Godflesh

Post Self

Avalanche

Dec 07, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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At some point, Justin Broadrick must reconcile his past with his present. Listeners have shown the willingness to adapt to any iteration he devises. Even the reiteration of his signature project, Godflesh, finds fans welcoming it with wrenched-open arms. Granted, there must be healthy skepticism, considering other versions of reformed band outputs have tainted the nostalgia attached to their meaningful works. Not here, however, with Godflesh's Post Self. Post-Self resolves past the shearing sonic techniques and structures that turned Streetcleaner and Pure into industrial masterworks by meshing them with the landscape tonalities of his most recently recognized project, Jesu.

"Post Self" and "Parasite" provide the album's invocation, combining dystopian landscapes and frictional tonalitya trademark Broadrick is best known for. Godflesh covers the violence found on albums like Songs of Love and Hate with a firmament of droning tension. Both tracks serve the master of danceable rhythms, generating a multi-dimensional experience that encourages dancing at the end of the world.

Unsettling, yet enthralling, "Mirror of Finite Light" uses the guitars like scalpels, tearing away at the stricter rhythmic forms the band were indebted to. The spaces between sounds equally compel the listener as do the low decibel plunge into the abyss. This motif is found throughout Post Self, especially on "Pre Self," which features a bass line that wraps firmly around your neck like a noose. It isn't the industrial wall of sound found with bands like Sunn O))) or Isis that generates disconcerting landscapes as the motive to create an irony of beauty in violence; it is the beauty in violence that is secondary to Broadrick's meticulous compositional zeal that makes violence beautiful.

It would be all-too easy to identify this music as scores for horror-based video games because with Godflesh, Broadrick helped to create the suspense and fear that inspired many of those games' composers. "Morality Sorrow" could have easily been a track written for the Jesu/Sun Kil Moon collaborationthe best collaboration of this decade thus far. It lends itself to the conversational verses laid forth by Mark Kozelek. Instead, Broadrick uses the track as a rest from the shadowed sounds permeating throughout Post Self.

In the end, Post Self settles to balance between Jesu's shoegaze wasteland and Godflesh's constraining rhythms and doom-laden riffs. The balance between the two bands permits Broadrick to explore inward while still allowing for his visceral criticism of a world gone mad. (www.godflesh.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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