Now available on limited edition cassette from Hydra Head.
Though Godflesh were resurrected in 2010 for a run of festival dates (one of which ended up being their crushing performance at the 2012 Maryland Deathfest, still one of the best sets I've ever seen at the festival), it's taken them a few years to get around to actually putting together some new material for us. Released as a taste of what's to come with their impending new album A World Lit Only by Fire coming later this year, Decline & Fall finally brings us the new Godflesh that we've been waiting for, their first batch of original songs in thirteen years. And man, as soon as "Ringer" kicks in, it's like it's been no time at all, the massive propulsive crush of that opening song is classic Godflesh, that monstrous corrosive downtuned riffage and low-frequency blast of the bass, Broadrick's bellicose bellow and off-key singing, the inexorable grind of the drum machine, it's all as skullcrushing as anything the band did before Broadrick abruptly ended Godflesh in the depths of an nervous breakdown over a decade ago.
That molten mechanical metal bulldozes across these four songs, powered by the punishing machinelike pummel of the drum machine, but that's also traced by some subtle electronics that are vaguely similar to the sort of textured noise you'd find with Jesu, some murky washed-out melodic drift lingering beneath the surface of the duo's devastating ultra-dirge. Monstrous rhythms lurch across the blown-out dystopian churn of "Dogbite", its deformed funk hammered into a punishing groove splayed over a brutal hip-hop informed breakbeat; and there's an almost tribal energy to the massive bass-driven thud of "Playing With Fire". But its the title track that really sticks out, more complex and faster than what you might expect from these guys, like a a more frenetic, intricate version of their Streetcleaner-era mecha-metal. The band definitely sounds as heavy as ever, the production is crushing. A killer comeback for sure, any skepticism as to whether Godflesh still possessed the consuming fire of their classic output is extinguished as soon as this roars forth from that first track. Can't wait for the album.