Reviews 4
Approval 96%

Soundoffs 57
Album Ratings 2463
Objectivity 92%

Last Active 12-22-20 7:50 pm
Joined 09-24-05

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04.13.21 tec's 2021 Q1 - Top 1504.07.21 tec’s KING CRIMSON, Ranked
03.31.21 tec’s GODFLESH, Ranked03.22.21 tec’s THE SMITHS, Ranked
03.11.21 tec’s RADIOHEAD, Ranked 03.01.21 tec’s THE NATIONAL, Ranked
02.22.21 tec’s BJORK, Ranked 02.18.21 Breakfast Cereal Tier List
02.03.21 tec's DAVID BOWIE, Ranked 01.20.21 tec's SONIC YOUTH, Ranked
01.05.21 MUSIC: tec's Top 50 of 2020 11.23.20 2020 // 25 UNDER 25
10.27.20 Just got Nintendo SWITCH10.07.20 tectac's Electric Wizard, Ranked
08.26.20 tec's Top 100 Albums of All Time 08.21.20 FILM: tectac's Kelly Reichardt, Ranked
07.07.20 Top 25 of 2020: So Far! (Sept.)05.27.20 FILM: tectac's Hayao Miyazaki, Ranked
More »

tec’s GODFLESH, Ranked

For those times when you want to perform autoasphyxiation but don’t quite have the guts to pull it off!
Us and Them

Overall Score | 2.21 | 🌕🌕🌑🌑🌑

🥇 I, Me, Mine
🥈 Bittersweet
🥉 Live to Lost

Simply put: Not a fan of the gigantic drum ‘n’ bass influence here. You’ll see me reiterate this sentiment later in my capsule for POST SELF, but *this* album takes the contribution to diminishing returns, feeling like an off-kilter hardcore hip-hop or breakbeat album half the time, which isn’t what whets my appetite when I’m in the mood for Godflesh. This is mostly a matter of personal opinion, as the record has remarkably good acclaim, and is often rated higher than many of the albums I’ve placed ahead of it. I have no grudge against hip-hop drum looping, per se, but its integration into industrial metal needs to be subtler and more deftly handled to truly work. It kinda swallows everything whole here, and often just makes me writhe with discomfort.
Cold World

Overall Score | 2.38 | 🌕🌕🌗🌑🌑

🥇 Cold World
🥈 Nihil
🥉 Nihil (Total Belief Mix)

Debated whether to even include this “EP” which feels more like a single and a B side with some unnecessary remixes, but I do enjoy the title track for what its worth—far from the top rung of Godflesh songs but plenty evocative of the cold and alienated atmosphere that they so often nail with aplomb. “Nihil” is fine, if relatively unexciting, but the two remixed versions are totally superfluous and massively lackluster in comparison. They just feel so…empty, and the mild electronic upgrades are hardly worth the tape space. Stay for the first two tracks, forget the rest.
Post Self

Overall Score | 2.60 | 🌕🌕🌗🌑🌑

🥇 Post Self
🥈 Be God
🥉 No Body

*Sigh*… As I said before, I really just don’t care for the dub and borderline hip-hop influences here; not that I have anything against those genres on their own, but the amalgam they create with the traditional Godflesh sound - angry, sludgy industrial music - is underwhelming at best and mega-corny at its very worst. Granted, some tracks carry a respectable balance (i.e., the three listed above), but moreover the album strays too far into the “dub metal” category for my tastes. I recognize that’s an entirely personal affliction, however—this is *good* from the standpoint of composition and production, I’m just ambivalent to most of it.

Overall Score | 3.00 | 🌕🌕🌕🌑🌑

🥇 Messiah
🥈 Sungod Dub
🥉 Scapegoat

Good, but largely unremarkable, and a bit aggravated by the unnecessary implementation of “dub” versions of each of the four tracks. (I do prefer the dub version of “Sungod,” but the rest of them are inferior to their original counterparts.) Sounds a little bit like Godflesh phoning it in here - and, to be honest, their autopilot is better than many others’ max efforts - which is more disappointing than anything. Could do without “Wilderness of Mirrors”, but the other three songs make worthy (if somewhat middle-tier) contributions to the Godflesh canon.
Songs of Love and Hate

Overall Score | 3.18 | 🌕🌕🌕🌑🌑

🥇 Wake
🥈 Sterile Prophet
🥉 Circle of Shit

Starts off so incredibly strong that I was sure this would end up somewhere among my Top 5. “Wake”, “Sterile Prophet”, and “Circle of Shit” are quintessential Godflesh—loud, crunchy, angry, pessimistic, full of hate, and laden with their signature guerilla repetition, the sort of sonic lobotomy that drills directly into the backside of your skull. (I mean that in a *good* way, to be sure.) But things take a sharp nosedive starting with “Hunter”, which sounds like some weird nu-metal / hardcore hip-hop hybrid atop which Broadrick mindlessly hollers. The album unfortunately never fully recovers from this weird transition, though two tracks come close (“Angel Domain” and “Frail”). Far from poor, simply not the brand of Godflesh that makes me swoon hardest.
A World Lit Only by Fire

Overall Score | 3.35 | 🌕🌕🌕🌗🌑

🥇 Shut Me Down
🥈 Curse Us All
🥉 New Dark Ages

Half of these tracks are really good, the other half are mostly just fine, creating a somewhat unbalanced experience but overall a positive one, especially considering it blossomed after over a decade of silence (not including the EP release a few months earlier), which is usually a precursor to inevitable failure. Even the tracks that are “merely decent” are enjoyable to some degree—e.g. “Deadend,” “Obeyed,” “Imperator”—and, thankfully, there isn’t a single sore spot on the album. There just isn’t a ton to get riled up about, either, and the best tracks (listed above, along with “Life Giver Life Taker” and “Towers of Emptiness”), while great, are hardly world beaters. I’ll take that over utter shit any day.

