Genre: Industrial| Label: Earache Records
Location: Birmingham, England | Listen: Bandcamp
In 2009, seminal industrial metal act Godflesh reformed and started playing live shows again. It took five years before the band put out new material, and eager fans were rewarded with both an EP and LP in 2014. Although I quite enjoyed the “Decline & Fall” EP, I felt that “A World Lit Only By Fire” didn’t really break any new ground, but it did deliver a pretty straightforward Godflesh experience. A few years later, Godflesh released another album, and this time, they struck gold. “Post Self,” the band’s 8th full length, is one of their strongest albums, and it manages to do so with conviction.
The album’s title track opens up innocently enough. The classic Godflesh sound is intact, as it pounds ahead with a drum machine beat and a simple, yet heavy riff. The song, however, juxtaposes this against some more more relaxed, yet dissonant sounding sound scapes between the classic Godflesh sound. Although this might sound pretty jarring, and it is to a point, it doesn’t feel out of place. Broadrick and Green have a way of weaving around these parts that make it pretty cohesive. The old school sounding Godflesh sound is preserved pretty well, but not near as raw, as one would expect with the years of experience behind the band. “Parasite” and “No Body” both deliver some groovy hooks that will remind fans of albums like “Selfless.”
When this album dropped, there was talk about more experimental electronic parts making appearances on it, and I couldn’t help but anticipate that it’d be in the vein of “Us and Them.” While there are electronic elements showing up on this record, they do not sound like late 90’s EDM like that of the aforementioned record. Instead, we’re treated to a more modern sound, likened to a lot of the darkwave/synthwave that has made a comeback over the last decade. We see some hints of these more ethereal and laid back sounds with “Mirror of Finite Light,” which although still clearly driven by an industrial beat, it breaks up the more monolithic sounding parts earlier in the record. Meanwhile, tracks like “Be God” and the “Cyclic End” really push into more spaced out atmosphere, with the latter being very reminiscent of a Jesu song.
The album continues to be a little more on the ethereal side in the middle, but picks up again for the most part with more driving industrial beats for the last few songs. There’s definitely a more pronounced use of synthesizers than previous Godflesh releases, again lending itself to having more of a darkwave feel at times. The ebb and flow of this record is fantastic, and it doesn’t get too monotonous with the different directions it takes.
As far as I’m concerned, this is the best material that Godflesh has put out since reforming. It’s shorter than the previous album, making it less of a chore to digest, but more importantly, it manages to break some new ground for Godflesh without sounding forced. Broadrick has a brilliant mind when it comes to putting sounds together, and it’s amazing he’s still able to find fresh ways to express his signature industrial sound after all these years. Godflesh fans of old and new will certainly find plenty to be pleased with when it comes to “Post Self.”