Overall Score: 7/10/10 Instrumentation : 6/10 Songwriting: 7/10 Performances: 8/10 Pros: Crushing metal distinct from its influences Cons: Some jarring instrumental choices
Depending on who you ask, veganism is a noble lifestyle choice. A great number of crust punk and grindcore bands from the beginnings of the genres adopted this way of life in amongst vegetarianism as a countercultural and benevolent ideology. The main reasons for veganism are blindingly obvious, but a new deciding factor cropping up in recent times is that of the impact on the climate that producing and eating meat has. In this vein we find a growing number of bands utilising the ideological reasoning, leading to the sub-ideal of so called “eco metal”. The most prominent of this new wave of bands is arguably Gojira, and their influence can be felt in a myriad of new aspiring acts. The latest band marketing themselves under the eco friendly, vegan banner are Glaswegians, Godeater. Is it a cynically minded finger on the pulse of salesmanship, or a genuine passion for the love of sentient creatures that drives them?
Immediately, Godeater distance themselves from the majority of Gojira’s sound proving they can stand apart from the crowd rather than wallowing in reverence. There are moments on debut LP, All Flesh Is Grass, that call back to Terra Incognita, but for the vast majority, Godeater sound most akin to Betraying the Martyrs or even the heaviest end of The Black Dahlia Murder. There are hints to Cattle Decapitation, mostly through lyrical content, but generally the bands one would associate with veganism and ecological care don’t get a look in as major influences on the Scottish quartet. So far it’s a tick in the box of genuine passion for their cause, and done so with a great deal of creativity.
The band have a flair for songwriting, as is evident in the mammoth Salvation. The near eight minute song takes you through multiple movements, musical styles and blasting bouts of noise before settling on a dark refrain that leaves the listener perturbed. The album flows as a whole cohesive piece rather than distinct elements, mainly through the arguably ill fitting synth work as a segue – see The Dreich in particular. Nonetheless the torrent of electrifying riffs is lucid, ebbing and flowing between various ways to viscerally batter you into submission. For a debut LP, it is remarkably accomplished. The song structures are all imaginative and play upon expectations, with staccato, syncopated riffs forming a crusty top layer of musicianship.
This debut record is a wonderful example of a band taking influence and running with it as opposed to being beholden to it. Musically it is perhaps not one hundred percent perfect, but for a nascent heavy band to get it as close to right as this is astounding. Where they might fall in instrumental choices, they make up for it in song craft, making for exhilarating tracks that maintain attention throughout. The influence on their lyricism means this is music with an important message, if not a unique one, so can be enjoyed as a surface level pass through, or one with deeper meaning to delve in to. They are a genuine band making honest music, and you can’t ask for much more than that. An excellent start to a promising career.
All Flesh Is Grass is out September 27th