Album number two from a reformed, genre-defining band can often put a certain pressure on the artists. Post Self is said to be written as an aural investigation on the human emotions of fear, depression, anxiety and one’s own mortality, among other things.
A repetitive riff that slowly builds into the opening track, which feels the most like something from early releases on this album, building to a crescendo that stops briefly before ‘Parasite’ comes in and adds more anxiety to the mix. I am not sure if the mix actually gets louder here or if that is the sense created by the continuous sonic darkness.
The sense of foreboding lets go of you when ‘No Body’ kicks in with a cleaner riff showing off a lighter sense rarely shown by Godflesh, with a solid, almost hip hop bounce, to the back beat.
Post Self shows its heart in the form of the middle three songs it feels built around, beginning with ‘Be God’ before passing into ‘The Cyclic End’ and then ‘Pre Self’ showing band’s the gloomier side, coming off as a spacious, almost shoegaze set of tracks, with a twist only Justin Broadrick could conjure. The minimalist guitar playing on ‘Pre Self’ alone brings a feeling of despair and loneliness only this band can create.
After the middle triptych, the album descends into its more experimental side that has always been at the centre of their output, finishing with the crescendo-like finish of ‘The Infinite End’.
When all is said and done Post Self feels like some of the band’s most experimental work, but also a ‘best of’ output at times, touching every base that Godflesh has covered before. My preference is for the heavier guitar driven output of previous album A World Lit Only By Fire and earlier releases, but it sits comfortably among any of Justin Broadrick’s output.
1. Post Self
3. No Body
4. Mirror of Finite Light
5. Be God
6. The Cyclic End
7. Pre Self
8. Mortality Sorrow
9. In Your Shadow
10. The Infinite End