Us & Them Reviews

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Review #1:

Review by: slateman

Well, Us and Them is upon us, and that means it is time to celebrate the coming of yet another Godflesh record. This, their 5th full length, adds even more diversity to the world of Godflesh, and once again will gain new fans while losing certain older ones. Guitars are now tuned down to B (as it was during some of the earlier days), Drum machines are back (though Ted Parsons will likely play on the remix counterpart to this album), and Godflesh is at it again.

I find it important to state my history with the band, as the review would be unfair any other way. I love to no end Streetcleaner, Pure and the less popular Selfless. These 3 LPs, amongst most other material is some of the most intelligent music I've ever heard. Of course, after these records came out, I eventually created Crumbling Flesh. And then, had I not done so before, I lived and breathed Godflesh for the 3 and a half years since.

Stepping back a bit, Songs of Love and Hate disappointed me quite a lot. There may not be any reason why, or perhaps there are many, but in any event, outside the few gems on the record, I didn't find it to be the level of typical Godflesh genius. Love and Hate in Dub was interesting, but since it retained much of SoLaH, I never enjoyed it all too much. Justin then became very vocal about his love for hip hop music, something very apparent in some of his side projects. The first sample that appeared online was of I, Me, Mine which was good, but in the end, I had no clue what to expect, and I feared for the worst.

So, 2 years after the dub counterpart to SoLaH, Us and Them is finally here. And even though I run these pages, I was skeptical! But, I am truly happy to report that the band has renewed total faith and blown me away with another masterpiece!

Just b/c I say so though, doesn't mean everyone will like it. Just like EVERY other record, it's completely different from prior releases. Give it a try, I highly recommend doing so. And please keep in mind that I am horrible at reviews, so here's just some of my notes about each track.

I, Me, Mine: The sample that was online was a decent showing of this song. The drums and bass are fast and in your face. When the guitars come in, they're wonderfully heavy. Justin's voice is dark and distorted, and the post-vocal parts are almost atmospheric.

Us and Them: 3 things here, Melodicism (gasp!), Justin's great clean, non-screaming vocals (a la Slateman and Empyreal), and drum machines. These 3 things make this a Friggin' great track! While live drums were interesting, I find that Godflesh is at their best when using drum machines. I love it! JK's vocals go from clean to the almost mechanized chorus, which is one of the catchiest things the bands ever released. Not a bad thing, unless you mind having Flesh songs in your head all day. There's clean guitars here, there's Justin's trademark high pitched guitar notes, placed absolutely perfectly, and all in all, one of the best songs on the record.

Endgames: The hip hop influenced intro drives straight into Ben's distorted bass, sounding as good as ever. Justin seems to use his wah pedal during the whole of the song, but it is mainly bass driven. A good song, but after listening to it, I find that I have little to say about it.

Witchhunt: Very SoLaH sounding, I love Justin's vocals, very distorted. IMO, this sounds like a mix of a lot of older material, as the high pitched, perfectly placed notes come into play again, which, like Us and Them reminds me of Streetcleaner. Fairly repetitive, a good song overall.

Whose Truth is Your Truth? Another hip hop influenced intro, another SoLaH sounding song, w/ Justin speaking instead of singing the majority of the song, after which some sample is played. There's some high pitched squeals throughout, and an odd string scraping section during the end of the track.

Defiled: I do not like this song...too repetitive for my tastes and I don't like the vocals. Perhaps you'll like it though!

Bittersweet: This song however, fucking rocks! I'm a metal fan, and the main riff is heavy, Justin's clean vocals rule, the slow pounding drums fit perfectly and it just goes on. The chorus is melodic, is catchy like Us and Them. I always have problems describing things that impress me as much as this song does. What can I say? Probably my favorite song on the record.

Nail: High pitched guitar loop goes on through the song, Justin's vocals are right in your face. Harvey Parkes, the first person to review the record mentioned that this could sound like a Korn song, if only Godflesh hadn't been doing it for years anyway. I couldn't sum it up better...

Descent: Another sample is going on throughout the song, though I don't know what it is. It begins with a cool drum and bass intro, with Justin singing (clean vocals again!) over it, with heavy delay going on too. Then typical crazed guitars enter. I have never heard any guitarist like Justin, and glad about that fact too. The middle part is also very typical sounding. Driving and pummeling through anything in it's way, ahhh, this is Godflesh at their best! At times it seems as if the bass is almost too much, on the verge of destroying your sound system. What more could you want from these masters?

Control Freak: Unfortunately, the intro sounds a bit like Tool's Sober, but soon, that relationship ends. Faster drums (fast for Godflesh at least), odd wah sounds, more clean guitars, this time using a flange, and moans from Justin all add up to another odd, but very good song.

