"Hymns" (KOCH; 2001)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Godflesh's minimalist approach isn't for everybody and "Hymns" is no exception. The innovative, slow grind of Godflesh's past isn't as prominent in the new millennium, but Godflesh's steely approach hasn't wavered one iota despite the various approaches they've employed over the last 13 years or so.

"Hymns" is mostly hypnotic and claustrophobic which gives Godflesh's narrow approach very limited room to maneuver, but somehow creating a cycle of songs that manages to drain and replenish energy all at once. Much of the music on "Hymns" juts out at strange angles despite the deliberate, regimented approach. The detuned guitars are fat enough to fill a vast valley while Broadrick's famously noise-oriented sounds emanate from the speakers with a glorious, albeit crawling, snarling buzz.

While Godflesh doesn't rely on industrial beats or samples like they have on the last couple of CDs, the relative simplicity of "Hymns" gives the pounding guitars, bass, and drums approach just the right amount of heaviness to marry up with the doom and gloom of the lyrics. Sometimes the vocals are distorted, but sometimes the vocals are left untreated which really hasn't been done by Godflesh in the past.

Godflesh are one of those bands that will be long remembered for being for their fresh approach to heavy metal, if not for the fact that commercial success has eluded them. "Hymns" is another testament to their skillful approach to heavy music that is as uncompromising as it is crushing. 

Fans of Prong and Ministry will enjoy "Hymns."

"Hymns" was produced by Godflesh.

Godflesh is Justin Broadrick on guitar and vocals, GC Green on bass, and Ted Parsons on drums. 

For more information visit http://www.avalancheinc.co.uk

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10 Jul 2022 15:03:27 -0400.