There are touchstones to the band's status among the living. Singer/guitarist Justin Broadrick's voice is much higher in the mix -- you can damn near hear the polyps forming on his lacerated vocal cords -- and free from the effects that once made his snarl sound like Satan coughing up a hairball. Blanketed in effects, Broadrick's growl was plenty menacing for sure, but now, free from processing, it's even more so. It's much clearer that the hatred is coming from a human and not a machine. This, combined with J.C. Green's subterraneous bass and Ted Parson's mechanical animal drumming, makes Godflesh as cold and unflinching as a punch press. This jackscrew aesthetic is leavened a bit on tracks like the affecting "Anthem," which is a stab at vintage Helmet, and the unlisted number at album's end -- the most contemplative and pensive song of the band's career. But then it's back to being discontented mecca-mortals. Corporeality bites.
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