Fan­tasy Em­pire

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - Thrill Jockey JIM CAR­ROLL

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. laser­

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