This set isn't the deluxe reissue that we at Crucial Blast might have been wishing for, but it's still a colossal repackaging of two of my favorite Godflesh releases bundled with their DVD of all of their music videos, which has been hard to come by lately. This set includes the original release of Godflesh's 1996 album Songs Of Love And Hate, the companion remix/deathdub collection Love And Hate In Dub, and the In All Languages DVD all packaged together in a cool slipcase. The packaging for the two discs is basically the same as the original pressing, and the DVD is simply included as a second disc in the same case as the ...In Dub disc (which also includes inserts/booklets for both discs, thankfully including all of the excellent liner notes that accompany the video collection). So, if you already own all three of the original releases, you don't need to worry about double dipping, as this release doesn't offer anything new. But for Godflesh fans who still need to add these releases to their collection, or for those who are just now discovering the bonecrushing industrial metal/breakbeat power of mid-90's Godflesh, then this set (priced fucking CHEAP) is a must-get.
Ever since these Brits dropped their classic debut Streetcleaner on an unsuspecting underground in the late 80's, Justin Broadrick and G.C. Green continued to carve out their own unique language of pummeling riffage and unbelievably crushing drum machine programming, developing their sound into something that became increasingly obsessed with repetition and rhythm. The drum machine was one of Godflesh's most prominent identifyers, anchoring the hypnotic chugging bass and discordant riffage to a machine-like grind that took the Swans influence into even heavier, mechanistic territory, and there were few bands back then that came anywhere close to matching the sheer fucking heaviness of Godflesh. So when the band came out with Songs Of Love And Hate in 1996 and introduced their first album with an actual flesh-and-blood drummer behind the kit, it was surprising, as if the band was suddenly turning into an actual "rock" band. The drummer on Songs... is Brian Mantia, one of the founding members of the avant-funk/metal supergroup Praxis and a former member of Bay Area funk rockers Limbomaniacs (am I the only person that actually remembers that band?), and here he lays down a massive breakbeat-heavy groove across the eleven songs, pumping old school hip-hop beats with steroids and creating an undercurrent of pummeling industrial rhythms that are funkier than anything Godflesh had recorded up to this point. It ain't no fun, though, as the entire album seethes with a dystopian negativity that stretches from the hallucinatory image of the statue of Christ against a backdrop of a twilight nightmare world of endless cemeteries and fire-belching factories that is featured as the album cover, to the jackhammer endtime anthems like "Sterile Prophet", "Circle Of Shit", "Angel Domain", and "Frail". The guitars are MASSIVE, Broadrick's detuned guitar grinding out huge quasi-Sabbath riffs locked into infinite trance-states, and clusters of atonal chords that churn and squeal like gears in some hellish machinery. Greene's bass grooves slither through each track, a menacing monolithic low-end presence that never relents. Jesus, this stuff is still as heavy as ever, a paranoid, apocalyptic vision sculpted out of industrial hip-hop rhythms and harsh slow-motion riffage. Essential.
Love And Hate In Dub sourced Godflesh's 1996 album Songs Of Love And Hate and showed Justin Broadrick's evolving proclivities for electronic remixing and ultra-heavy beat manipulation that he was developing in the last half of the 1990's. Finally released on vinyl by Kreation, this album features Broadrick reshaping the original album's material into a scrap metal wasteland of crushing ambient dub, brutal drum n' bass, and metallic hip-hop influenced beats that make the history of the entire nu-metal movement completely irrelevant. Songs Of Love And Hate was itself extremely influenced by hip-hop, but it's sheer grueling heaviness, flashes of blissed out pop and paint peeling noise made sure that noone was going to confuse it for the nu-metal scene that was at full steam by 1996. But with his subsequent remixes, the album is completely transformed into something else, a fusion of Godflesh's noise guitar-led industrial rock heaviosity and the massive beatscapes of his work in Techno Animal and Ice. Jungle patterns and atypical rhythms ride out on waves of deep, low-frequency metallic drone and distorted basslines. Broadrick's vocal diatribes are stripped down into even more minimal mantras that float looplike over ...In Dub's grinding rhythms. The live drums that were used on the original album work perfectly for these remixes, sounding dirty and organic, but they are stretched out, dubbed out, looped and sliced, and become something even more relentless in their groove, and always monstrously heavy. Sure, this stuff is danceable as hell, but it might be the heaviest dance music ever made. A crucial album for anyone into crushing metallic dub, Scorn, Broadrick's later work in Techno Animal and Ice, and ultra-heavy drum n' bass/breakbeats.
And then there's the In All Languages DVD, a collection of all of the music videos that were produced for Godflesh. Songs like "Crush My Soul", "Mothra", "Slavestate", "Christbait Rising", and "Avalanche Master Song" are matched with damaged visuals, roughly filmed video seizures that are both nightmarish and mesmerizing through their thick layers of video murk and static, a perfect accompaniment to Godflesh's dystopian grind. The video for "Avalanche Master Song" features distressed footage of a young Godflesh performing live, while "Crush My Soul" was directed by the controversial artist Andres Serrano. About twenty-five minutes of material, and most of these videos received little to no airplay back when they were originally released. Essential for Godflesh fans, and accompanied by a booklet with informative liner notes on the creation and concepts behind each of the videos.