Godflesh – Decline & Fall (2014) & Japanese Dubs

It was only with the release of Godflesh’s new full-length album A World Lit Only By Fire that I realised that I hadn’t even done a post for their comeback EP, Decline & Fall. I suppose it’s because it dropped when Lines In Wax was taking a bit of a break earlier in the year, and I did most of my listening for Decline & fall lying on beaches on exotic Thai islands (a strange way to aurally ingest the ‘Flesh, I’ll be honest).  If I had to sum this review up in a single line, I would tell you that Decline & Fall sounds so much like Godflesh that it hurts.

But it also sounds like nothing they have done before. All the parts are there, but the massive break that this band has taken has obviously allowed them to re-look at the Godflesh template with fresh eyes (and ears). There is only so much you can do with a sound as limiting as Godflesh’s punishing drum-machine metal attack, but I’d call this a successful comeback. It is a mirage of all the band’s previous styles (“Dogbite” sounds like it could have easily been on Us & Them) funneled through the excess heaviness of an 8 string guitar.

I will also say that the music world has missed Ben Green’s bass. He’s an understated dude; the quiet back-end of Godflesh’s raw power, but shiiiiiit it’s good to hear that cheesegrater bass guitar again. It’s so simple but once you hear it again you can’t imagine heavy music without it. Expect a more in-depth look of the new album soon. Until then, all hail the new ‘Flesh! – 08/10/2014

2020 Update – Japanese dubs: Decline & Fall probably has some of the best special release re-dubs for the Japanese market. Both “Playing With Fire” and “Ringer” get a dub work over, turning their already hip-to-the-hoppity beats into more drawn out, head-nodding affairs. Godflesh and dub remixes go hand and hand and these tracks do not just feel like some half-arsed extras tacked on for the foreign market bonuses. Well worth a hunt down if you are feeling it. – 26/04/2020