Fantasy Empire

Lightning Bolt - Fantasy Empire
Critic Score
Based on 18 reviews
2015 Ratings: #93 / 772
User Score
Based on 111 ratings
2015 Ratings: #254
March 24, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Thrill Jockey / Label
Noise Rock / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
AllMusic

While they stick closer to the traditionally heavy, sometimes ham-fisted hard rock compositions they began investigating almost a decade earlier on Hypermagic Mountain, the songs ring especially weird and unstoppable in their new clarity.

90
Exclaim!
Auditory annihilation never sounded so good.
90
The Line of Best Fit
It turns out to be a great pleasure that the band decided to embrace the opportunities of a new studio environment and produced the fantastical and empiricist take on their trademark noise rock sound. Long may they continue to shock.
90
Loud and Quiet
Album number seven ... sees the twosome decamp to a professional studio but somehow still do a stellar job of boosting fidelity without dialling down their energy or idiosyncrasies.
83
Consequence of Sound

Fantasy Empire will reward longtime listeners and draw in new fans simultaneously, a heady accomplishment for a couple of dudes bashing away at their instruments.

80
The Skinny

Truthfully, Fantasy Empire is an ear-splitting delight.

80
NME
Lightning Bolt’s aim remains simple: to batter you into ecstatic submission.
80
Pitchfork

This is also their most flat-out rock'n'roll album to date, and their best since Wonderful Rainbow.

80
musicOMH

Fantasy Empire is perhaps the most accurate documentation of Lightning Bolt so far as well as their most accessible.

80
Drowned in Sound

As a project to capture the energy of a live gig, Fantasy Empire is near-flawless. It’s a visceral, pulsating entity, echoing with tinnitus.

80
The 405

Fantasy Empire is the sound of a band modifying their sound rather than totally changing direction and whilst their spontaneity may have been tempered by their new ways of recording, their intensity and creativity remains very much intact.

70
Spin

Unlike the tinny wash of their earlier albums, Fantasy Empire never makes you feel like you're lost.

70
No Ripcord
Even with Lightning Bolt sounding pretty much at the top of their game in regards to sound engineering and riff ravaging, it is a tad disappointing that the band’s venture out of their comfort zone didn’t yield more sounds and songs that reflected this.
60
PopMatters

There is nothing wrong with bands making predictable music specifically designed to be played live; hell, bands like Motörhead and AC/DC have become rock institutions by doing just that. With this in mind, do not expect an artistic revelation from Fantasy Empire.

LaiTheRick
70
For the first time in their discography, Lightning Bolt record an album in a studio. As a result, the production sounds tidier. Crispier. They're not writing pop songs or anything (although this could easily be the closest thing to a pop album they've done - that is a damn stretch, though, and a pretty silly one at that), and still carry the abrasive noise rock style that has defined their music up until this point, but with heavier emphasis on songwriting and even melody, we're given one of ... read more
Houdanny
76
I really like the style and aesthetic of this kind of music. Those energetic walls of sound that sound as though the anger of all of the band members combined and bursts out across this album. But I can't ignore the fact that this album does get somewhat repetitive, especially when some of the songs are 5+ minutes long. That said, considering I randomly picked an album of theirs to start off with listening to them with, I'm definitely more than impressed and can't wait to delve further into ... read more
Wam
75
I think this has something to do with horses
BuffaloStaple
75
A tad bit too repetitive but overall, I'd say it's a very compelling yet ferocious noise rock record that's consistently enjoyable.
DevinONeill
80
Oh my goddddddd "Dream Genie" is so good. Like every time I listen to that song I'm just blown away.
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Track List

  1. The Metal East
  2. Over the River and Through the Woods
  3. Horsepower
  4. King of My World
  5. Mythmaster
  6. Runaway Train
  7. Leave the Lantern Lit
  8. Dream Genie
  9. Snow White (& The 7 Dwarves Fans)
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Added on: January 16, 2015