The Internal: I suppose it's true, the first ballad! Perhaps not really, but more clean vocals over a very nice picked guitar part and basic drums. It turns out, Justin actually sings throughout the entire song! An interesting song, I still don't know what to think really. It's got a nice epic sounding outro though...Then, there's some sound for about a half of a minute, a droning sound, like something you'd hear on a Final record.

Live to Lose: Finally, the song that was written during the SoLaH sessions. There's an odd effect on Justin's voice. This song has that big sound as well, almost upbeat, happy sounding. Not much to say about this song. It's perfect to end this great album. Gone are the days of 21 minute epic noise outros, but the epic feel is still there. The album is can feel it.

So...? Well, I love it! It's very diverse and it's heavy, and it's a great album. Listen to it. There's some parts that hearken back to days of old, but like each and every new release, it pushes new ground, no doubt to influence so many others.

Review #2:

Review by: Harvey Parkes

I, Me, Mine: Builds up from a lone break into a full-on dark drum n' bass onslaught. There's a really big Ed Rush feel to this until the downtuned chopping guitar kicks in, with Justin spouting the usual bile atop the mix. As always with Godflesh there are also some really eerie guitar leads thrown in for good measure. I don't remember Godflesh putting out a track this direct in a long time - it's superb.

Us And Them: A crawling, defiant grind which could almost be an 'In Dub' version of something from the Selfless era. One of the more guitar-heavy tracks on the album, and certainly one of the biggest grooves too.

Endgames: The first taste of hip-hop on the album - a massive drum loop colliding with some trademark dirty low-down bass. The higher guitar parts complement it really well, throughout the LP there's finally the feeling that Godflesh doesn't feel obliged to be full of guitar, and the sound is all the richer for it. Lyrically pursues the feeling of becoming a commodity - 'Take my soul/Take my body/Take it all/Make your money'.

Witchhunt: Another big hip-hop break gets connected to one of the biggest riffs on the album. This is also the first track that Justin really lets go on vocally. A lot of distorted shouting a la Wake. There's a really loose feel on this, especially considering the drums are programmed throughout. Live it should sound immense.

Whose Truth Is Your Truth?: Very old-school hip-hop feel to this track. Initially it's stripped down to just the drums, with the bass and guitar melody coming in later. I don't know if psychedelic is a word I'd often use when referring to Godflesh, but it's the closest I can think of. Whose Truth? Is certainly tripped-out whilst Justin croons his lyrical monotone, but as always on this LP, the beats bring everything crashing back.

Defiled: Almost a composite of all that Godflesh has done to this point. Some of the delayed vocals sound like they could've come from Streetcleaner, and the stabbing synth sounds hark back to Slavestate. All pinned together by a relentless pounding loop and lots of squealing guitar for good measure.

Bittersweet: Stylistically Bittersweet starts out like Godflesh playing Black Sabbath (yes, that good!) before mid-range discord gives way to the 'Feel so bittersweet' refrain. It's a classic example, like Body Dome Light, of how controlled Godflesh can be. Needs to be heard loud for the big hip-hop break at the end.

Nail: The main riff that starts this up could almost be Korn, but only if Godflesh hadn't been doing it for years anyway. Deals with the usual Godflesh staples of oppression and restraint in the lyric, which is quite worrying when your head is nodding along to every beat.

Descent: Another more tripped-out affair, with all sorts of distorted singing over a relatively quiet opening. Apart from the odd big industrial section (which sounds more than a little like LeechWoman jamming over a Prong riff) Descent is stark and desolate. The first line is 'No desire', which sets the tone about right.

Control Freak: This could almost be lifted off SoLaH, until it kicks into an uptempo burst like nothing on that LP. In fact, not like anything Godflesh have done in a good ten years. This is Streetcleaner for the millennium in my opinion, and absolutely fucking brilliant. That you can barely make out what Justin is screaming is irrelevant, as the sounds paint the whole sordid picture. Very cool guitar piece at the end too.

The Internal: Mid-paced and melodic, perhaps this albums Frail and certainly up there with the very best the band as put out. The vocal line is as good as another instrument on this, and that rare Godflesh quality of sounding inspired whilst in despair is as strong as always. Ends with slow and massive drums and some unusual sampling, whilst the melody goes on.

Live To Lose: Like The Internal, one of the rare moments when the guitar gets top billing. Apparently this song has been around since 1995, and it's amazing that it hasn't been released until now. Live To Lose works largely on one insistent riff, takes all the best bits of the more melodic Godflesh and adds to them. Again you can barely make out a word of the vocal, but it doesn't need to be heard. Towards the end it breaks down to one clean guitar, before crashing into the most hair-raising of finishes. Everything that Godflesh is about is represented here for me.

