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Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

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  • Summary: The sixth full-length release for the Rhode Island noise rock band is its first album recorded in a proper studio.
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  • Record Label: Thrill Jockey
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Post-Rock, Experimental Rock, Noise-Rock
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Mojo
    Mar 19, 2015
    100
    Fantasy Empire buzzes, drills and throbs with a brutal power that is relentlessly, terrifyingly exciting. [Apr 2015, p.89]
  2. Mar 20, 2015
    90
    Auditory annihilation never sounded so good.
  3. Mar 13, 2015
    88
    Its records can be exhausting listens, buried in mulch, but Fantasy Empire cleans things up a bit without reining in the intensity.
  4. 80
    Drummer/vocalist Brian Chippendale’s delirious sing-song brings notes of fancy to tracks like ‘Dream Genie’, but Lightning Bolt’s aim remains simple: to batter you into ecstatic submission.
  5. Mar 24, 2015
    80
    Lightning Bolt’s subversive sense of songcraft flourishes in these new recording environs, creating their most accessible record yet from tones and concepts as challenging as any in their catalog.
  6. Mar 19, 2015
    80
    Their previous albums were exercises in fuzzed up, energised sonic assault, and whilst Fantasy Empire is no different in terms of attack and intent, there’s a clarity to it that makes it more effective.
  7. Mar 25, 2015
    60
    There is nothing wrong with bands making predictable music specifically designed to be played live; hell, bands like Motörhead and AC/DC have become rock institutions by doing just that. With this in mind, do not expect an artistic revelation from Fantasy Empire.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Mar 24, 2015
    9
    One of Lightning Bolt's best records. Equal parts hypnotic, groovy, intense, and noisy. The Brians make some really dynamic sounds with whatOne of Lightning Bolt's best records. Equal parts hypnotic, groovy, intense, and noisy. The Brians make some really dynamic sounds with what they bring to the studio; in particular, the bass guitar sounds excellent. Really enjoyable noise rock music in 2015. Expand
  2. Jun 18, 2015
    8
    Maybe this is not such a creative and revolutionary album but Lightning Bolt still got it. Amazing songs with pure raw energy. for the nextMaybe this is not such a creative and revolutionary album but Lightning Bolt still got it. Amazing songs with pure raw energy. for the next Lightning Bolt album: I hope there would be a new way to feature that energy but in a more creative way. Expand
  3. Jun 14, 2015
    7
    I'm still amazed by just how much sound this two-piece can muster with only guitar and drums. They make larger, lesser metal groups seem likeI'm still amazed by just how much sound this two-piece can muster with only guitar and drums. They make larger, lesser metal groups seem like a superfluous amassing of musicians. I love the crunch and distortion on the guitar licks, they set everything in their path ablaze and boil my blood like few albums this year. The drumming is blisteringly intense, unrelentingly frantic, and varied enough to turn my head occasionally. There are tracks on here I don't care for, though. When Lightning Bolt latch onto an idea or a hook, they refuse to let go for the length of a song. When I'm grooving to it, it's great. When I don't care for the loop from the get go, it bores me. There is still a ton of great material all across this record, and it's definitely one of 2015's best heavy metal albums. Expand
  4. May 3, 2015
    6
    Fantasy Empire presents an entertaining sound, but the repetitiveness of the songwriting makes it a listen that gets old much faster than itsFantasy Empire presents an entertaining sound, but the repetitiveness of the songwriting makes it a listen that gets old much faster than its presentation deserves. Expand
  5. Apr 4, 2015
    4
    If you like really loud guitars and dissonance, this album is for you. If you don't, listen to Kendrick Lamar or Sufjan Stevens or CourtneyIf you like really loud guitars and dissonance, this album is for you. If you don't, listen to Kendrick Lamar or Sufjan Stevens or Courtney Barnett, and thank to good Lord that you can delete this album after listening to it for 10 minutes on Spotify. Expand

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