Napalm Bug!

Category: By the bug

Some songs here have titles like "Lord, I'm On My Way" and "Love," but anyone expecting something close to Spiritualized might well run away screaming. God's first full studio album, recorded with the help of such similarly minded souls as Sweet Tooth drummer Scott Kiehl and Russell Smith, sometime guitarist with Terminal Cheesecake and Skullflower, found the band firmly established in its aggro-jazz ways. The influence of both early seventies Miles Davis and later exponents of freeform playing is clear, helped along even further by the appearance of John Zorn on three tracks. Martin's own squalling sax work finds plenty of room to go nuts in, evil drones and edgy roars an integral part of the compositions, matched just as closely by his shouted, heavily treated singing style. That gives an indication about an equal forebear, Black Sabbath and trudging doom metal -- Possession first and foremost is heavy, crushing all before it in a slow, steady fashion (a notable exception being the faster but still virulent "Hate Meditation"). Broadrick's participation alone might confirm that much to an outside listener, but instead of the focused obsession of Godflesh, God hit the groove a touch more loosely, thanks to Kiehl and fellow drummer Lou Ciccotelli's work in place of a drum machine. Check their starting beats (accentuated a bit by samples from Martin) on "Return to Hell," a sign they know how to swing in their own way. For all the feedback, the guitars aren't the most prominent instrument, Broadrick slotting alongside the various horn players (including sax/clarinet player Tim Hodgkinson and sax/didgeridoo performer Steve Blake) and bassists in the thick morass of the songs. Kudos as well to pianist Peter Kraut, who adds some good parts to songs like "Soul Fire." There are some quieter, spare moments, notably the church-bell sample start of "Black Jesus" -- otherwise, it's a full ensemble approach that won't surprise anyone who loves On the Corner. ~ Ned Raggett, All Music Guide


Anatomy of Addiction, the second God studio album, turned out to be the last, but it made for a good way for the band to go. Instead of continuing the previous releases' exploration into open-ended group jams, this time around God -- with a mostly unchanged line-up, interestingly enough -- focused much more (if not entirely) on brusque, heavy-duty techno metal with some free jazz touches. It's clear that Broadrick had a much greater say in the album this time out, especially with his massive, clipped riffing, but one or two songs aside (check "White Pimp Cut Up") it's not Godflesh redux, since Martin's own particular style remains intact. Squalling sax breaks and contributions mix with his extreme, echoed shouts, but he does also throw in more growling, low-end singing. Mixed with the crisp, industrial strength (and sometimes styled) beats from Kiehl and Ciccotelli, which are generally arranged as tight, focused rhythms and pumped up at high volume, it makes for a fine new avenue for God to explore. Where Anatomy resembles Possession the most, it ends up taking some interesting chances, like the droning sax start of "Lazarus" or the notably slower paced "Bloodstream," which actually also has one of the brightest, gentlest breaks ever in a God song (kudos to Kiehl's enjoyable percussion). In terms of overall sonic impact, though, it's hard to complain, and certainly Anatomy's not a commercial album by any standard. Martin's new emphasis on lyrics that are at points perfectly understandable certainly makes things a touch more accessible, but only just, while the blasting rhythms and feedback remain the undeniable center of attention. The addition of electric viola and, via guest performer Alex Buess, bass clarinet adds even more roiling chaos to Anatomy, and the album as a whole is a fantastic listen. ~ Ned Raggett, All Music Guide



2 comments so far.

  1. KRENG 29 Ιουλίου 2008 - 12:09 π.μ.
    One of the first bands I ever saw performing live. The impact it had one me, being a 15-year-old, is not to be taken lightly. This band changed my life.

    Thanks a lot for turning my old vinyl into usefull car-music.
  2. stargazer 5 Αυγούστου 2008 - 1:20 μ.μ.
    thanks kreng for visiting our blog.
    hoped God changed your life for good...enjoy the music!

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