Final Verdict: Whilst it's true that every time a Godflesh LP comes out, critics and fans alike talk about it being their 'big one', the most important thing must be the quality. And for my money this is the most consistent the band have ever released and, though I never thought I'd say it, that includes Streetcleaner. The time taken to get Us And Them just right (it's been two years, at the bands' own pace) has paid big dividends as there's no hint of a filler on show, and the album flies by in seemingly less than its 66 minutes. It would be nice to think that the acclaim given to Godflesh on the strength of Us And Them would stretch beyond the critical, as it would certainly be deserved.

Review #3:

Review taken from: Metal Hammer magazine
Submitted by:
K K W Chan

Rating: (6/10)

"Tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be a member of Godflesh." Not likely is it? And on the evidence of this release, half the audience would die of fright before they'd have a chance to vote. There's still a lot of things wrong with Godflesh's canvas, and tracks like 'Bittersweet' and 'Us and Them' paint their drab look on life in all its boring glory. It's not enough to appear sombre without having another dimension to back it up, which in fairness they do manage to find elsewhere. On 'I, Me, Mine', that dimension is jaw-dropping breakbeat intensity with a track that takes in the Prodigy, chews them up, and spits out a huge nailbomb in its place. Then there's 'Defiled' where speedy drum 'n' bass makes for an interesting soundclash, while a flawed 'The Internal' and the standout 'Live To Lose' are brave stabs at something more melodic. Depending on which side of the Godflesh fence you sit on, you'll either be pleasantly surprised by the variety of sounds on offer or perturbed by their beat-driven direction. As Matthew Kelly would say, the choice is yours.

The opening and final lines are a reference to UK TV show, Stars In Their Eyes, where members of the public impersonate pop stars like Celion Dion.

Review #4:

Review taken from: Kerrang magazine
Submitted by:
K K W Chan

Rating: (5/5)

The lights are out, your bloodstream's 100 per cent proof, and you feel like you're watching one of the scariest, sickest horror flicks of all time. A subterranean pulse envelops the room, filling your head with a series of barely visible but totally terrifying images. No, you're not being visited by the big guy with the goatee, horns, and spiky tail, just two of his favourite sons - Justin Broadrick and GC Green, the sense-defiling duo known as Godflesh, and the gut-churning magnificence of their new album Us And Them.

It's been over a decade since these twisted fucks launched their first bilious assault on Planet Rock, during which time they've effortlessly straddled the (once forbidden and frowned upon) divide between rampant guitar-infested rock and techno pummelling. The disturbing collection of disparate sounds and sentiments to be found on this album suggest that it's high time Godflesh were hailed as the innovative and influential force they undeniably are. If the likes of Atari Teenage Riot can find their way into the public's consciousness, then there's no reason why Godflesh can't follow suit.

Us And Them is Godflesh's darkest creation to date - an incessant, unrelenting assault on the senses. But, refreshingly, it's an assault delivered with varying degrees of intensity. There's the frankly mental distorto-beats of I, Me, Mine, the relentless bludgeoning ferocity of the title track, the teeth-grinding, riff-swept soundscape of Bittersweet, and most surprisingly of all, the almost melancholic, mid-paced, mood pieces The Internal and Live To Lose.

Every track works like a deadly aural virus, hell-bent on infecting the listener. On the gutter-grooves of Descent, Broadrick explains that Godflesh refuse to get butt-fucked by archaic rules and traditions, and strive to keep on creating their ugly, uncompromising techno-metal monsters, regardless of what anyone else thinks: 'What I want, is what you get...', he yelps. Well said, that man.

All things considered, it's hard to comprehend that such a gloriously fucked-up bruising, godforsaken noise can be the product of just two people from the West Midlands. But don't question it - just sit back, listen and enjoy. After all we're all going to die in the end.

Review #5:

Review taken from: LamCat
Submitted by: Lawson Dominic

Rating: (9.5/10)

In recent years there have been an awful lot of people who have decided that a little drum'n'bass would liven up their otherwise feeble, miles-wide-of-the-zeitgest attempts at music. On the whole this always ends in tears because latecomers to the breakbeat party rarely have the requisite nous to make such a change in direction appear either plausible or natural to the casual observer. Godflesh--one of our greatest and most underrated bands, in case you were wondering - are one of the few bands for whom a side-step into drum'n'bass territory is an entirely logical progression (ahem) since they have always been at the forefront of the whole Metal vs. Beats soundclash phenomenon. Even as far back as Streetcleaner, Godflesh were far more forward thinking than any of their supposed contemporaries, and subsequent albums have repeatedly proved that Justin Broadrick is one of our most clued-up artists, and a genuine musical visionary in a genre which rarely comes up with new ideas. If industrial music can be reclaimed from the NIN-loving MTV generation, and dragged kicking and puking into the new millennium, then Godflesh are clearly the most likely saviours. "Us And Them" confirms this once and for all.

