Review Summary: All hail the new 'flesh.
To say Godflesh has been an important influence within the the metal community is a massive understatement. Their whole sound at it's beginning helped nearly define several genres or at the very least proved incredibly influential in shaping there respective paths. It was with great sadness then when they broke up over a decade ago ending one of the most consistent runs of music in recent memory. After reforming four years ago Godflesh are now back and better than ever.
Decline and Fall
represents both some of Godflesh's and Justin Broadrick's best work in a long time. On this EP Godflesh sound angry, mature and revitalised all thanks to taking many cues from the past with the benefit of hindsight. 'Ringer' pretty much sets the tone of the record; think Pure
by way of later Godflesh with a touch of Fall of Because in there for good measure. It's all harsh, industrial soundscapes with pissed off vocals, ridiculously heavy riffs. stalwart bass playing that sounds like a tractor's engine and production that doesn't seem to forget that said bass exists in a record recorded with an eight string guitar. Seemingly it's business as usual yet what makes Decline and Fall
stand out among Godflesh's back catalogue is the subtlety in the songwriting. It's obvious how much care was taken by the sheer smoothness of the flow between the different parts of the songs and just how well everything works together. More than that though what makes these songs so powerful are how these transitions can change a song into something much more potent without it really being noticed. Album standout 'Playing With Fire' is perhaps the best example, it's punchy groove evolving from a simple headbanger into a twisted engine of destruction. It's brilliant stuff and shows just how far the Broadrick and Green have come as songwriters since the early days of the band.
Most of the material, bar the slightly redundant 'Dogbite,' lives up to this calibre and it not only makes for an excellent ep but an exciting teaser for the future album. If Decline and Fall
is any indictator, said album is shaping up to be one that could live up to, and possibly surpass, some of their classic works, all because they gaze into the past through the future.
Welcome back Godflesh.