I must admit to a tinge of favouritism with Godsticks; their take on the progressive rock scene found its way into my consciousness in 2009 with their eponymous self-titled EP. Their sporadic but entertaining and informative mailings meant I kept up with them through their debut full-length album, Spiral Vendetta, and the follow up The Envisage Conundrum (the latter worth the entrance fee for ‘Caught In A Bind’ alone). 2015 saw them continue exploring their weightier side with Emergence and Faced With The Rage in 2017.
So, it was with anticipation that I hit play on their latest opus, Inescapable. This is without doubt the best yet. It is heavier but without losing their deft touches of skill and inventiveness. Don’t try to pigeonhole them with other prog bands, as they have a wider and more thoughtful approach than many of that genre.
Opener ‘Denigrate’ is a fascinating melange of metal and melodic prog that embodies their experimental but always rewarding approach – it’s a bit like Heep tunefully done by Metallica and a brilliantly executed guitar solo to boot. ‘Victim’ supplies six minutes of varied styles and melodies as it builds toward a superb guitar led central section. The epic nine minute ‘Change’ is the inevitable highlight as it build and builds to deliver a true rock masterpiece: there’s heavy riffs, time changes that baffle, as well as melodies that carry you and the song throughout. Another standout amongst many has to be the complex and yet accessible ‘Numb.’ It has such simple complexity from the first note to the last. ‘Time’ closes the album with a clever bass/guitar riff that leads into a slightly poppier verse and chorus but still has bite.
This is another superb album from some very talented and creative instrumentalists, so if you like you rock heavy, proggy and metallic sounds then look no further. One word of advice: listen to this more than once before you decide or you will miss the nuances that each instrument brings to every song.
Inescapable will be released on the 7th of February via Kscope.