Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

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spacemanrich
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Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by spacemanrich »

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 »

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
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by Laz69 »

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.
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs »

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.
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by Laz69 »

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.
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs »

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
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by Laz69 »

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...
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs »

Yeah I considered putting Asunder in the second slot too!
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs »

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
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by sunray »

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.
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angelsighs
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs »

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 »

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 »

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!
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by mc »

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 »

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 »

(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.
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by mc »

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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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by sunray »

Don't know if this is old news but new album coming next month: https://godspeedyoublackemperor.bandcamp.com/
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by veiko »

It's sad that they run out of their tapes recorded on streets. Just those random recordings what they used on their older albums. Those i liked and made the difference. Liking "The Seer" by Swans or "The Drift" by Scott Walker really tarnishes my vision about Godspeed, but i used to believe them being very relevant.
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs »

Hope it's better than the last one which overall I found a snoozefest.
The description of it sounds promising. It says that field recordings are back in the mix. As much as I liked the fact their recent stuff was very direct and rocking, kinda missed that.
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by olan »

angelsighs wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:11 pm Hope it's better than the last one which overall I found a snoozefest.
This. The last couple of G!YBE LPs have received almost zero plays here (other than the four or five plays close after release) compared to the first couple which get played semi-regularly. Great that they are still at it though.
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by Laz69 »

sunray wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:27 pm Don't know if this is old news but new album coming next month: https://godspeedyoublackemperor.bandcamp.com/
Great news. A band who i always look forward to hearing. I have to say i've really enjoyed their newer albums immensly, even the last one, although that was a dip in form compared to the previous ones. Still had the outstanding "Bosses Hang" tracks which were as good as anything they've done in the past.
I stupidly missed their last stop in Scotland and are one of the bands on my MUST SEE AGAIN list. Lets hope its soon.
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs »

olan wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:29 pm
angelsighs wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:11 pm Hope it's better than the last one which overall I found a snoozefest.
This. The last couple of G!YBE LPs have received almost zero plays here (other than the four or five plays close after release) compared to the first couple which get played semi-regularly. Great that they are still at it though.
I'm more on the same page as Laz- it was only the last one I found pretty boring. the stuff since the reunion has been really good I reckon and got a lot of listens from me. they stripped it right back to rocking hard and focused on the guitars. I do miss the field recordings and ambience though.
I'm not super excited for this new one for some reason- but if they can mix the rocking back with some of those elements it should be good.
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs »

GYBE did a live stream event of the new one the other night- and someone's ripped it here. hopefully it won't get taken down but that doesn't seem like their style.

https://youtu.be/FoevC_qEj5U
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by Laz69 »

OOOOAFT! Better hope i'm not busy with work this morning!
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by Laz69 »

I'm loving this.

One of the biggest things i enjoy about their live shows is the footage played inthe background. I really wish the band would release the footage as a companion piece to the music - just silent footage. I'd love to watch all this while playing the albums. Would happily pay more for the LPs too if it was bundled with it.
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs »

yeah the film projections are a big part of what they do aren't they? if you're a band who basically just sits down on stage and isn't much to look at, you need something extra which is visual- you either go the Spacemen 3 route with strobes or you do something like this.

glad you're enjoying it , I'm going to put it on through the speakers shortly (one of the advantages of working at home currently..)
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by Laz69 »

Its outrageously loud here! As you say, perks of working at home.

Yeah, a huge part of their live show is the visual experience. Makes they whole thing much more poignant and moving. I'd happily pay more for each album if there was a DVD accompanying it with just the silent footage that could be played alongside the vinyl.

Have to say, i'm loving it. REALLY loving it. There seems a bit more direction with each of the compositions this time, where the previous LP seemed a bit "flat" in places compared to what they can deliver (and have previously). The songs all work well together too, which is good, and they sound huge. I can only hope the vinyl sounds fantastic.
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs »

gave it a couple of listens yesterday. needs a bit more time to sink in but definitely pretty good so far. it's nothing really new for them- just them doing what they do best really.
the bits I liked most at this stage were actually near the end of the album- there's a big crescendo then some gorgeous drone sections to finish it off

I will say it definitely feels more of a whole, and more of an 'album' than perhaps their recent work has. the last one just seemed like four pieces put together, this feels more of a whole piece.
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by Laz69 »

angelsighs wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:22 am I will say it definitely feels more of a whole, and more of an 'album' than perhaps their recent work has. the last one just seemed like four pieces put together, this feels more of a whole piece.
Yep, definitely agree. Was listening to Mladic earlier today and thought they new tracks sounded more like that, compared to, say, the last album.

