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Godflesh

Earache/Columbia

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Why Columbia Records ever saw profit potential in grindcore label Earache’s stable of vicious artists is a mystery. Most of the groups picked up in the deal (Carcass, Fudge Tunnel, Entombed, etc.) continue to generate material so caustic it will never find a wide audience. Godflesh is no exception. Like previous efforts from this Brit ish outfit, Selfless couples seemingly incongruous elements—instrumental death rattles and vocalist Justin Broadrick’s vulnerable wail—to create a sound that wavers uneasily between bludgeoning and timid. As Earache offerings go, it’s more original than most (although the trio borrows the riff from Bob Mould’s “Black Sheets of Rain” for its own “Black Boned Angel”) and the spacey rhythm of tunes like “Empyreal” and “Mantra” make Selfless particularly distinctive. Still, Green Day it ain’t. How long before the puppetmasters at Sony wise up and lower the boom?