In essence these tracks are little different from any of Godflesh's previous works. Monotonous, pounding rhythms married to claustrophobic, six-string psychedelia and swathes of seething feedback, all topped with Broadrick's trademark, ghostly plainsong; it's a winning formula and one which has born continual re-interpretation over the years. 1997's Love & Hate In Dub was a good indication of where the band's heads have been at recently, and this new collection has more in common with that album than it does with any other; elements of dub, Hip Hop, various strands of electronica and the darkest, starkest jungle all make perfect sense combined with Broadrick's emotive and often harrowing lyrics. These sparse backdrops, punctuated with savage, atonal guitar noise and throbbing-bowel-bass, work both as powerful rock music and as compelling mood music, on par with the best works of Scorn, Orbital and the more restrained DHR acts.

For once, some obvious highlights spring to mind. I, Me, Mine is Godflesh's most unashamed attempt at a dancefloor filler to date with granite breakbeats colliding with quickfire vocal slogans, Control Freak is a deranged, downtempo Hip Hop thing with an unmistakable undertone of menace, Defiled is a stuttering, masterly fusion of rapid beats and post-millennial paranoia and The Internal is that rare beast, a proper guitar-led tune with one of Broadrick's best lyrics to date.

One line from the aforementioned track - "Our peace is now in pieces/But what else would you expect?" - sums up the Godflesh experience better than I ever could. When a band is as on top of their game as this you really have no excuse not to be, at the very least, intrigued. Us & Them is another superlative effort from one of Earache's most consistently important bands.

Review #6:

Review by: Chuck Adams

Okay, here's my two cents:

Godflesh has always been a challenging band. With the exception of Streetcleaner & Songs of Love and Hate, which I liked immediately, every album has required several listens before I realized how fantastic it was. As for the songs......

I, Me, Mine: Great vocals and Benny's awesome bass atop a jungle rhythm establish the theme for the album: the best parts of older Godflesh with new elements, like some psychedelic guitar work that crops up over and over again.

Us and Them: Has one of the mightiest riffs the band has ever come up with. And the second half is an instrumental that sounds like something from the Tiny Tears sessions. The first time I listened to the album I thought this track was worth the price of the CD alone and I still think that.

Endgames: This starts out like some sort of black miasma flowing out of my speakers, until the mood is ruined by the second appearance of the psychedelic guitar. Believe me, the mood and the rhythm really make me want to like this track, but I just can't get past the guitar.....

Witchhunt: A fantastic dub grind that has become my favorite track on the album. And I love the lyrics. In fact, I think the lines "Is it war you want?/Crush the weak/Witch-hunt/Scumhunt" would be great for an Us and Them T-shirt

Whose Truth is Your Truth: A typical Godflesh groove atop a hip hop rhythm. There are some Scorn-like sounds near the end of the song, and if I'm not mistaken this is the first time Justin's done completely "clean" vocals. One of the better tracks.

Defiled: The first time I listened to the album I hated this track, but I woke up this morning humming it, so I guess it must be growing on me. It's the first of several songs on the album that strikes me as being in the Slavestate/Crush My Soul vein.

Bittersweet: At first I was disappointed to hear Justin using the"transistor radio" voice that every band in the 90s seems obligated to use, but I'm getting past that. It's in the style of Frail, which I love, so I'm sure this will be one my favorites in time. Of all the tracks on the album, though, I think this one could have benefitted most from a real drummer.

Nail: The second track in the Slavestate/Crush My Soul vein. Again this is not my favorite of their styles, but hey, it's still Godflesh.

Descent The second track with "clean" vocals, and also the second track in the Frail vein. This one differs, though, by having a hiphop rhythm and some heavy riffing near the end. Another one of the better tracks on the album

Controlfreak: The third song in the Slavestate/Crush My Soul vein, and I think the best of the three. The psychedelic guitar shows up again, and this time it works quite nicely.

The Internal: The third song in the Frail style, also set over some sort of hip hop rhythm. Near the end it trails off into a scratchy record LP sound. It would have been a perfect end to the album......

Live To Lose: I still think I'm listening to a Seattle band when I hear this. This one would have been way better on Selfless. Oh well, I'll suppose eventually I'll get used to it, but until then I can always shut the disc off after The Internal.

So this is where I'm at after 15 or 20 listens. I'm glad to say that it's probably the band's most rewarding "challenge" to date. There's a lot of new elements, but it's still the dark Godflesh sound I love.

Just one thing before I close: why did Earache have to put their gay little "friendly" logo on the disc? I mean, Godflesh is the heaviest band on earth, and if anybody deserves the spiky logo it's them.....