Some of the tracks from the new album have been played live previously i believe, and have taken on a different form on the album. Be interesting to get the song titles and then go back and check some of the live footage to compare. Any excuse to listen to more Godspeed is good enough for me!
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by mc »

my goodness, this album is utterly amazing. The last two tracks are perfect.

RE: live recordings, this is a great 2019 concert that has early versions of the two new biggies, then called Glacier and Cliffs. It also features amazing versions of most of the Luciferan material, and closes with an epic BBF3 for good measure. Great sound quality too, and well worth downloading...

https://archive.org/details/gybe2019-08-10
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by sunray »

Had a listen today and it's not bad at all. Bear in mind i'm not a huge fan really, more a casual observer.
As per usual with Godspeed and me i found myself getting bored round the 35min. mark, but towards the end of the third track they switch it up with some ascending chords and a motorik type beat and grabbed my attention again.

I do wish they'd take a leaf out of Mogwai's book and just let rip with a proper sonic assault though. I guess some folks think that's exactly what they do but i would beg to differ.They never really go for full-on noise, volume and power imo. I'd like them harder, heavier and dirtier basically!

I was listening to the album thinking this would be good live but then remembered i think that every time. Then i go see them and end up slightly disappointed and bored 'cos they never up the ante. Where i expect the music to kick hard it never does.
I sometimes get the impression that they believe going down the noise/volume route would be moronic and intellectually beneath them. I'm probably projecting a bit here :lol:
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs »

Tour dates, real live tour dates! Next year

http://cstrecords.com/godspeed-you-blac ... our-dates/
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by Laz69 »

angelsighs wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:31 am Tour dates, real live tour dates! Next year

http://cstrecords.com/godspeed-you-blac ... our-dates/
WOOHOO!!!!! Roll on pay day! :D
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by SpEnCeR1 »

fingers crossed these shows don't sell out before my payday and do actually happen and we aren't subject to further restrictions.

been listening to 'Luciferian Towers' quite a bit recently which i'd put aside, think all the naysaying had tarnished it for me, but a long break has put it back in perspective. a great record (despite the slightly dull production) , really enjoying it side by side with the new one.
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs »

Laz69 wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:35 am
angelsighs wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:31 am Tour dates, real live tour dates! Next year

http://cstrecords.com/godspeed-you-blac ... our-dates/
WOOHOO!!!!! Roll on pay day! :D
Barrowlands is a good venue too right?

round here they are playing Coventry... that depressing concrete bleakness kinda fits them perfectly! :) the Cathedral would have been even better for them though. saw Sonic Boom there a couple of years back.


I also listened to Luciferian Towers the other night to give it another chance. unfortunately my opinion hasn't changed- still found it quite dull and nothing really grabbed me. the new one is good but still not blown away by it. maybe I'm just not in much of a GYBE mood at the moment..
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by Laz69 »

angelsighs wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:36 am
Barrowlands is a good venue too right?

round here they are playing Coventry... that depressing concrete bleakness kinda fits them perfectly! :) the Cathedral would have been even better for them though. saw Sonic Boom there a couple of years back.


I also listened to Luciferian Towers the other night to give it another chance. unfortunately my opinion hasn't changed- still found it quite dull and nothing really grabbed me. the new one is good but still not blown away by it. maybe I'm just not in much of a GYBE mood at the moment..
Yeah, Barras is a good venue. That's where i first saw GYBE back in 2010 when they returned after their hiatus.

I've been listening to all 4 of the later albums this week too and tend to agree that LT was not as good as the first two, but the latest is better. I'm just excited that i might bet to see them again! :)
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Re: Godspeed You Black Emperor ' Luciferian Towers '

Post by angelsighs »

Listened to Allelujah, Don't Bend Ascend over the weekend. Now that's a Godspeed album! I honestly think Mladic is one of the best things they've ever done (when those big chords start chugging up it actually reminds me of Spacemen 3) and the ambient drone bits are really nice and atmospheric too.
I know what Sunray means upthread when he said that they never truly rock out, certainly not in the same way as Mogwai who can go full on instrumental metal sometimes. But since the reunion they do seem to have stripped it back and amped up the guitars, fed in a bit of the influence of stoner rock or drone rock with those really nice thick bass frequencies. I know some people can find them a bit pretentious, but with the newer albums you can forget any extra context and a lot of the time just enjoy them getting their heads down and rocking.
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