Glooming up joy since 1994, post-rock naysayers Godspeed You! Black Emperor have lived through and complained about double generations of political turmoil, using their guitar ‘n’ orchestra action alongside devastated vocal samples, beguiling tape loops and sepia-toned film reel. Since returning from a long hiatus, they’ve released three records that both jam and drone, taking ecstatic doom metal and putting it alongside odd ambient textures. They call it a joyful noise, and they’re not wrong.
Godspeed's early records were deeply ambitious with haughty political aspirations. While F#A#∞ sounded like a gloomfest, its collage of spoken word narratives, unusual instrumentation and guitar spectre was crafted in the name of a new social hope. Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada, their best and most concise work, continued to sample stark and dark observations on North American livelihood and complicity, placing words over devastated stringwork like all progress had been lost.
They all but disbanded after the masterpiece Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven and the doomsday clock Yanqui u.x.o but returned years later with new records of rock euphoria. This resurgence has culminated in them creating one of their most major, jubilant works in Luciferian Towers, a record that's done with waiting, with post-rocking.