Decline and Fall
Decline and Fall
Reviewer: Nate Turbin
A powerhouse industrial-metal hybrid
Ever since the release of "Hymns" there has been a void in my music collection. Sure, Relapse released "Messiah" to ease the tension, but that wasn't the same as having a brand new release. By no means was "Hymns" the best Godflesh album of their catalog, but it was better than 90% of what came out in 2001.
The band has been releasing albums for the better half of two decades and this EP marks the return of a powerhouse industrial-metal hybrid. Godflesh will always be a pioneer of metal, having been involved with Napalm Death and a slew of other bands. Justin Broadrick, the main member of Godflesh, has also been mastering and remixing other bands like Pelican and Agoraphobic Nosebleed for quite some time. Make no mistake this isn't Jesu. Never was, never will be. And that can be taken in multiple ways. "Decline and Fall" marks the return of the drum machine for Godflesh, although I don't feel that the drums were as creative or distinct as they are on some of the older albums like "Pure". What I can say is that the guitar tuning is so low that one has to wonder if Justin, or JK, has been spending a lot of time listening to Agoraphobic Nosebleed (Anb), as the last track on the album, not the digipack, sounds an awful lot like them.
The first track, "Ringer", sounds like a train on a steady track to industrial Hell. The Godflesh vocals that mix so well with the atmosphere are bound to add more to the cold dark place that the band takes us. "Dogbite" is a wonderful display of extremely downtuned guitars and bass and a lesson on how simplistic riffs can still have brutality. "Playing with Fire" brings the haunting guitar that JK is known for and adds the pounding bass lines with the heavy and oppressive drums. This song is perhaps one of the best of the album due to its ambience, which I'm sure is intentional. The title track is a monster in terms of heaviness and brutality. It's good to hear this newer, modern approach from a group that doesn't adhere to a status quo.
As a side note, the limited edition digipack includes two dub versions of "Ringer" and "Playing with Fire". The record, mastering, and production on this album are spot on with what you'd expect from the band. If this is a taste of things to come for Godflesh, sign me up for a dystopian future.