Review #7:

Review by: Kev Chan

Us And Them shares the common trait of all Godflesh releases in that it improves with each listen. Often tracks which you have no particular fondness for, after a certain number of listens, can just click and the full depth and brilliance of the music becomes apparent.

This, of course, makes reviewing a Godflesh album an almost impossible task. A track you hate one week will become a firm favourite in the long term. On first hearing the album, I have to say that I was not immediately drawn into the songs. One of the main reasns for this was that I decided to crank the album out of my stereo. But on listening to Us And Them with headphones (in my opinion the ideal listening conditions for the majority of Godflesh and related material) I reaalised that once again Godflesh had delivered the goods.

One of the first things to note is that Us And Them sees the guitar being used as it was on Streetcleaner; creating dissonant, eerie ambient sounds rather than the pummelling riffage of Selfless. It also draws heavily on the sounds explored on Love and Hate in Dub, and tracks such as Whose Truth Is Your Truth? could have been lifted straight from it.

The album has a strong hip-hop element, more so than any previous release. This has a lot to do with the fact that the majority of the drums are sampled, as opposed to the drum machine, or Brain Mantia's beats on the last two albums. This gives the rhythms a strange organic yet mechanical sound that was also apparent on SoLaH.

I, Me, Mine: kicks off the album much in the way Wake did on SoLaH Heavily distorted bass over some hard hitting jungle beats. One of the first things you notice is the change in the guitar sound. Back in B tuning for the first time since the Tiny Tears era. This takes some getting used to and was one of the reasons for my initial skepticism. I personally thought that Justin had perfected his guitar sound on SoLaH, but then maybe that is part of the reason for the change.

The vocals also have a different feel to them, very raw and with minimal production. Some excellent wah drenched guitar is used in place of a conventional chorus.

Us and Them: Definitely one that grows on you. I didn't like it at all when I heard it for the first time. Slow paced with an insistent riff and some of Justin's trademark harmonic squeals. Vocals are melodic, with plenty of delay, and the chorus recalls Locust Furnace.

The outtro shows that some Techno Animal has crept into the Godflesh picture. The guitar being used as a virtual synth over a typical TA beat.

Endgames: Drums initially sound muffled, like you are hearing them from a building across the street, then fade in with another loop over the top featuring a short, hip-hop vocal sample. The song then beds down into a typical hip-hop groove. A rumbling bassline holds down the rhythm, and again wah guitar is substituted for a chorus.

Witchhunt: Another Techno Animal style drumbeat kicks off and the guitar riff coul have come straight from SoLaH. The vocals are very aggressive with some superb delay effects during the chorus. Plenty of Streetcleaner guitar squeals.

Whose Truth is Your Truth? Hip-hop beat reminiscent of the Circle of Shit remix on LaHiD. Guitar is atmospheric and the song is void of any big riffs, relying on bass and drums to carry the rhythm.

Defiled: Initially one of my favourite tracks, both musically and lyrically. Again high guitars over a vicious drum and bass soundscape. The vocals are modulated to give them a lower pitch and are the closest we've got to rap vocals from Justin.

Bittersweet: Classic Godflesh feel; sees the trusty Alessis drum machine back at the forefront of the sound. The sort of song only Godflesh can pull off. An evil sounding riff and massive drums contrast with some melodic vocals.

Nail: Very SoLaH, yet some of the harmonic squeals are more reminiscent of Pure. The main riff is the kind that Godflesh pioneered before it became trendy, simple and repetitive but crushingly effective.

Descent: Huge distorted bass drum and a bassline that creates an odd atmospheric keyboard effect. Classic Godflesh bridge brings in the familiar crushing guitars.

Control Freak: One of the best songs on the album in my opinion. The bass and keyboard parts which begin the song are so evocative that you can almost see them. Justins moans are atmospheric in a way that synths can't capture. The tempo increases for the verses, think Crush My Soul backed with gabba beats and wah induced white noise.

This time the guitar atmospherics are on the lower stings. Vocals are aggressive with delay and distortion. The track ends with a clean guitar passage, reminiscent of Swans, that pans and fades as the speakers on your stereo struggle to cope.

The Internal: Probably the most melodic song Godflesh have put out. For want of a better comparison, the guitar part is similar to Fear Factory's Descent from the Obsolete album, only slower. Vocals are similar to past works such as Fraill

Lyrically the best song on the album in my opinion. Personal breakdown used as a metaphor for the apocalypse.

Live to Lose: The final track is also melodic but the guitar is heavy, like some Selfless era songs, which is echoed by the typical Selfless drumbeat. Chorus and distortion effects on the vocals make the majority of the lyrics indistinguishable. A clean guitar break leads to an epic distorted finale. Although you cannot hear exactly what Justin is singing the vocals are deeply emotional.

