Godflesh, “Imperator”

Louis Pattison

By Louis Pattison

International Editor
on 09.19.14 in Listen to This

The title is taken from the ancient Roman for “commander,” and this taste of A World Lit Only by Fire, the first Godflesh full-length in 13 years, confirms Justin Broadrick hasn’t let his crown slip. “Imperator” is rock ‘n’ roll stripped down to a chassis, just hot metal and hammering pistons, grease and smoke. It’s tempting to question if Broadrick’s years crossbreeding shoegaze and metal in Jesu have left their mark — certainly, there’s an ethereality to his vocals that hasn’t always been present. But the hard, mechanistic crunch you can date right back to Streetcleaner, and while it isn’t quite new, it certainly isn’t broke: Godflesh remain a machine of startling efficiency.