Godflesh – Decline and Fall EP (Avalanche)Monday, 23rd June 2014
Of tremendous importance to the noise/industrial scene, Birmingham, U.K.’s Godflesh are the latest to jump on the reunion album merry-go-round. Their 2002 dissolution was the result of massive stress inflicted upon band ‘head Justin Broadrick, prompting the frontman to pursue far more sunny and atmospheric avenues with Jesu, yet there’s significant demand for Godflesh in this climate, particularly now when virtually every successful 90’s extreme metal entity has reunited to fanfare and acclaim. As such, the Decline and Fall EP is the band’s first recorded output in 13 years, setting the stage for the A World Lit Only By Fire full-length due this fall.
Rightfully in-step with the band’s seminal early works (see: Streetcleaner and perhaps more on the Slavestate side), Decline and Fall features four songs, the most pressing (and urgent) being opener “Ringer.” Guided by a murky, deceptively hypnotic riff, “Ringer” suits industrial metal for a new age quite nicely given its no-frills, cold approach. “Dogbite” is probably the most obvious throwback to the days of old, especially considering how nihilistic Broadrick’s one-tone shouts are, and while “Playing with Fire” misses the mark, the title track gives the drum machine and loops a much-needed workout, resulting in the EP’s most extreme number.
Arguably the best thing the band could have done to test the waters, Decline and Fall showcases a well-adjusted Godflesh prepared for the second portion of their career. And if anything, it should give unaware punters the opportunity to travel back in time to discover one of industrial metal’s tried-and-true bastions who clearly, have a lot of good stuff left in them.