Godflesh Hymns
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Brutal. Unconventional. Severe. These are only a sampling of terms that could be used to describe this album. I could go on, but it would only serve to over-emphasize the point. Godflesh has managed to take their abusive sound and push it even further. Layering heavy end bass lines with guitars that are range from bitingly acrid to hammer-to-skull viscious, Hymns creates a dark presence that shies away from conventional popular rock. Unlike previous efforts (except Songs of Love and Hate), the drums are perfomed by a live person - Ted Parsons of Prong fame. This time, though, they don't sound mechanical, but organic and alive. Broadrick's vocals, while never harmonic, do range from a harsh rasp to the more passionate wail found in previous albums.

Godflesh Is famous for taking music concepts (dance music, jungle beats), deconstructing them and layering them with the most intense industrial metal to create almost concept-like albums. This time around, it seems like the focus might actually be closer to home - rock music in general. A number of songs have excellent groove which hide an even deeper, more intelligent song-writting within them. Only on mulitple listenings will the trained ear hear the deeper works of these tracks.

Deaf,dumb&blind continues to uses programmed drums to drag the listener into a brutally, yet eerly groovy song. Paralyzed follows this up with an intelligent and complex riff that devolves into barking fit by Broadrick. Anthem's intro is casual and stark in comparison to the rest of the album and shows that not every track has to be aggressive to be effective. Though, if you get too comfortabe, Antihuman's over-the-top bass line, haunting guitars, and viscious repeated vocals will bring you back to the industrial nightmare.

Hymns is the kind of oppresive album that heavy metal bands have failed to create with fuzzy guitars, growling voices, and scary outfits. If you have ever wanted to be knocked down by intelligent, yet harsh music, this i the album for you. Fans of Godflesh owe it to themselves to own this album.

- - Vane

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