Godflesh In All Languages
Grade
B
 
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Ministry
Head of David

In All Languages is an album that I doubt many fans of Godflesh would have thought they would have ever seen - a Retrospective. With their new album, Hymns, slated for a late October release, Godflesh and Earache Records have released a comprehensive 2-CD set encompasing their long, dark path. As any fan of the band can tell you, Godflesh is an odd beast, composed of looped drumbeats, samples, low-end bass lines and biting, unconventional guitar lines. Vocals are odd in that they serve more as another layer of sound than as a device for a message.

Disc 1 - Flesh of God - Basically, this one's a greatest hits. It covers the full length of the band's career, providing tracks from each of the major releases. I have no qualms with any of choices, as they are all good tracks and indicative of the respective albums. On the whole, this album gives a good idea of the progression of the bands from their use of industrial drums (Streetcleaner) to dance/techno (Slavestate, Mothra) to the use of hip-hop beats (I, Me, Mine) in more current releases. Personally, I feel that the inclusion of a couple more tracks, like Predominance and Christbait Rising would have been nice, but the already 75+ minutes that the album runs dictates that the 15 tracks present are more than enough.

Disc 2 - Beyond the Flesh - For those who listen to Godflesh, but haven't had the chance to locate some of the more odd, hard-to-find tracks, this is the disc for you. Not only does is have a number of rare remixes, but also two tracks from a Peel Session (Tiny Tears, Pulp) and three previously unreleased remixes (Xynobix, Witchhunt, Us & Them). Also available is an edited version of Crush My Soul remix from the hard-to-find single. While a number of these tracks are hard to find, some of them aren't. Flowers, Blind and Gift From Heaven Breakbeat are all from wide-release albums (Merciless and Love and Hate in Dub) that most people can still find on the shelves. Any die-hard Godflesh fan should already have most of these tracks in their collection.

And that is where the biggest issue with this set really crops up. As with most greatest hits albums, this album really gives very little in the way of new or previously unheard-of material. There is no denying the influence of this band on other more popular acts (Fear Factory, Faith No More, Ministry) and their music always has a quality and originality to it. Fans who are familiar may want to pass, but those who only have an album or two or can't find the rarer tracks, you may want to look into this. For those who are interested by this band, this album is a good representation of what to expect.

Also, check out the DVD collection by the same name, which has video clips for Crush My Soul, Mothra, Slavestate, Christbait Rising and Avalanche Master Song.

- - Vane

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