Lightning Bolt: Fantasy Empire | Album Review

Fantasy Empire
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Artist: Lightning Bolt
Genre: Rock
Label: Thrill Jockey

Doing things on their own terms has served Lighting Bolt drummer Brian Chippendale and bassist Brian Gibson well for 20 years, with uncompromising thumping albums and euphoric, thrilling live shows.

Their first record since 2009's Earthly Delights, Fantasy Empire is as intense and ferocious as anything else from the Rhode Island duo, although changes in recording methods and distribution may have led them to shake things up a little.

What hasn’t changed is the music: this is true purple noise, a blistering stonk-out with hardcore punk, prog and metal all bending, bleeding and blending under the assault.

What strikes you throughout Fantasy Empire is that Chippendale and Gibson are not simply going faster and higher than before, but that there's new ambition behind the scaling up. A record with raw power at the heart of the beast.