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Godflesh always seem to be in their own league. Sometimes, they're indeed metal and sometimes, they just seem to be industrial in the vein of Skinny Puppy. Godflesh has always been an indecisive prick when it comes to being a specific musical style, but that what makes them such a unique group...
This album reeks of pure 90's metal sound. This is one of those essential Earache CD's to own... it's one of those CD's that made Earache what it is today. This is one of Godflesh's best works despite the fact that it's an EP, and this CD presents their more metallic side. Godflesh are usually bass driven with GC pounding away on his bass guitar, but Justin left lots of room for guitar distortion and drones. The guitars are noticeable louder this time around than the bass... or I should say the sound is very well balanced. The guitar tone has that so called 90's metal distortion (in the vein of the Scott Burns production style... think Terrorizer, Napalm Death sounding guitars produced by this "legendary death metal" producer) and personally, I'm a huge fan of this production style sound. It's so raw and clear... maybe that's an oxymoron, but that's what this is and it's the epidome of heaviness in my mind. The drum machines are top notch, sounding almost too realistic.
The first track "Merciless" is really doomish with slow, powerful crushing riffs choking you and ripping your spine out. ...Well, that's the feeling I get when I hear this song. The sludgy bass really brings this song to life when it comes in around the 45-second point. It's just so crushing up to this point with the minimalist guitar riff redundantly playing over and over. Justin's vocals, as well, are smashing with his semi-growl technique (it's almost sounds like he's speaking in a low tone, yet growling alil bit.) This is like a great anthem or soundtrack song for some fight scene in a movie... "Showed no mercy - kicked me to the ground
Felt no pain - You're deaf to every sound." There's a clean vocal break in the middle, which still keeps repeating this over and over... Everything is so simply created in this song, yet it's just so memorable... I suppose this further proves technicality isn't everything in music.
Up next is "Blind", which is a great follow up track to "Merciless." This is a more industrial style track, with low break-like-beats playing throughout the track. Lots of sound effects are used in the bass tone and the guitar tone... Justin in this song just lays his signature style vocals down, there's no clean break. Once again, he's repeating the same words throughout the song, all which makes the song really memorable. Usually, a song with too many stanza's and parts in the lyrics ends up not being memorable... usually, the chorus of a song is the best known part. In Godflesh's case, not only is the music memorable, but so are the lyrics. Somehow, in the end, these simple lyrics seem so powerful and meaningful... maybe it's something in Justin that makes them unique, I don't know, but that further goes to show you the greatness Godflesh possess.
"Unworthy" is the next song, which is the most schizophrenic of all the tracks using the most sound effects and being the fastest song on the EP. It's not as greater than the first two songs, but it's always worth the listen. Just be warned that the clean vocals in the beginning of the song really seem out of place. Nonetheless, it's a good listen, like usual for Godflesh.
The last track, "Flowers", is a strange dronning instrumental track. It's quite errie to listen to in the dark, but if you play it aloud while just lounging around in a seat, it will be perfect background music to relax to.
Godflesh never disappoint... simple, listen-able music. They never keep it technical; minimalism is key in their music writing, and it never seems to fail (at least for me.) If you want a good introduction to the metallic Godflesh, then you should definitely pick up this EP... this is the prefect sampler to the underrated power Godflesh holds within. No complaints here!
Ear Candy: All of the tracks... "Merciless" is by far the best track.