Godsticks: Emergence

Brit prog bruisers distort the metal template

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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.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.