By Jason Herring, April 9 2015 —
If you’ve ever listened to Lightning Bolt, you already know exactly what their new album, Fantasy Empire, sounds like.
That’s not entirely a bad thing. The New England noise-rock duo found their signature sound and they’ve stuck with it. That means an album full of smouldering bass lines, rhythmic switch-ups and 10-minute noise-rock odysseys.
Fantasy Empire is loud and relentless. The album sounds almost too noisy and directionless at first, but upon further listening it’s clear the band is creating controlled chaos. Having these songs click after listening to the album a few times is an incredibly rewarding experience.
The album starts strong with the anthemic “The Metal East.” Other highlights include “Mythmaster,” an uncharacteristically restrained song for the band, the head-banger “Dream Genie,” and “Runaway Train,” a track whose title accurately describes its content.
One of the most impressive things about Lightning Bolt is that there are only two people in the band, with one of them playing bass. The fullness of the sound is a testament to the duo’s musical expertise.
Though Fantasy Empire might disappoint Lightning Bolt fans who are looking for something new, the album is a welcome addition to the band’s discography and sees them perfecting their sound.