Godflesh - Post Self

by James Gerard Rating:9 Release Date:2017-11-17
Godflesh - Post Self
Godflesh - Post Self

Few bands can claim to have pioneered a genre of music, and even fewer bands can still claim relevance within said genre.  Birmingham’s Godflesh, and its principal members Justin Broadrick and G. C. Green, have been synonymous with all things industrial-metal for nearly thirty years.  And after a decade-long hiatus, the force of aural nature that is Godflesh returned to the fold with 2014’s widely acclaimed A World Lit Only by Fire, a statement of a record that immediately quelled any fears that fans may have had concerning the potential effects of the prolonged layoff.  

Three years later and the duo are back with their eighth full-length, the aptly titled Post Self.  Where A World Lit Only by Fire pummeled listeners into submission with one slab of minimalistic de-tuned mayhem after another, Post Self finds Broderick and Green making a full-circle return to their industrial roots, leaning less on Sabbath-esque riffs and more on sonic manipulation and atmosphere.  

With the reliably effective mix of processed drums, dissonant guitars and Broadrick’s anguished wails, the album-opening title track shows that all of the trademark elements are still in place, albeit in a slightly different balance.  The satisfyingly upbeat (at least by Godflesh standards) “Parasite” and the breakneck “No Body” continue to mine the group’s industrial leanings to great effect while the absolutely crushing “Be God” and ambient drone of “Pre Self” give the album’s second half a more challenging depth.

The album’s final three tracks, the synth-laden “Mortality Sorrow”, the ‘drum & bass’-driven “In Your Shadow” and the epic, post-metal workout that is “The Infinite End” bring the record to an appropriate climax, further underscoring the idea of Post Self as a complete work as opposed to merely a collection of stand-alone songs.  While the industrial excursions of Post Self might not immediately resonate with fans of the more ‘metal’ side of the band, the dense, challenging nature of this album will undoubtedly add to it’s staying power with repeated listens.

Simply put, Post Self is Godlfesh being Godflesh.   Where the crushingly heavy moments are perhaps fewer and farther between than on previous albums, they are rendered all the more potent by their scarcity.  Godflesh has succeeded in both revisiting their roots while also creating something fresh and inspired; Post Life is a dark, brooding affair that is easily one of the more cohesive artistic statements of the band’s career.  For fans ‘in the know’ this record is a no-brainer, but for everyone else it also represents a great place to dive into the catalog of one of industrial’s most important bands.

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