Us And Them is certainly a varied album with plenty of surprises, and yet there is a common feel that holds it together. Justin himself admitted that he felt Selfless was too guitar based and SoLaH was more balanced and that he wanted to upset that balance with this album. Certainly fans of the crushing Godflesh guitars may be a little disappointed that the guitars are only really at the forefront on the more melodic tracks. If the listener is perpared to be patient with the album though, I think that the only conclusion can be that Godflesh have again created a masterpiece.

Review #8:

Review by: Simon Ocosi

Rating: 4/10

An honest Review from a Godflesh fan of 10 years.

Since I first heard Streetcleaner in 1989 I got stuck into the Godflesh sound. Coming from a mainly hardcore background,the slowness,heaviness and less clinical sound appealed big time. Almost hypnotic and totally fucking overwhelming. For a start the bass was so fucking heavy...totally fucking crushing,and on each release afterwards it was still there. Still in your fucking face. I also liked the way they were the heaviest fuckers going without having to become your average 'testosterone' guitar band that was the rage at the time. Yes, i've bought all the albums the days they came out (if i could afford too) Yes,they've influenced a lot of the music work i've done. Boundaries were pushed back by the Birmingham duo long before people like the, frankly, boring Fear Factory and others of their ilk. This is considered new now!?!?! Where were these people when Slavestate came out. I once wrote a letter to Kerrang completely shredding the new vogue of heavy bands saying how behind they were (Earache nicked a quote from it to advertise the Love and Hate in Dub album..cheers Earache! Didn't give me any props for it). Its basic thanks to units like Godflesh and Scorn that have kept my mind ahead of what people are going to be listening to 4 years down the line, and has turned me onto fuck loads of various beat based and abstract styles.

Before the album came out I was expecting a progression of the last few releases. Maybe a more direct change with beats and abstract textures and in the mixing process too...I'm disapointed, more than disapointed. Yes,opener I, Me, Mine does kick in in fine style. Nice break work, and a nice bass sound. Its Benny sampled to keys, but it still sounds effective. But then after that whats the point? We get Godflesh as we've always known them but with one missing ingredient...Soul. I used to pick out the emotion and the straining in the old material. Is it me? Or does it sound like Godflesh by numbers. Witchhunt is no match to Gift From Heaven (anybody else notice the similarity) and where's these bodysplitting breaks that Justin promised us?? I can hear breaks but nothing I haven't heard already.

As for the rest of the album Defiled I just don't understand what its doing on there? I don't like those vocals, it doesn't sound right to these ears. Descent starts off with a nice beat and bass concuction,but kind of drains itself out. I would have also preffered this more if I hadn't already heard a unit called Ghetto Beast do an identical track (minus guitars and vocals). Try as I do I can't get on with this release..I feel a little bit cheated. Considering it [will probably be] the last release on Earache, I was expecting a final bow out of pure anger, desperation and those 'bodysplitting breaks'. I'm not saying its fucking shit isn't! And i think Live to Lose is about the best ending they've had for an album since Go Spread Your Wings. I just like the structure and the ,almost, affectionate vocals and guitar playing. Also I love the sample jumping between beats at the start of Endgames (listen closely you'll hear it). It shows machines make errors like humans. I don't know if it was deliberately left in or not! But saying this ,and taking these factors into accounts, I don't want to listen to a release of bits i like.

Wheres the moodiness and the sheer frustration and desperation and overall soul gone? I guess i'm going to get a backlash of mail now from angry fans threatening to kill I really fucking care (you're entitled to your opinion y'know),and i'm doubting whether this will get printed or not!?! there we go Godflesh, Us and Them, 4 out of 10...let down mate, let down

Review #9:

Review taken from: Terrorizer magazine (June 1999)
Submitted by:
Kev Chan

Rating: (8/10)

See, it's like this. Most outfits are content to carve their niche, stay there and eventually rot to death in it. Some dig a little deeper each time and consequently move along both artistically and, hopefully, commercially. Godflesh, on the other hand, musical martyrs that they are, make a virtue of their headlong dives into innovation. And while such a strategy has hurt their own pockets, it's left the musical landscape eternally richer.

This time around, breakbeats form the mesh upon which Justin Broadrick has carved is indelible signature. The result is Bittersweet- a triumph against all detractors of such a path. Indeed, if anything, Us And Them smacks more of Justin's true spirit than any other Godflesh release since the seminal Streetcleaner. And no one could doubt the origin of this monstrosity - it's so Godflesh it should have come with a three-month course of Prozac, or for the more suicidally inclined, a wreath. There's the familiar groaning bass - Christ, how could you miss it? - and the customary grotesque beauty of every Godflesh album. It's beat driven manifesto picks up on the sulphur trail left by the venomous, freeform audio attrition of Love And Hate In Dub, which erupted from all sides with such consuming vigour that the decision to pursue such an approach in earnest makes more than perfect sense.

