GODFLESH  Messiah  CD   (Relapse)   13.98

After YEARS of being out of stock here, Godflesh's Messiah is finally back on the shelves here!

In a way this was the final Godflesh release, coming out right after Hymns, although the music on Messiah had originally been recorded in 1994 and released several years later as a limited edition fan-club release on Avalanche Recordings, the post-HeadDirt imprint operated by Godflesh mastermind Justin Broadrick. Long sought after, the Messiah EP and it's four songs was a crucial piece of the Godflesh body of work, and the title track is considered by many (myself included) to be one of the band's finest songs. The tracks "Wilderness Of Nirrors", "Sungod", and "Scapegoat" are equally crushing, with grinding bass pulses, dancey Manchester-style breakbeats and trippy, distorted drum n' bass, dub fx swirling through the droning feedback, mesmerizing guitar noise, and dreamy somnambulant singing on Justin's part that is much more in the vein of what he's been doing lately with Jesu than the other Godflesh material from this same time period. Less metal, more electronic than Selfless, but still immense and crushing and apocalyptic sounding, these jams are some of my favorite Godflesh songs.

And then there are the "dub" versions of the songs which are featured on the second half of this release which were remixed the following year in 1995, alternate versions of each track that are still recognizeable but rendered even darker, more hypnotic and druggy, the various elements of heavy drum machine beats and feedback and already stoned-sounding vocals glazed over with reverb and delay, each one a lysergic dance remix spinning off into the void surrounded by lovely clean guitar sounds, endlessly looped snare drums, snippets of sinister guitar harmonics shooting skyward. The atmosphere for these "dub" remixes isn't as relentless and focused on the pulverizing power of the beats as, say, what Broadrick was doing on the Songs Of Love And Hate In Dub remix album; this is more trippy and psychedelic, trancey and brain melting, and by far the most zoned-out of the Godflesh remixes. Essential for Godflesh fans, obviously, and anyone that has only recently become familiar with Broadrick's music through Jesu or J2 needs to start working their way back through the Godflesh catalog to experience some of the greatest heavy underground experimentation of the late 20th century, and I'm thinking that Messiah would be as good a place to start as any.