Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Godflesh: World Lit Only By Fire
After 13 years here is the full length we have been waiting for. I had mixed feeling about the ep, this is the follow up to. Can Justin and Co make entire albums worth of engaging material with the Godflesh sound after all these years? The album stomps off in the direction you would expect from the band. In the very straight forward industrial pound. Justin's vocals the choked bark. The guitars tightly pound like a machine. The first and second second don't really have much that separates them. I had to look at my iTunes to see if it had moved on to another song. The powerful hammering in effective , but the album gets off to a rather flat dynamic."Shut Me Down" crashes in to save the day. The beat is still industrial it just carries a different pound and a groove that doesn't totally come across like mall metal. Sound effects in the background help to capture the dismal landscape they are painting.
There is a more melodic underbelly to "Life Giver Life Taker". The chords ring out into a cold machine like world.The bass sound has the same titanic thumps that has driven so much of their material and Justin's clean vocals are set back into the distance. The more straight forward , yet angular blend of sounds captured on "Obeyed" is effective but not as compelling as the previous song. The band continues to play it rather safe of "Curse Us All". Not to say there are not some crushingly heavy riffs on the song, but that is what is expected of the band. They hit a more Ministry like tone on "Carrion" is heavy as hell, but also manages to crunch into some darker new ground , even if only by a few degrees. The garbled effects on the vocals are particularly effective.
One of the best songs on the album is the ripping "Imperator" that finds the bands classic sweet spot in blending the metal crunch of industrial with a more Killing Joke like sense of melody. The guitars layer stark dissonant chord over the war dance of the primal pummel. The band lumbers over it's own momentum. The thick thump causes songs like "Towers of Emptiness" to not capture the same range of dynamics others songs on this album have. The more atmospheric drone at the end of the song helps save it from stagnation. They close out the album with the strong "Forgive Our Fathers" that has a sludged out tempo that borders on doom. The clean vocals moan out from the crumbling building the guitars sound like they are razing in the background. I'll give this one a 9 in hopes some of the songs that didn't grab me at first it continue to grow on me, the album scores so high because when the songs excel they that really hit it perfectly and make this worthwhile.