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Godsticks: Emergence

Brit prog bruisers distort the metal template

As if to remind the world that progressive metal doesn’t necessarily have to owe a debt to Dream Theater, Meshuggah or Opeth, Godsticks’ brooding perversity has been picking up converts in the prog world for a while now, but Emergence marks a significant march into heavier territory.

It suits the trio well, their gift for obtuse grooves that churn with sweet dissonance sounding more akin to the thudding, harmony-dense blues of King’s X or Alice In Chains at their most languorous and bleak. Much Sinister and Hopeless Situation boast big choruses, but the melodies are insidious, slow-release affairs that skim across the surface of chords and syncopations that bring to mind a funkier Voivod, or Devin Townsend on a King Crimson kick.

Those comparisons are just meant to tempt the cautious, but the reality is that Godsticks have such a strong identity and so many ingenious riffs that Emergence stands to dazzle anyone that prefers imaginative, soulful or weird heavy music to joyless, generic swill.