Godflesh: Decline and Fall

Godflesh: Decline and Fall

(Avalanche, 6/26/14)


No stranger to walking away from projects when he feels they’ve run their course, Godflesh co-founder Justin K. Broadrick (Jesu, Napalm Death, Final) has never been one to rest on his laurels or dwell on the past. It’s surprising, then, that this first offering from the re-formed Godflesh references both the singleminded force of the duo’s early work and the more layered experimentation of its later albums.

Fans will immediately recognize the familiar elements that made Godflesh stand out in the late ’80s / early ’90s as a trailblazing “industrial metal” act: distorted, gurgling, low-pitched bass; coldly insistent drum-machine beats; and chunky, dissonant guitar riffing.

Though Decline and Fall doesn’t significantly update Godflesh’s sound, Broadrick and bandmate Ben “G.C.” Green no longer appear to be driven by the sheer hostility that permeates their back catalog. It’s not that the subject matter or even the tone of the music has mellowed in the slightest, but rather that it benefits from Broadrick and Green getting older. Decline & Fall arguably marks the first time that Godflesh’s defensiveness packs an adult punch. As such, it punches with greater impact.

Broadrick has long described Godflesh’s sound as a defense mechanism. It still comes across that way, but he and Green are now able to operate free of pressure from career obligations. Their sense of ease—even enjoyment—along with their matured perspective, brings dimension to their music that it didn’t necessarily have before.

A new full-length titled A World Lit Only by Fire—Godflesh’s first album in 13 years—is due this autumn.