Again and again, Godspeed You! Black Emperor conjure a rare sort of glorious joy to push back against a world so susceptible to corruption that it might only evolve under a bombardment of large, persistent sound waves.
The context for this new blast of instrumental rock is written all over the album artwork: thematically, the collective speak out against corporate excess, the exploitation of labour in every field, the hopelessness of war and government-branded forms of self-inflicted domestic terrorism and the complacent, false sense that this country, Canada, may be a better nation than the rest.
It's not unusual for Godspeed to articulate such things on a record sleeve, but bolstered by a few guests (Bonnie Kane, Craig Pederson) and the knowing ears of engineer Greg Norman, their music truly animates the frozen, sardonic text. "Undoing a Luciferian Towers" is a dirge that somehow shimmers; "Bosses Hang" begins as a haunting bass and guitar three-chorder before strings and drums propel it skyward. Its primary figure reverberates through the pensive "Fam/Famine" but "Anthem for No State" is a whole new trip: raucous, symphonic, and psychedelic, with at least a touch of the Sadies in play.
Vital, vibrant, and necessary, "Luciferian Towers" is a stunning addition to Godspeed's storied catalogue. (Constellation)