There are quite a few hardworking artists out there in the realms of the metal world, which the artists themselves are trying to keep expressing their creative outlet that flows either with joining other bands – or better yet, creating or collaborating with other fellow musicians to search for that unique and robust sound that allows for their creativity to keep expanding beyond any measure imaginable.
Introducing the brand new project Godman with two of Christian metal’s most well known identities that have had a major impact on music today through their strong work ethic and message applied. Consisting of Jonathan Johnson (Sacred Warrior, Deny The Fallen and Zeal) joined by fellow guitarist Tiago James de Souza (Hand Of Fire, Perpetual Paranoia and Through The Clouds), the two have combined their musical talents and prowess to bring the birth of the project’s debut effort Hypostatic Union that has seen its worldwide release on the 4th of July 2019.
When you have had a chance to “Reset” comes Godman’s first single that personally blows me away with their overall quirkiness, breakdowns and changes. At first you can hear a Layne Stanley vocal type from Alice In Chains influence throughout the verses maintained. Low, gruff, and growling vocals compliment the heavier side of the song with constant melodic changes and bombastic drum beats that seem to dart everywhere to keep the song interesting to say the least. The cleaner side of their vocal capabilities seems to work with the choruses when represented, the guitar work on this track is exceptional (to be expected) and has captured what can be seen as their most erratic but, yet elemental sound that will be heard throughout the entire record.
“Last Man Standing” follows up more towards a melodic side of the band which is where I personally enjoy much more to a harder rock aspect. Smoothly structured, with a boldness and intensity that still adds the erratic feel that you will find mixes very well with this track. Foundations of a much more traditional outlook with melodic delivery includes the newer side of what these men are trying to achieve, with iconic breakdowns that again can be seen flowing well with the older impact of their past endeavours that really expresses that there is indeed old hands guiding this ship of creativity.
“Effigy” continues the album with a more brutal sound that seems to be still of the more melodic nature but, also carries more of the metalcore breakdowns, and such avant-garde creations really mix well with the hint of a death metal element that is also achieved within this adaption of their unique touch.
“Illuminati” has a much more speedy delivery to begin with as an alternative edge that breaks right through with low bombastic growls and serious breakdowns that keep it flowing through, also with the Alice In Chains vocal influence that pops up again. To my own views, they seem to be mixing as much genres into one little pot that which I believe can work but, as I can see it in a real honest way, the listener can easily get lost within it all if you don’t have any clear understanding of what is trying to be produced by what Godman is trying to present. Brutality is what I find here that seems to have much more common ground, but yet still having that melodic edge.
“Who Am I” is next on the table when their death metal variety comes into play with super sick riffs that carry on throughout the track with a mixture of growls and shouts, that guarantees you that it will be just more than the similar record that you have known so far between Jonathan and Tiago. The group is touching on the steady and more dignified tones within their presentation but, yet are still really just aiming to be plentiful in the sound they create, with a general direction that is used to uplift the levels of the song that is carried at certain points.
With “Dark Night Of The Soul” lightly introducing itself, as a slow rhythmic ballad like you would find in these kind of circumstances. Clear with intent and resolve that carries hard riffs and heartfelt lyrics, and the solo adds to the domain of strength portrayed. Smooth and direct and leaning more towards the early ’90s metal ballads, it still keeps with the overall sound that has already been revealed so far to this point.
“End Of My Days” continues the trend of the uniqueness of the clean vocals that are presented and even a Zao guitar sound that just reminds me of the band’s late ’90s assault. Still melodic but, I just can’t get over the mix of sounds and genres which just makes it so good, as Godman is mixing thrash, death metal and metalcore in one single dose, including the amount of experimental aspects to this song that seriously does just blow you away.
“The Rescue” exposes more of the modern metalcore that can be heard within the track, maintaining more of a grasp of its melodic power that entices the listener to expose more of the creativity of both the old style metal and the relativity of new that can be mixed with such abstract sound that again, with the authenticity of it all strikes and leaves you wanting to know what the heck is going on.
When “Babylon” finally hits with the absolute chaos that has been building from this moment, onwards in time with the high intensity and the band’s sheer brutality, it creates a level of execution that Zao would be proud of. Spiralling through the track and maintaining the composition created has seriously hit hard on this track, its relentless domination of extreme proportions has allowed the band and Tiago’s solo near the end to absolutely shred, along with the dramatics that can truly be kept within ones memory.
Overall, Godman is one of the most experimental metal projects to date in 2019, with both abstracts of the old style of metal and the current measures that are heard today.
Christian Sullivan — 7/10