Godflesh – Messiah – Review


Messiah (Relapse)
by Tim Den

Godflesh might be an acquired taste, but their influence and uniqueness are undeniable. From Hydra Head to the turntablist crowd, this band’s fingerprints are etched deep and hard into the minds of underground noise/electronicheads everywhere. I should know: I’ve been a disciple since Streetcleaner. Honestly, no one else can conjure up the kind of bleak majesty of total desolation like Godflesh. That dry, other-worldly drum machine stamping all over the seismic throbs of GC Green’s distortionized bass (tuned 10 octaves lower than standard or something ridiculous like that), kicking you into a netherealm labrynth of contorted rhythms. Deathbed sighs smear blood on the walls, as the icy air seems almost too impenetratable to even breathe. Good fucking shit, in other words. Pop in Merciless and tell me it doesn’t raise the hairs on your arms. Being freaked out never felt better.

So Messiah, then. Originally a fan club-only EP issued in ’94, it contains four songs that never made it onto other “official” Godflesh releases. The good folks at Relapse – after being bugged relentlessly by people like me, I’m sure – have now finally reissued it along with four remixes as the final testament to this tower of a band. Every bit as sinister and dementia-inducing as their best work, Messiah stuns your consciousness with malicious vibes and rigor mortis atmospherics, channeling Skinny Puppy through nuclear wastelands and back again. Diehard followers will rejoice at finally being able to hold this long lost gem in their hands, while curious onlookers could certainly hop on the train with this as their first stop. May the legend never die.
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