Friday, 22 August 2014

Godflesh - Decline & Fall EP (Review)

Album Type: EP
Date Released:2/6/2014
Label: Avalanche Recordings

Decline and Fall’ CD/LP/DD track listing

1). Ringer 06:23
2). Dogbite 03:52
3). Playing with Fire 06:02
4). Decline and Fall 04:17

The Band:

Justin Broadrick | Vocals, Guitars, Programming
G.C. Green | Bass


No one has quite managed to fill the industrial metal void that had been left by the 13 year absence of Godflesh, a band who have been a foundational influence on the industrial/post-metal genre. Making sporadic appearances since their reformation in 2010 at notable festivals such as Hellfest, Roadburn and Maryland Deathfest, fans have been chomping at the bit for new Godflesh material. ‘Decline and Fall’ marks the ‘about bloody time’ return of brummie duo Justin Broadrick and G.C Green, but as they say good things come to those that wait. ‘Decline and Fall’ is an undisputable return to form, and is only the appetizer to the full length titled ‘A World Lit Only By Fire’ which is due out September this year.

Sticking to what made them innovative and successful to begin with, ‘Decline and Fall’ utilizes the industrial churn reflected in their earlier material. The punishing guitar riff, pummelling bass lines and abrasive vocals in opening track ‘Ringer’ is quintessential Godflesh. They are back, and it’s like they never left. Godflesh have a real knack for being repetitious in their songs without being monotonous, ‘Ringer’ has a central riff that runs throughout and contains minimal variance yet the track is massively entrancing. ‘Dogbite’ is driven by its bouncy bass line, and alongside the chuggy distorted guitar riffs it almost has a Korn feel to it. ‘Playing With Fire’ incorporates doom and drone elements, with Broadrick’s vocals varying from relaxed to a belligerent bark as the lyrics ‘There’s no pain/There’s no gain’ alters the mood of the song. Final track ‘Decline and Fall’ is definitely the most aggressive track, with Broadricks vocals oozing hostility. A bit more pace to it than the previous tracks and a bouncy groove coming to light amongst the distortion, this is unrelenting brutality.   

What really stands out for me on this record and Godflesh generally, is the fluidity of their music, a mechanical force that flows through the beat. After such anticipation it’s a massive relief that ‘Decline and Fall’ showcases the sheer quality of Godflesh, which is sure to be reinforced with their new full length offering later this year. Godflesh are back and hopefully here to stay.

Words by: Heather Blewett

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