'A World Lit Only By Fire'
Hot on the heels of the hard and heavy 'Decline & Fall' EP, the duo of Justin K. Broadrick and B.C. Green return with the first full-length studio album stamped with the Godflesh moniker in thirteen years, 'A World Lit Only By Fire'. If anyone had doubts about the ravages of time on the bands heavy industrial metal sound the 'Decline & Fall' EP soon gave them hope. Featuring a thick heavy mix of mechanical rhythms, hard sludgy riffs and barking vocals, it ticked all the boxes for what Godflesh should be in 2014.
Cue 'A World Lit Only By Fire' and the band have carried on the onslaught in a big way. The grinding and bass-heavy opener 'New Dark Ages' is a classic Godflesh style relentless headbanger with an undeniable groove. Tracks such as 'Shut Me Down', 'Obeyed', 'Carrion', 'Tower Of Emptiness' and 'Forgive Our Fathers' follow suit and deliver the ferocity that fans of classic albums such as 'Streetcleaner', 'Pure' and 'Selfless' will undoubtedly be craving.
With ten tracks totalling less than an hour's running time, Broadrick and Green have kept the album streamlined and sharp for maximum impact. There's no unnecessary interludes or diversions. It is purely what Godflesh set out to do as best they can, and that is bludgeon you with noise. The riffs are strong and memorable, and the underlying bass grooves add a sticky kind of melody to the tracks.
There is a nod to the past but this is still a very contemporary album. The production feels spot on, and while it is still as thick and crusty as ever, it doesn't sound like they've set out to emulate 'Streetcleaner'. Instead they have re-manufactured the band's sound from the original blueprints and updated all the hardware.
'A World Lit Only By Fire' is a strong and self-assured return from an often imitated pioneering band. They may not be heading off in bold new directions. But they don't need to. Godflesh sound reinvigorated and passionate. And long may the fire burn.