Godflesh A World Lit Only By Fire  01So this is what the end-times look like, eh? We live in an age where clean water, organic food, and simple shelter costs a premium. A world where wars are still waged in the name of money and God, forests are plowed and industrial parks are erected, and in America, where a livable wage is becoming less of a reality because we decided, “Hey, corporations are people, too!” These are depressing times, my friends, and we need something to fulfill a long-dormant spirit that has been slumbering for too damn long. We crave the soundtrack to a world going quickly to shit. We need Godflesh back, and man, do they deliver with their first full-length in 13 years, the aptly-titled A World Lit Only By Fire.

Rather than lull you into a dreamworld ala Hymns or Justin Broadrick’s post-Godflesh vessel, Jesu, they channel the ferocity of Streetcleaner with a much, much better production and a renewed sense of urgency. “Dark New Ages” is extremely punishing and completely unforgiving in its delivery. Justin hasn’t sounded this angry musically or vocally in forever, and combined with GC Green’s lurching bass lines and tone, this is such an incredibly dark, dire, and absolutely welcome return to form. There’s no peace, no forgiveness, and no compromise, and that’s how it should be, folks.

And with a couple of exceptions, the relentless battery doesn’t let up for the entirety of A World Lit Only By Fire. “Curse Us All” is at once both danceable and testosterone-boosting. “Deadend” delivers Killing Joke intensity with some much-needed filth and grime. Speaking of Killing Joke, “Life Giver Life Taker” sees Broadrick channeling Jaz Coleman vocally and Geordie Walker musically, all while being unflinchingly Godflesh. And it wouldn’t be a proper Godflesh album without an epic closing psalm for the downtrodden, and “Forgive Our Fathers” continues this storied legacy, lumbering through the majority of its seven minutes before finally giving you peace of mind in the song’s final minute and a half.

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With this much punishing dirge and crushing heaviness, surely there isn’t much to find fault, is there? My only beef is with some of the pacing on here. I’m all for some good atmosphere to break up the thickness a bit, but it feels like “Tower of Emptiness” could have been placed elsewhere on the album instead of right before “Forgive Our Fathers,” as it just slows things down a bit too much at the end. It’s definitely nitpicking here, as otherwise, this is what I’ve been wanting to hear since word got out of their reunion just two years ago, and is quite honestly one of the band’s best albums.

We’ve had a lot of damn good reunion albums come out over the last few years, but A World Lit Only By Fire easily ranks up there as among the very best. This is the sound of two men heralding the end of the world, marching to their own heavily programmed drum, and we can’t be more thankful if we tried. Pure and unforgiving, this is what Godflesh had to bring to the world, for us and for themselves. Welcome back.


Rating: 4.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Avalanche Recordings
Website: GodfleshOfficial | Facebook.com/Godflesh
Release Dates: Out Worldwide 10.06.2014

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  • Norfair Legend

    After their eternal woes of getting into the states, me never getting to see them and them actually finishing a tour, I had tickets to the Chicago show at the Metro (which, surprise, got pushed back months since they were having problems getting in the states) but on my own accord was not able to make the new date…

    As a fan since Streetcleaner, Godflesh have always been one of those bands that I loved no matter what they chose to play and found something redeeming on all their albums. From the song above, this sounds absolutely fantastic and while I’ll probably have to wait another ten years to see them I shall play this loudly and wait.

    Great review !

  • Really nice review Grymm. Love the sentiments in the first paragraph.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      We are now indeed in murky and troubling times…Totally agree what better time for JB to reanimate God Flesh

  • So excited…

    • Grymm

      Worth the 13-year wait!

  • Innit Bartender

    To find a perfect portrait of the world we’re living in, not in The New Yorker, not in The Guardian, not in Naomi Klein’s books, but in the pages of AMG.
    That’s why this blog needs to exist.

  • brutal_sushi

    I never really got into Godflesh… but the review+link provided has me very very excited to delve deeper… Thanks AMG!

  • euthanatos

    I’ve never been a fan of Godflesh (always loved Jesu, though), but,for some reason, this album really resonated with me.

    Good review, you god damn socialist.

    • Angel R. Suarez

      Pinko commie bastards write the best reviews.

      • Lugh Gnosis Kardias

        What in the fuck are you even talking about man? What exactly did he say that is not true, or are you just brainwashed by Faux news?

        Wake the fuck up and keep ignorant comments to yourself

        • Lugh Gnosis Kardias

          and don’t give me some whiny liberal accusations bullshit either, we are talking about FACTS, not political bullshit. I’m just sick of seeing people whine anyone comments on what is actually going on.

          • You clowns take this poli-sci stuff offsite. We’re a neutral music blog. Hail Hydra.

        • Angel R. Suarez

          Aw, it’s adorable. It uses curse words and things like ‘faux’ and thinks it’s a big person.

          Do they sell a plushie of you?

  • Stop bashing corporations! AMG is a corporation! No, wait…we’re a commune.

    • Grymm

      Nah, we’re more a non-profit charity.

  • Their Pure album is a classic. I saw them at the Brutal Assault two years ago; at 1:30 am they chopped us to a pulp. Unforgettable.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Excellent review.
    I’ve still got my copy of Street Cleaner on cassette from way back when (its probably got one play before disintegration), It totally blew my mind at the time and Im looking forward to picking up the pieces again after this! Fuck even the title sends chills down my spine…

  • quark

    Crikey. The riff at the start of Carrion created a rip in spacetime it was so heavy. Absolutely stonking.

  • Angel R. Suarez

    I’m in a difficult position – I basically take issue with 90% of the entire first paragraph, but love the review and album.

    A grymm situation indeed.

  • BilboBaggins

    Been a fan of Godflesh since ’91 or ’92. Some of the songs on this album rival anything they’ve ever did and that’s a marvel for a band that’s been around for almost 30 years. Very few bands can claim that.