Let’s get the obvious out of the way, it’s a Godspeed You! Black Emperor song — it’s haunting, it’s emotional, it’s ugly, it’s out of tune, it’s aggressively leftist, and yes, you might be a pretentious hipster for maintaining this group in your music arsenal, but that’s OK.
The Montreal-based, self-proclaimed anti-capitalistic musicians have created and progressed one of the most stolen sounds in the post-rock industry, toeing the line between noise and melody with careful precision (if you’ve ever seen the planning behind Lift Your Skinny Wrists Like Antennas to Heaven, you know what I’m talking about). GY!BE are the unabashedly radical, vague prophets of doom and gloom who like to play around in end of the world type fantasies. Formulaic is a harsh term to slap on their music, but nobody listens to GY!BE for anything other than political rage and anxiety.
Luciferian Towers is not an entire song divided up into parts like their 2015 release, Asunder Sweet and Other Distress, but more than half the album is conceived of two songs divided into trios. My personal favorite, and the highlight of the album according to some major publications, is “Bosses Hang, Pt. I, II and III.”
Part I sets up the deserted, industrial melody, which while slow, deep, and heavy still sits in a major key and stays motivated in place of cautionary or crestfallen on the background of trauma. Picking up right where Part I ends, Part II has a similar progression, but adds a new pattern that’s quicker to intensify than the previous part. This new melodic pattern holds all the way through the end of the song, and up to the third part. Having the benefit of the lead up, Part III solidifies its position as is the most intricate. The track mirrors the beat of an impassioned speech, bringing back elements from Part I to compliment the buildup from Part II, which was equal parts urgent, loud, and righteous. The ending is almost entirely pulled from Part I, from the even-paced riffs to the return to a dissonant soundscape, albeit brighter, fading off into a satisfying silence.
Luciferian Towers is undeniably the most uplifting album released by GY!BE, but if you’re willing to look for it, there’s always been traces of hope in GY!BE’s music. However, I think it’s refreshing that they chose to make it obvious for once.