Us And Them is a lurching beast as bleak and foreboding as anything Godflesh have done before, if not more so. Take one listen to the penetrating sweep of the title track or the sheer devastating behemoth of Witchunt for proof. Defiled bears a hallmark of snarling beat-driven bludgeon - the perfect soundtrack for any self-respecting regime which counts torture among its hobbies, while Bittersweet offers a shaft of hazy psychedelic light, before being buried, appropriately enough, by Nail, another witheringly handsome piece of aural savagery. Elsewhere, The Internal offers a beautifully gentle moment in an otherwise relenting album. For sure there's the odd lukewarm moment, but Christ, in an imperfect world surely Godflesh's unwritten vocation has been to reflect this so I'll forgive them that.

Truly a nasty motherfucker of an album and one which moves the posts well out of sight of the competition. Business as usual, then, for Brum's bastard brethren.

Review #10:

Reviewed by: Jason Byram

I've heavily anticipated the release of Godflesh's latest release Us and Them, and due to the debriefings and insight into the recording and formation of the record (courtesy of Avalanche and Crumbling Flesh) the album is actually what I expected...for the most part.

I'll have to chance sounding cliche, but Us and Them amalgamates the flesh of old, the raw underproduced edge of Streetcleaner, and the beat driven indie hip hop rhythms of their side projects. The concussive bass which has appeared throughout the newer Techno Animal and Sidewinder material sounds strikingly similar to many tracks on the LP (Defiled, Descent etc.) Many of the intro samples and loops resemble the distorted ghetto rhythms of the position chrome 12"s (particularly on Descent and Whose Truth is Your Truth?. I'd have to say that I agree w/ Justin's remark pertaining to Us and Them "encompassing all his work on the peripheries of Godflesh. Once again, they've broke new ground and created perhaps a more exciting fusion or hybrid form of sonic expression.

The new material may not appeal to those who believe in a mandatory abundance of grueling, gut wrenching guitar riffing; this is simply one of the least guitar driven Godflesh projects to date....second only to the latter tracks on the Merciless EP and the remix companion to '96's Songs of Love and Hate, Love and Hate in Dub. However, Merciless and Love and Hate in Dub were demixes and weren't original compositions. Regardless, this new material is perhaps heavier than the last studio effort (SoLaH) which was a more balanced rock oriented approach that was a further continuation of hip hop influx (Circle of Shit, Angel Domain) which began as early as Pure. Guitar driven distortion isn't a prerequisite for heaviness or brutality and certainly not for aggression. Us and Them's firm reliance on break driven heaviness is perhaps the most innovative and appreciable characteristic of the album as a whole. For Us and Them to be heavier yet less guitar driven is by no means an amazing feat; Love and Hate in Dub was a direct precurser. It's massive beats and percussion were much more intense and invigorating than its original incarantion, SoLaH. From the Digital Underground sample on Witchhunt to the Frail-esque Bittersweet, this album has an incredible amount of merit. As Justin prescribed, he borrowed from underground dance culture to compose this radical transgenre recording. I admit that the riffage on tracks like Witchhunt and Nail did alarm me at first. I, like many others, likened it to Cali's Pimp Rock All Stars, Korn. However, as I listen to these tracks more...I realize that, much to my relief, it doesn't reek of Korn afterall, the riffs are more caustic more reminiscent of the days of Streetcleaner. And the riff on Nail resembles that of a modern Sepultura riff more than say Korn. Justin, uncharacteristically, directly acknowledged Korn's shortcomings in a recent p ublication which further affirms his distaste for Korn and perhaps "new metal" in general.

There are two other points that I feel need to be addressed, this album is more industrial than the recent previous efforts. Sure it's hyper breakbeat, but the industrial mechanization is in full affect on this album. I found this somewhat suprising since Justin doesn't seem to be as enthused w/ industrialization anymore. He's always said that they never tried to make an industrial record...that's just how they made music. Also, there seems to be an almost DHR feel on a few tracks, especially Control Freak (thanks to Ian for emphasizing this).

They've surpassed their imitators and failed to conform once again in most admirable fashion. Maybe not the best Godflesh effort but perhaps the most interesting and provocative...actually i don't have a favorite album....too much diversity within each album to choose.

Review #11:

Review taken from: Dark Legions Archive

Production: Spacious and clear.

Review: The task of an industrial band is to take elements of external reality and to make sense out of them, conquering space time and power with sound. Godflesh, in their groundbreaking stages of Streetcleaner and Slavestate, were an angry band out to change the world: now they will lull us into contemplation of beauty so our anger is sensible.