Overall Score | 3.38 | 🌕🌕🌕🌗🌑

🥇 Blind
🥈 Flowers
🥉 Merciless

Yet another immensely solid extended play from Godflesh - nothing quite groundbreaking here, and it doesn’t tread any uncharted territory beyond the band’s previous work, but it churns with the same misanthropic and desolate aggression that foregrounds their best albums. Maybe a tad on the repetitive side, too, even for a group that’s built a reputation around cyclic pummeling, but fans of Godflesh should enjoy each of the four tracks offered up here. “Unworthy” is the weakest of them all, if only because I don’t find its mild electro-influences particularly exciting.

Overall Score | 3.40 | 🌕🌕🌕🌗🌑

🥇 Mothra
🥈 Predominance
🥉 Pure

There may be no bigger gearshift in Godflesh’s catalog than the one from STREETCLEANER to this (the only other contender is the jump from US AND THEM to HYMNS), and while its clearly the same band responsible for both albums, the overall sound is strikingly different, largely because the way the instruments and tones are implemented this time around evokes a completely unique mood. It’s more upbeat - in an odd way, surely, but more upbeat nonetheless - and sonically brighter…yet it’ll still pummel you and grind your bones down into a fine powder just the same. An interested venture, but it works for the most part. (Could do without that last track, though - or at least severely truncate it).

Overall Score | 3.45 | 🌕🌕🌕🌗🌑

🥇 Mantra
🥈 Anything Is Mind
🥉 Xnoybis

If I were forced to listen to Godflesh’s discography in random order then categorize them chronologically based on the perceived evolution of sound, I’d surely place this between STREETCLEANER and PURE as it seems a logical progression from the unfettered hyperagression of the former to the tighter, more robotically rhythmic meter of the latter. Easily as dark, depressive, and hateful as anything they’d done hitherto, yet there’s a detectable….softness (?) that makes this maybe Godflesh’s most immediately approachable album.
Decline and Fall

Overall Score | 3.50 | 🌕🌕🌕🌗🌑

🥇 Dogbite
🥈 Ringer
🥉 Playing With Fire

The sudden return of Godflesh in 2014 was an unexpectedly promising one, laden with an EP (ahem, this one here) and a subsequent full-length that could’ve easily been pulled from their archives sometime in the late-80s or early-90s, and I say that in complete earnest. DECLINE & FALL’s opening track, “Ringer,” paves the way for quintessential, classic Godflesh - rhythmic, pounding drums, guitars with the distortion of an amplifier ablaze, and a bass tone so sludgy that it actually feels grimy just listening to it. Granted, nothing here sounds particularly new, massively exciting, or at all revolutionary, nor is anything truly “better” than that of which Godflesh delivered decades earlier. But hey - this is far superior to what most bands release after a long hiatus.

Overall Score | 3.58 | 🌕🌕🌕🌗🌑

🥇 Jesu
🥈 Paralyzed
🥉 Defeated

For me, personally, HYMNS represents a glorious semi-return to form on the heels of Godflesh’s biggest career misstep (again, in my personal opinion). Ditches the musical hardcore hip hop influences, breakbeat drum tracks, and all its remnants to deliver their most pure cross-pollination of sludge and industrial metal since STREETCLEANER. Goes hard, loud, and dirty from the opening track and rarely lets up. There are a couple misfires, e.g. “Regal” which has some of the most awkward vocals in Godflesh’s catalog (for no apparent reason?), but all things considered, this was a good direction for the band to take.

Overall Score | 3.63 | 🌕🌕🌕🌗🌑

🥇 Perfect Skin
🥈 Slavestate
🥉 Meltdown

Another quick yet punishing EP evoking the same brutal energy Godflesh spewed in their first two releases, only with an electro-industrial influence that’s more at the forefront, especially from a percussive and atmospheric standpoint. You’re still getting tossed into the meat grinder, but this time the meat grinder is located at the center of a nightmarish, gothic techno club. Something like that. The guitar tones here are just as crunchy and abrasive as they’ve ever been, and the constantly reverberating vocals make it seem as though you’re being yelled at from the bottom of a pit. “It puts the lotion on its skin,” they say.

Overall Score | 4.00 | 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌑

🥇 Weak Flesh
🥈 Avalanche Master Song
🥉 Spinebender

A wonderful - and wonderfully dense - precursor to their acclaimed full-length debut. Evokes the same level of apocalyptic dread and unwavering nihilism, but with a subjunctive rawness that coincides beautifully with the overarching atmosphere. Arguably even more pessimistic than STREETCLEANER - denser guitar tones, longer sections of repetition, and a bigger emphasis on harrowing dissonance - which makes for an enervating affair, but sometimes you need to have the shit kicked out of your senses to really, truly feel alive…Nomsayin’? A fantastic EP.

Overall Score | 4.25 | 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗

🥇 Like Rats
🥈 Pulp
🥉 Locust Furnace

I mean…how could this *not* be first place, right? Its greatness is almost undeniable, and even those averse to the niche genre tend to recognize its comparative quality at the very least. As a huge fan of early Swans, STREETCLEANER scratches that occasional itch for something a little less tonally miserable while still delivering heaps of unrelenting aggression and hypnotic decimation. Dark and angry, yet strangely elegant in its own, twisted way. Like an iron maiden for your soul, if the iron maiden were painted a rich purple hue and doused in floral perfume. And then set on fire.
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