Review Summary: You don’t know how long we’ve been waiting for a collaboration like this…
Isis and Godflesh together at last. If those two names don’t get your blood flowing right now, I can only show you the door. Upon first hearing about this alliance, the fanboy in myself could only handle the anticipation for so long. The reason that people like myself get worked up is because metal giants like Aaron Turner and Justin K Broadrick teaming up can only mean great things. Take a look at what the now defunct (2002) Godflesh did for industrialized metal and industrial itself, creating the highly regarded Streetcleaner
and the under appreciated earth- shaking albums Selfless
. Aaron Turner on the other hand is undoubtedly a huge fan of Godflesh, which is reflected on all of his post-metal Isis’ albums. Turners influences dive so deep into Godflesh’s catalogue that one must wonder if 2002s Oceanic
is what Godflesh would have sounded like if Broadrick had trekked on. Even looking past both of these tremendously talented bands efforts, you have to factor in both lead musicians outstanding side projects such as Jesu or Old Man Gloom, which would be somewhat of a chore to word without sounding like hyperbole. If you go into Disconnected
thinking that your dreams of Godflesh and Isis making babies is going to come true, this baby is going to come out looking like it was tossed into a blender and I promise, you will have a rather difficult time distinguishing between an eyeball from a limb. What makes Greymachine so wonderful is the fact that the band does away with anything that makes them sound like Godflesh and Isis and hits play on the noise assault.
Actually, I have to admit that the sentence above me isn’t entirely true. How do you shed your entire past when you simply want to create the most enduringly difficult piece of music in your entire career? This is an industrial wasteland of an album, rife with overflowing, toxic industrial hazards and blanketed with a nightmarish white noise. What Broadrick was trying to achieve on Streetcleaner
, with its minimalist approach to industrial chug, Turner is there to fill in the gaps with his rich, chunky sound that was captured perfectly on 2000s Celestial
. This is where the comparisons end. Disconnected
begins and ends on a crushingly jagged note with little in the way of actual song structure. Basically, if you love to throw on your headphones and space off to noisy excursions for long periods of time, this album will certainly satisfy. Not that this is a one-dimensional type of album, there is still plenty going on in the background that will indeed take multiple listens to sift through. For the most part, gruellingly harsh guitar tones are mostly front and centre that are carried by mid-tempo, stomping beats while every nook and cranny is somehow jammed tight with unforgiving sound effects and synth dissonance. Just when you thought you’ve heard the brown noise, which opens a majority of the songs, each composition is awash in what can be described as that hollow, lo-fi noise that can be heard on under produced black metal classics; the “kvlt” albums if you will. It’s almost as if Broadrick and Turner were trying to combine the doomy, mechanical riffing of industrial with the sheer atmosphere of black metal. This combination works effectively, eating away at the listener while they try and find a moment of comfort amongst the chaotic atmosphere.
To put the icing on the cake with this unique piece of noise metal, Justin Broadrick takes the reigns behind the soundboard, producing and mixing the entire album. Also adding to the quality of musicianship on this album and filling in the remainder of the lineup is bassist Dave Cochrane and electronics guru Diarmuid Dalton who have both appeared alongside many of Broadricks side projects during the 80s, 90s, and 00s and have most likely served as some form of inspiration to the multi-talented musician during these time periods. Trying to describe a toxic mess like this isn’t easy and Disconnected
will only confuse such loyal fans of both bands. If the pretty melodies and chugga-chug of Isis is what your looking for, you will be quickly escorted to the nearest exit. If the primitive pounding of Godflesh is to be expected, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. This industrialized/ noise metal hybrid is going to throw you a curveball and leave your brain bloody and bruised. Also might make a few top 10’s for 2009, no?