Ranging from industrial dirges to almost pop-like melodic dissonant industrial rock as on the last album, these songs are each poignant in the confrontation between the unstated alienation and the resurrection of hope through creativity. The album progresses from its more Selfless-like moments to a space of ambient sound experiment tinged by atmospheric grindcore, then detours into an almost R.E.M.-like youthpop sound, where Godflesh become almost contented in their optimism.

Music put together around guiding principles, this release features the stunningly articulate chord voicings and rhythm guitar melody of Streetcleaner and Selfless, embedding in each verse or phrase a stage in the evolution of a larger sound. Broadrick shouts, roars, screams and sings but the real emotion is, like the melody, hidden in the work of otherwise straightforward musical styles.

Review #12:

Reviewed by: Stacy Buchanan

It's been three years since Godflesh's last album (excluding 97's remix album Love and Hate in Dub), and I, like most fans, had no idea what to expect from this innovative two-man oddity. Prior to hearing this CD, the rumor was "the new CD is totally beat-heavy." That being said, let me clearly say don't let the hip-hop influence deter you from checking this CD out at all! The beats presented on this CD are ones that the metal fan will definitely dig. The CD is like Godflesh at their pinnacle. Everything they have ever been known for is performing at its best: Justin's clean melodic vocals (with some digital delay here and there) and his shouting distorted yells are superb, the crunching guitar riffs riding shot-gun to the bizarre feedback and harmonic screeches are catchier than the black plague. And, of course, the ever-present low-end rumble of Ben Green's bass delivers, while the psychotic beats and fills are far from boring. If I were to try and dive into the whole genre naming game, I would have to say that this CD sounds like a metal/trip-hop hybrid, and ultimately 100% Godflesh. I was scared in the beginning but my confidence was totally restored after hearing this CD.

. Review #13:

Review taken from: Alternative Press magazine (August 1999) (by Jason Bracelin)
Submitted by: Harsha Karunaratne

Rating: (3/5)

A bleak "party" album to play during Armageddon.

Godflesh have made a career out of subverting metal cliches. They've created some of the densest, most punishing sounds imaginable with nary a power chord nor a sweaty drummer in sight. Now they've taken extremity to yet another new place: the dancefloor. Granted, Godflesh began tinkering with techno beats as early as their 1991 EP Slavestate, and they further delved into the domain with the dub remix version of their last album, Songs of Love and Hate. But Godflesh's latest work, Us And Them, sees the duo indulging in hardcore jungle as never before. The result is the first Godflesh record to successfully temper the band's cold, rigid ferocity with a solid groove, making Us And Them sound like a nihilist party album celebrating the fall of humankind.

Us And Them contains the familiar Godflesh elements, with G.C. Green's subterranean bass and Justin Broadrick's haunting atonal guitar embellishments as eerie as ever; but the fat hip-hop loop of Descent is enough to make heads bob, and the rapid-fire machine-gun breakbeats of Control Freak are capable of inducing cardiac arrest. I, Me, Mine and Endgames are bolstered by sinister drum and bass flourishes, broadening Godflesh's once claustrophobic sound and pumping new life into the band's icy veins. Once again Godflesh manage to innovate with an Amargeddon dance album that sees them partying like it's really 1999.

. Review #14:

Review taken from: Earpollution
Reviewed by: Mark Teppo and Steve Weatherholt

Him and Me: The Godflesh review

Steve: Hey, I got the new Godflesh, Us and Them. What do you think? Justin is quoted as saying: "In true rock fashion we've shot our load in the first round" on the song I, Me, Mine? Well, I think they might have been "Genius," maybe taking samples from the end of the last PSI album on this song.

Mark: The genius part beyond putting the load-shooter up front is actually culling together enough scraps to make up 11 more songs that are actually listenable. Sure, I, Me, Mine has got leftovers from other places (including a touch of the Lo-Fibre feel), but it is a tasty sweet treat for us cavity seekers. The boys even bring out the drill for the next hour's enjoyment.

Steve: The title track would fit in well on the Streetcleaner album. With its calling vocals crushing guitar with the little lead parts of discontent. G.C. Green's throbbing wicked bass lines fill the room with creeping despair.

Mark: There's a measured bombast to this album. A steady pace that relentlessly moves across you. It's like being crushed by a huge boulder that is shifting ever so slowly across your body. Take Witchhunt. There's a measured inevitability to the song, this realization that you can run until you are past the point of exhaustion, but when you look back, your heart pounding in your mouth, Godflesh is still coming, steady and purposeful. The crushing dirge of our own mortality.

Steve: I see what you're saying, the song Defiled has this drum and bass...throbbing, churning, dirge steamrollering over the top of that huge rock you have shifting over you. Then the next song has this Godflesh rock sludge that seems to start the agonizingly crushing process from your toes making its way to your cranium, leaving you with this Bittersweet taste in your mouth.

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