Sonic Citadel

Lightning Bolt - Sonic Citadel
Critic Score
Based on 10 reviews
2019 Ratings: #386 / 770
User Score
Based on 303 ratings
2019 Ratings: #99
Liked by 16 people
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Loud and Quiet

They’re still the gold standard for controlled chaos using as few material elements as possible, while still being something your dad might call “too busy”.


A multi-faceted and especially curious collection of Lightning Bolt material, Sonic Citadel shows the band still growing and developing nearly a quarter century in.

The 405

There is restraint here, an alien concept for a band of Lightning Bolt’s usual undiluted abandon, but there is also the gleeful harshness which makes them such a force of the underground music scene.

The Needle Drop

With Sonic Citadel, the two Brians successfully take Lightning Bolt's sound in a more melodic and accessible direction.

A strong return to form for veteran Rhode Island noiseniks.
A corporeal and cacophonic record, but all ear-bleeding mayhem it isn't.

The noise duo’s seventh album is the most life-affirming and accessible music they’ve ever made.


Lightning Bolt's Sonic Citadel is both punishingly noisy and, at times, surprisingly tuneful. People who are on Lightning Bolt's exceedingly loud, improvisational vibe will find plenty to like here.

Oh my god. This is Royal Blood if Royal Blood took speed.

This thing is dirty, and I mean DIRTY! It's a rock duo that are firing off every available cannon given and not giving a single care about what people think about them. It's like if Tame Impala's Elephant became it's own band, and I am HERE FOR IT!

...So what's with the reception here people?

Yeah, seriously? This thing is unhinged and amazingly out there, yet as of writing this this thing only has a 67 score...fucking REALLY? THIS ... read more
-son·ic /'sänik/ adjective
"denoting, relating to, or of the nature of sound or sound waves."

-cit·a·del /ˈsidədl,ˈsidəˌdel/ noun
"a fortress, typically on high ground, protecting or dominating a city."

Yes, that's exactly what it is...

If Lightning Bolt's albums have sometimes been considered as real challenges to be overcome, "Fantasy Empire" (2015) has reconciled noise rock lovers, strengthened its mastery of chaos but also ... read more
Scorchio 🥵
I wish I liked this more than I do but Lightning Bolt aren't my thing. Some tracks here do slap (Air Conditioning, Don Henley In The Park, Van Halem 2049) but, unfortunately, most of the album just doesn't really do nothing for me. Technically, it's quite impressive, specially speaking in instrumental terms, where everything flows together in a brutal, chaotic way but many times it drags and drags for longer than I could bare. Not a big fan of the vocals either. Still, very interesting noise ... read more
Ok, I need to check out this band because "Sonic Citadel" is fucking BRUTAL! Everything about the recording and the mixes are so rough and chaotic that it benefits the flow of these tracks! The bass riffs are extremely fun, the grooves are punchy and the overall record is one of the weirdest, most distorted noise rock albums I've had the pleasure of hearing this year!

Fav Tracks: USA Is a Psycho, Hüsker Dön't, Big Banger, Blow To The Head, Van Halen 2049, Air Conditioner, ... read more
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Contributions By
anztec, patton, EiDouVarg, domvic, MarkyC
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Track List

  1. Blow To the Head
  2. USA Is a Psycho
  3. Air Conditioning
  4. Hüsker Dön't
  5. Big Banger
  6. Halloween 3
  7. Don Henley In the Park
  8. Tom Thump
  9. Bouncy House
  10. All Insane
  11. Van Halen 2049

Year End Lists

#38/The Needle Drop
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Added on: August 1, 2019