window-holes! 2. BOSSES HANG - labor, alienated from the wealth it creates, so that holy cow, most of us live precariously! kicking at it, but barely hanging on! also - the proud illuminations of our shortened lives! also - more of us than them! 3. FAM / FAMINE - how they kill us = absentee landlord, burning high-rise. the loud panics of child-policemen and their exploding trigger-hands. neglect, cancer maps, drone strike, famine. 4. ANTHEM FOR NO STATE - kanada, emptied of its minerals and dirty oil. emptied of its trees and water. a crippled thing, drowning in a puddle, covered in ants. the ocean doesn’t give a shit because it knows it’s dying too. much love to all the other lost and wondering ones, xoxoxox god's pee / montréal / 2017


Track Listings

Disc: 1

1. Undoing A Luciferian Towers

2. Bosses Hang

3. Fam/Famine

4. Anthem For No State

angelsighs
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:14 pm

it's streaming on the net already. on first listen, have to say it didn't grab me at all.
happy to accept it might be a grower- but the last two (excellent) albums grabbed me right away

Laz69
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by Laz69 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:30 am

Had a listen to this yesterday and, after reading Angelsighs comment above i was worried that it wasn't as good as i had hope, but i have to say its pretty bloody good. I recognise the longer, multi-part songs from recent bootlegs and youtube videos, and although they seem more heavy on the orchestration, they still sound really good. Where on previous albums the more droney pieces seemed to be the interludes between the main pieces, this album starts with one of those. I'm not sure if i think it works that way, especially since the previous two albums always seems to start with a real WHAMMO! - maybe a little bit too pedestrian here, however, the second track, Bosses Hang, is simply amazing. I've heard it a few times prior to the album and here its just beautiful; the strained, distorted guitars, the gorgeous violins, that beautiful melody and, to me, it has everything that the previous two albums offered too so i think it sits well with them in that context. This is one of the songs i'm desperate to hear live as i can imagine this just swelling up and up and filling the entire venue like only Godspeed can.
The third track, Fam/Famine, is good too. Much like the first track in style, but such a spacious sound. This will need to be heard loud as i think it will sound much better than on my headphones. Final track, Anthem For No State, starts off quite unassuming before some heavy poundng drums and some fabulous Jason-esque wah guitar tears into the song and we are soon building to the finale. I'd say this last track COULD have been more imposing, especially the final part. Seems a little "mid-album" i think and not quite like some of the epic final pieces they have had on previous albums.

Still impressed by this and have high hopes for the live show which i'll see in October.

angelsighs
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:06 pm

I'm gonna keep listening, obviously (especially after your positive post). it was just on first listen I was underwhelmed. the first piece didn't seem to go anywhere and it almost seemed like they were stuck in a rut with laying down rock riffs with an eastern flavour.

Laz69
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by Laz69 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:37 am

I listened to it repeatedly yesterday along side the last two albums to compare them all and i can see where you were coming from too. The "interludes" are possibly not as good as those on the previous two albums and i would say that starting the album with one of these kinda loses that initial punch-to-the-chest feeling from the album that i've had with the previous albums.

For example, comparing Undoing a Luciferian Tower, with say Lamb's Breath or Their Helicopters Sing is like night and day... with the earlier tracks being much heavier and with darker drones than their newer effort, although the new track still has an appeal to me.

Of the main pieces, Bosses Hang is quintessential Godspeed - has a lot more light than say "Peasantry Or 'Light Inside Of Light" or Mladic but it has such a beautiful melody and just soars so well. Easily my favourite on the album. Anthem For No State is good but could have ended on a much higher level. It just seems to lose its momentum at the crucial point, which is a bloody shame.

It definitely sits well alongside the previous 2 albums, but i would have to say is the weaker of all three, however, Bosses Hang is probably up there with their best.

angelsighs
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:17 am

It's true that the last two albums had impeccable and hard hitting opening tracks which really made an impression. It's surprising how important an outstanding opening track can be in terms of how you define an album. I particularly think that Mladic is one of the best things they've ever done. It's like Kashmir meets Spacemen 3 meets Hawkwind.

