Godflesh Messiah

If you've been disappointed with Godflesh's dub laden output since 1996's Songs Of Love and Hate, then you'll be very pleased that Messiah hearkens back to the heavier-than-thou Selfless days - mainly because Messiah actually consists of unreleased tracks from the '94-'95 Selfless sessions. Released on Godflesh mastermind Justin Broadrick's house label (a stopgap effort while he searches for a new home, having parted company with Earache) and available only through his web site, the record contains four "new" songs and four dub remixes of those same songs. The booming title track (not a Fear Factory cover) puts to shame the techno sterility of last year's Us & Them, while "Wilderness Of Mirrors" sports a resonating Middle Eastern sitar looped over a solid hip-hop beat. "Sungod" is reminiscent of Triad-era Pitchshifter on an ambient tip, and "Scapegoat" (again, not a FF cover) is more drum & bass-influenced but no less compelling. The dubs are darker and more chilling, stripped down to their bare bones with glistening, electronic skin stretched over the skeletons. Realistically, they are more gripping than Godflesh's stabs at similar dubs on Love And Hate In Dub and Us & Them, but, ultimately, Messiah offers an unadulterated peek into Broadrick's mind before those albums were even ideas. (Avalanche)