Godflesh; that’s a good, solid name for a metal band, isn’t it? Without hearing a note, you’d know what to expect – some serious riffs, double bass drum pedals and some DEATH! WAR! FUCK! vocals, right? Well, think again, the Birmingham, UK duo break the mould when it comes to metal – whilst they’re heavy as fuck, Justin Broadrick (guitar, vocals and programming) and G. C. Green (bass) have been pushing sonic boundaries since their inception in 1988. The twosome called it a day in 2002 but re-emerged back in 2010 – they released their
seventh LP ‘A World Lit Only By Fire’ in 2014 and three years later, ‘Post Self’ finds the pair embellishing their brutal wares with further forays into post-punk and industrial climes.
‘Post Self’ chugs and growls with all the nuances you’d expect – guttural, grinding guitars and gruff, deep throated vocals give the LP it’s devil horns but it’s when Godflesh inject some electronics and experimental textures to the usual metal fare, that you feel the album’s innovative leanings. It’s an intense album; one that builds on atmosphere and cloaks the listener in a disorientating fug. ‘Mirror of Finite Light’ dials down the brutality for a sinister, slither through fragmented guitar crackles and a mechanical heart-beat- like thump. ‘The Cyclic End’ daubs the album in a monochrome celestial haze – this is where the band’s post-punk influences raise to the top. A sci-fi vibe warps ‘Mortality Sorrow’ into a Doctor Who-esque grind via siren-like electronics that sound like they’re about to conk out under the weight of some colossal, fractured beats.
While you must applaud the band’s penchant for experimentation, ‘Post Self’ has the tendency to blend into one; even with the varied sonic structures, veering from metallic onslaught and experimental soundscapes. Sonically it feels like the album would suit a film soundtrack well or accompanying a videogame – in both cases the film or game would have to be something like Doom – where impending violence lurks around every corner and a short-sharp shock isn’t too far away.
‘Post Self’ is not your standard metal-by- numbers record by any stretch but it’s not quite far-reaching and all- encompassing enough to break free of the genre either.
Words and Thoughts by Adam Williams