It's always a bit worrying when bands come back but I honestly think the last two records are some of their best. Even though part of me misses the samples, the ambience and the quiet moments it's kind of a masterstroke for them to go for of a full on rock sound and almost condense their sound down to the essence. Everything sounds so thick and powerful.
When you go back to the early stuff (F#A# in particular) it almost sounds like minimalism now in comparison.

I'll give this some more listens. I will say that the production, typically for Godspeed, is superb.

Personally I'd rate the previous catalogue like this, from best downwards:

Lift Yr Skinny Fists
'Allelujah
Asunder
Slow Riot EP
F#A#
Yanqui XO

Laz69
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by Laz69 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:14 pm

I definitely agree that the previous two albums would follow on from Lift Your Skinny... as their best three, although i'm not sure whether Asunder or 'Allelujah would be second. Still, I really love those other early albums. Maybe i'll revisit them all and binge on Godspeed for a day...

angelsighs
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:35 pm

Yeah I considered putting Asunder in the second slot too!

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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:50 am

it's been pointed out to me that Bosses Hang from the new record bears a passing resemblence to Shine a Light. what do you think?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iebbQ9KYMx8

sunray
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by sunray » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:14 pm

Yep, I can hear that. Not a blatant copy but it's there. Plus, it could be argued it goes into an Electric Mainline type thing for a bit halfway through too. Good tune, hadn't heard it before.
I'm losing my edge, but I was there...

angelsighs
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:20 pm

yeah there's a bit of Electric Mainline there too (thought there was a little section on 'Pissed Crowns..' on the last record that sounded a bit like that too), I don't think it's deliberate though. It seems that a lot of bands eventually stumble across how good it sounds when that little set of notes is played in hypnotic fashion!

stegraham
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by stegraham » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:59 pm

I hadn't bought a GSYBE record since that UXO one i.e. years ago. This thread pushed me to buy the latest album and I really like it. Just orderded Don't bend ascend and Asunder now. Looking forward to hearing those too. Cheers!

Ste

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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:13 pm

stegraham wrote:I hadn't bought a GSYBE record since that UXO one i.e. years ago. This thread pushed me to buy the latest album and I really like it. Just orderded Don't bend ascend and Asunder now. Looking forward to hearing those too. Cheers!

Ste
great stuff! If you like the new one you're gonna LOVE the other two post reunion records. I think!

mc
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by mc » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:21 pm

I've been meaning to reply to this thread for ages, but life has comprehensively gotten in the way. Anyhow...

My thoughts on GY!BE perhaps don't chime with their general fanbase, but might chime with folks here: I love every period of the band, don't get me wrong, but to me the post-reunion material is where (for me) they've gone from wonderful to revelatory. I love the samples, found sounds, static and calm of their earlier material, but the unabashed musicality and sheer thunderous force behind their newish direction simply slays me. I consider "Mladic" the greatest track they've ever released and "Asunder" the greatest album they've cut - I said this when it was released, but it's worth repeating: Dylan Carlson is one of my favourite guitarists of all time*, and when I first heard "Asunder" opening with those gigantic Earth-esque house-rattling chords I was beyond smitten. Maybe it's because "Asunder" is ultimately one single behemoth (literally) of a song, but I don't hear a minute wasted anywhere (not even in the extended drone sections, AND we have a locked groove at the end of side A :D ), and that near twenty-minute buildup to the climax... just, wow. In comparison, I find "Allelujah!" somewhat disjointed; the drone tracks are good but don't grab me, and "We Drift Like Worried Fire", whilst great, pales in comparison to "Mladic" - I remain convinced that the driving centrepiece of said song is a warped death metal-esque tribute to Stereolab's "Jenny Ondioline", but maybe it's just me :lol:

So where to put Luciferan Towers?

It's hard. Overall, I think the reaction it's gotten has been far too harsh. Not just here, I hasten to add; it seems to have gotten short shrift pretty much everywhere on the internet. I think it's marvellous, but I can understand those who thinks it lacks something. I'm listening to it on vinyl right now, and basically, side A is colossally superior to side B.

