Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Luciferian Towers
Critic Score
Based on 23 reviews
2017 Ratings: #285 / 898
User Score
Based on 397 ratings
2017 Ratings: #382
Liked by 13 people
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The 405

Even without the idea that Luciferian Towers is a grand statement beyond music, it’s still a functionally and otherwise dazzling work, one that sits nicely among the band's compositions.

Pretty Much Amazing

Luciferian Towers is a better album than Asunder. I’d venture that it’s even better than 2012’s Allelujah! Don’t Bend, Ascend! by virtue of its interludes not being completely disposable. It’s less bold than their earliest and best work (I wish they’d make another double LP one of these days), but it bodes well for their future, and stands as one of the best albums of the year.

Vital, vibrant, and necessary, "Luciferian Towers" is a stunning addition to Godspeed's storied catalogue.
A.V. Club

In a way, this new one—the band’s third since reuniting in 2011—feels like a bookend to Lift, in that it’s similarly powerful, but far more sinister.

The Skinny
There's little on this album that would sound out of place on any of their other works, but GY!BE's apocalyptic vision remains as relevant and powerful as ever.
Northern Transmissions
Raw in its instrumental passion, the record has a relentless ability to hold your attention without feeling monotonous. Endlessly inspiring, full of great beauty and with handfuls of artistic ambition, as long as you know what to expect, you’ll be blown away.

Perhaps out of necessity, the group seem more inspired here than they have in a while, and the result is arguably their best work since their 2000 opus Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven.

Loud and Quiet
‘Luciferian Towers’ sounds like a band banishing their brittle side with a display of populist strength, relegating the wistful washes to the sidelines in a time of crisis. Indeed, in contrast to much of Godspeed’s back catalogue, which consists of the sort of music that soundtracks from afar dreadful destruction and war, their latest album is the sort to accompany a righteous, fearless march into battle.

These are dark times indeed, but albums like Luciferian Towers help to provide a guiding light.

NOW Magazine

The wistful elegance of the music makes Luciferian Towers a peculiarly gorgeous portrayal of our threatening political reality. Xenophobia is on the rise and we seem to be on the brink of nuclear war, but at least we’ve got this album to provide the soundtrack.

Consequence of Sound

While Luciferian Towers isn’t the shortest Godspeed album at 44 minutes — it runs four minutes longer than Asunder — it may be its most consistently emphatic. And perhaps because of that, the album never quite propels itself to the peaks of its predecessors; there are climaxes, but nothing touching the oppressive, cathartic explosions that cap off “Rockets Fall Over Rocket Falls” or “Piss Crowns Are Trebled”.

It’s hard to watch Godspeed walk away from that menacing magic, no matter how skilled they are at the flip side of their sound. You want them to knock down towers, but for now, they’re building shelter amid the ruins.
Drowned in Sound

Ultimately it feels like one beautifully-realised idea, when even their Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada EP featured two. It would have been cool if it was a double with another movement of music, I guess. But frankly it still feels pretty incredible to only have such trivial criticisms to make of the band in 2017: now deep into middle age, perhaps Godspeed are slowing down a little, but their music and their rage remain undimmed and beautiful.


Hanging on to individual elements of its past, Godspeed You! Black Emperor is slowly reinventing its sound, working on its intricacies and dynamics, focusing on different elements and trying to awaken different emotions.

Under The Radar

Godspeed continue to prove they are masters of fashioning sonic atmospheres, no matter how quiet, no matter how huge.

The Guardian
Even if the building dynamics are the stuff of post-rock cliche, the multi-part suites Bosses Hang and Anthem for No State are saved from vague posturing by urgent rhythm sections powering them over the barricades.
The Needle Drop

"Luciferian Towers" is the first Godspeed album we didn't need.

Tiny Mix Tapes
On the whole, these tracks feel partially-realized, like demos that didn’t get wholly fleshed out.
How the fuck...? Why?! WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS THIS?!
Everyone's out here telling me that this is the most underrated album from them just because Fantano gave it a 5, and I'm telling you that this by far the most overrated thing I've heard from this band. It's not awful - it's not even close to being bad! - but it's just so bland and samey and is EXACTLY THE SAME AS THEIR PREVIOUS RELEASE! That alone makes it the weakest and most overrated thing that Godspeed You have released up to this ... read more
I'm mostly indifferent, but it ended strongly, so I'll give it props on that. I felt as if they were just doddling around, waiting for an interesting idea to pop up. I'm clueless as to when that idea popped up, but I'm optimistic that it did happen, and I missed it. Who really knows?
All this album did was remind me how incredible a band Godspeed are and how lucky we are to have them. Who cares if its not as good as their other work.
Streaming on NPR starting today. Thinking this is the best GYBE album since the reunion. A thing of beauty... could see my score going up even.

Edit on 9/25: Still listening to this and think its freaking beautiful. Kind of a head scratcher that so many 'fans' of the band don't like this brighter/beautiful album. The 'drones' are as good as any they have done, and bosses hang is GREAT. Really love this.
I like to be positive towards GY!BE's new stuff but jesus christ this is so boring
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Added on: July 13, 2017