Godflesh - _A World Lit Only by Fire_
(Avalanche Recordings, 2014)
by: Dan Lake (8.5 out of 10)
If the 1980s are revered for giving birth to the first truly extreme genres of loud, aggressive music, and the 1990s lamented for the limp-ass dilution of the scene, and the first decade of the 2000s celebrated for the reinvigoration of metal, maybe the 2010s will be remembered as a time of reunions and the exhumation of legacies. Countless ex-longhairs took up instruments again in service to the heavy after learning that their youthful half-drunk recordings of decades past had been secretly loved by fans who had themselves taken up instruments. Sometimes their reentry into the evil arts bore results that were well-intentioned but unnecessary, like Anvil or Morbid Angel. Sometimes, though -- as in the cases of Gorguts, At the Gates and Carcass -- the old heads proved they could stoke the fire with as much purpose and passion as we all hoped they could.

In the midst of this mixed resurgence arrives a monolithic new record from Justin Broadrick, B.C. Green and their peerless drum machine. Godflesh itself has a mixed past, with _Pure_, _Hymns_ and the hallowed _Streetcleaner_ buoying dubious mid-period efforts like _Us and Them_ and _Love and Hate in Dub_. And now, more than a decade after the boys dissolved Godflesh and Broadrick spaced out with projects like Final and Jesu, we have _A World Lit Only by Fire_.

Surely there were some eager fans hoping to hear some of Broadrick's experimental or updated electronic tendencies mixed in with the mechanical pounding we all knew was coming; fans of the older Swans-indebted bleakness were dreading the same thing. What Godflesh have concocted is adamantly old-school, bearing all the familiar markers that made the Birmingham duo's early work so indelible. The packaging sports blurry visuals adorned with stoic crosses and uncomplicated block lettering stamping out downer lines like, "You're alone, you're a cog in their machine, you won't make a difference." We know where this is headed.

Despite the band's measured tempos and stubborn refusal to change direction midsong, Godflesh has always maintained ferocity through tone. Green's bass is consistently tuned to chop heads, Broadrick's guitar lines churn through the queasy steel of their own shit refinery, and the man's heavily processed vocals roar monstrous cynicisms within their meticulous cadences. Anyone surprised by this record has never listened to Godflesh before. Anyone disappointed by it was never really a fan to begin with. _A World Lit Only by Fire_ is a solid addition to the Godflesh canon, and now Godflesh deserves recognition beside the other triumphant returns of this decade.

Contact: http://godflesh1.bandcamp.com/album/a-world-lit-only-by-fire

(article published 26/1/2015)

1/14/2002 A Bromley Godflesh: Hymns of Progression
8/12/1997 A Bromley Godflesh: In the Flesh
7/7/1999 P Schwarz 8.5 Godflesh - Us and Them
10/11/1996 A Wasylyk 7 Godflesh - Songs of Love and Hate
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