Review: Godflesh

(Relapse Records)

And the sludge crawls on.  Godflesh define pounding rhythms.  It is sometimes stark, and often bruising.  It just pounds and pounds relentlessly.  It’s edge worn dull from it’s dragging tempos and scraping guitars that drip in distorted reverbs.  The vocals are waxy gray.  They bark, echo and retreat, repeating as they fade.  When it does lift it’s head with a hope-filled trace of melody, the lights streams from the cracks in the clouds, only to be eclipsed by the pause between tracks, then gloriously flattened out again.

Godflesh is one of these mysterious 3 piece entities that can create this huge sound that belies the minimum member requirements (see Prong for another good example.)  When Prong slowed down their attack and worked in more experimental elements, their Godflesh was showing, y’hear what I’m saying?
This release is a seems a little more ‘spacey’ and not quite as metallic as their previous, but it still retains that repetition of song structure that finds ideas dragging along, slowly climaxing and retreating.
Very moody compositions that explore their space through… well, repetition.  If you give this a listen, you will know why I keep using that word ‘repetition’.  Normally, this would make a band boring and dull.  In the case of Godflesh, it creates a droning beauty that swells and breathes in different directions rather than stapling riff on top of riff.  And since this “Messiah” release is 4 songs, then the same 4 songs remixed, expect to get the idea rubbed into ears until they are raw.

Actually, this is a rare earlier EP of Godflesh (circa 1994) that was previously only available through the bands website but now has been re-released with the added remixes.  “Messiah” is a look inward for Godflesh, exposing the softer underbelly.  And nice ‘Fall of Icarus’ centerpiece to the CD layout.