To me, the opening drone (Building A Luciferan Towers) is magnificent - the prettiest and most affecting drone they've committed to tape. It swells and ebbs and builds so beautifully, and the chord changes sound utterly baffling (in both timing and pitch) yet uneasily perfect every single time. We then have "Bosses Hang", which takes its place behind "Mladic" in the pantheon of greatest GY!BE tracks. A gorgeously hummable melody, eight-odd minutes of ever increasing Electric Mainline-esque hypnotic tension and then bam! a we're released into a reprise of the main theme before fade.

In contrast, Side B is great, yet I can't write much about it and don't have many emotions about it either way. "Fam/Famine" is a slightly underwhelming retread of "Undoing A Luciferan Towers" (understandably so given it's essentially another part of the same song), and "Anthem For No State" is a perfectly good, even great GY!BE song that nevertheless pales next to what came before - it reminds me of the Yanqui U.X.O tracks in that "amazing stuff. How does it go again?" manner. In fact, it's a close cousin of "We Drift Like Worried Fire" - a decent track lost in the shadow of its all-conquering A-side companion. All said, I know "Luciferan Towers" will easily make my top 5 of 2017, and should land on a spot on the podium. But yes, it could have been even better...

For completeness' sake, I'd rank their albums as follows (but really, they're all great):

Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven! (so much beauty, but also lengthy inconsequential moments too...)
Luciferan Towers
'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
Yanqui U.X.O
Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada
F#A#oo

I also just saw on wikipedia that "Luciferan Towers" got to Number 11(!) in the Scottish album charts on release. Us Scots ken where it's at, obviously :wink:

*Dylan Carlson stands below only the unholy trinity of Frank Zappa, Robert Fripp and Jimi Hendrix, for those interested...

angelsighs
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:35 pm

I'd agree that Mladic is one of their best ever songs, and that 'We Drift Like Worried Fire' is also good but kind of pales in comparison (it's also one of the few songs of theirs that actually sounds like other so called 'post-rock' bands. the beginning bit sounds like the Dirty Three and when it builds up it sounds like Explosions In The Sky)
Also in agreement that in refining and condensing their sound they have lost a certain something (the calm moments, the samples) but gained something else (pure rock power). Their early stuff was often called 'cinematic' or 'soundtracks to imaginary films' (ugh). the new stuff ain't cinematic at all, it's ROCK.

I don't really like Yanqui XO at all. it's a bit of an overlong dirge (very surprising, as on paper, Godspeed with Steve Albini producing is a match made in heaven). It lost something of the early stuff, but it's also lacking the power they harnessed when they came back.

All in all, a great band I feel. For all their pretentiousness and moments where they have lost their focus, I think they have an excellent catalogue, and they still do what they do much better than all the bands they influenced.

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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by mc » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:31 am

(Double post. I might be stupid, but I can't find the 'delete post' button...)
Last edited by mc on Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

mc
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by mc » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:31 am

I always enjoyed Yanqui U.X.O. - it was the first Godspeed album I owned, although I'd heard Skinny Fists.. before that - but after hearing everything else, I considered it one of their poorer efforts (mostly, I think, because of Albini's muddy production). But now, and I'm not sure why - is it time, my new stereo, my new vinyl edition, or all three? - I'm absolutely fucking LOVING the album. It's remorselessly slow and morose, yes, but I'm now seeing those qualities as power and stateliness and BEAUTY more than anything else. It really does sound majestic (on wax) on my new system - it's breathed new life into the whole album, TBH. I still think it's an acquired choice, given its length, repetitiveness and lack of dynamics, but deep down the songs are wonderful. It sounds silly, but if I group YUXO in my mind with the post-hiatus albums it makes perfect sense, basically as a prequel to everything they've done this decade; comparing it to Skinny Fists... and prior works doesn't work, because the field recordings/found sound interludes have gone - it's almost a different but equally wonderful genre.

As I finish typing this now, Rocket Falls On Rocket Falls is working up to its crescendo, and I really am thinking, "Godspeed, and music in general doesn't get much better than this".

(yes, I've had a few drinks tonight, but I stand by my opinions... ;) )

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