Godflesh Messiah
Grade
B+
 
Also Try
Ministry
Head of David

Godflesh is dead. Sad as it is to say, but the musical act that's managed to single itself out in the industrial metal genre has finally called it quits. Release posthumously, Messiah is an EP recorded between 1994 and 1195 and finally available for public consumption. The album features four previously unavailable tracks that hearken back to older days for the band and four dub versions of the same tracks. On an album that's already dark and depressing, the dub tracks can take the listener to a really dark place.

The title track, Messiah, is Godflesh in its purest, most classic form. For those who were a big fan of Streetcleaner and the band's older efforts, Messiah really feels like a return to older styles. The smooth undertones of basslines works wonders in the lulls between chaotic vocals that fall in line with the rest of the brash madness. This is followed by Wilderness of Mirrors, an amazing piece of work that reminds us why Godflesh will be missed. The drumbeat loop is powerful, yet intricate. Accenting this is a mournful guitar and bass combo lightly garnished with hauntingly pale vocals. Track three, Sungod, comes as kind of a letdown after Wilderness of Mirrors, though it tends to feel like it was ripped straight from the album Streetcleaner. Fans of that album will be sure to enjoy this wailing piece that surges forward under its own power. The final non-dub track is Scapegoat, which features a looped drumbeat that can prove to be disorienting as its pretty intricate while refusing to fall into traditional molds.

As if it wasn't obvious, the songs on Messiah really serve as a bit of nostalgia. Because they were written and recorded over ten years ago, this album acts as a history lesson of sorts. To follow up the four main tracks are dub versions of each. While these dub versions do drag the songs into a darker, more bare place in the musical spectrum, they tend to suffer a bit of repetition. The problem with making an album that features remixes or dub versions of all of the tracks is that you have to find a ground between recognizability and variety. In Messiah, the dub tracks sound so much like the originals that the album just feels like a loop of the same four tracks. Because of this, the album feels pretty repetitious. If Godflesh had just released the four tracks without dub alternatives, I think the album as a whole wouldn't feel as tedious by the time you reach the end.

For those who loved the older Godflesh music, this EP is worth the time to hunt down, especially for Wilderness of Mirrors, which may be one of the best tracks the band has done. Fans of the band in general will want to pick this up to fill out their collection. If you're new to the act, I can't recommend this disc over the likes of Streetcleaner or Pure, even though it's not a bad album by any respect.

- - Vane

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