lightningbolt

No wonder there have apparently been at least three versions of ‘Fantasy Empire’ recorded and shelved since 2009. For anybody not yet familiar with Lightning Bolt, the Providence, Rhode Island duo play a bone-shatteringly intense composite of Boredoms-influenced noise, thrash metal and stoner rock that’s all but impossible to capture on record. Album number seven – the first Lightning Bolt release in three years but first batch of new material in six – sees the twosome decamp to a professional studio but somehow still do a stellar job of boosting fidelity without dialling down their energy or idiosyncrasies.

Drummer and vocalist Brian Chippendale once again spends an entire record wailing non-sequiturs through a telephone receiver microphone attached to his head, while the bottom end of Brian Gibson’s bass is still as murky as a witch’s brew. On the other hand, Chippendale’s drums now punch the chest with enough force to cause an aneurysm and Gibson’s squealing, dive-bombing riffs on album highlight ‘Runaway Train’ could melt any railway track. Approach with giddy trepidation.

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