Godeater – ‘All Flesh Is Grass’

By Fiachra Johnston

These are troubling times we live in. At least, that’s how Godeater see it. The debut album from the Glaswegian Tech Metal group is more than just an introduction to their sound – it feels like the first paragraph of an open letter to a planet being killed by its inhabitants, with a violence to match.

While many bands might try to stay away from such a heated (no pun intended) topic, particularly in 2019, Godeater have no such qualms. There’s an urgency in the voice of the band, a sense that this story must be told now, or else it never will be. Sometimes feeling like a rallying war cry, other times feeling like a violent dirge for the Earth, but always direct and honest, ‘All Flesh Is Grass’ is a survival story, told with a passion you could only find in as radical a day and age as this.

Godeater wear their inspirations on their sleeve, with bands like Gojira forming the basis not just for what the band is working from, but what people may expect going into the album. Inevitable as it was going to be that comparisons would be made, Godeater do have their own little tricks to play. Eastern strings crop up in tracks like ‘Inertia Haze’ and ‘All Flesh’, and play wonderfully against the guitar work of Ross Beagan and Andrew Macdonald, with soaring choral segments in the album’s finisher of ‘Blood Moon’ leading to a dramatic finish to the nine track record. These elements almost give off ‘Castlevania’ vibes, particularly in songs like ‘The Dreich’, a song with what can only be described as vampiric undertones.

As with traditional Technological Death Metal, most of the focus is in instrumentation here. Not that there’s anything wrong with Josh Graham’s vocals – his screams are like those of a true Iowa gentleman – but the true enjoyment of Godeater is their technical ability. Songs like the album’s centerpiece, ‘Salvation’, are a testament to this. The seven minute track features wonderful little tricks and features within it, and the band really seem to let loose here. There is a sense that Godeater are holding back in places, though; it’s by no means a ‘safe’ album, and certainly not a boring one, but it does feel like there is always more to be said with each track, and that future outings will lead to some much-desired experimentation and evolution.

‘All Flesh Is Grass’ doesn’t stray away from being political or topical, and perhaps that honesty is its greatest asset when trying to stand out among an ever-growing field of musicians. While Godeater may still be figuring out their own sound, it’s this honesty, mixed with some technical prowess, that makes the album such a strong start for these strong contenders in the scene.

FIACHRA JOHNSTON

Three more album reviews for you

Alter Bridge - 'Walk The Sky'

LIVE: Sleep Token @ The Underworld, Camden

LIVE: Mallory Knox / Led By Lanterns @ Gorilla, Manchester