Review: “Not that Godly” by Godgiven

After a pair of EPs and a demo since forming in 2012 you might not have expected 2021 to be the year that seasoned musicians from Budapest, Hungary known as Godgiven chose to release their debut album “Not That Godly” but then is there ever a good time? The album has been in the works for approaching four years, the band having chosen to slowing down their touring activities in 2017 in order to write it and then gone through some line up changes before finally being able to begin recording in 2019. From there a tale of misfortune begins with technical issues and lost tracks leading to a more drawn out process that they expected. But guitarist and vocalist Andras Gyorffy (ex-Tyler, ex-FFZ, ex-Xtigmatic), guitarist Attila Racz (ex-Subliminal Merger, Eagle has Landed), bassist Attila Keszthelyi (ex-Replugged) and drummer Mate Korb (ex-All Falls Down, ex-Witch Bone Garden, ex-Komodo) managed to keep their cool and with the assistance of Music Producer and Harmed guitarist Gabor Toth at Ghostship Recordings and Vocal Producer Balint Csongor (Subscribe, Useme) they’ve managed to get it all together for the summer.

Putting a genre tag on Godgiven is not something anyone is going to be able to do and cover all bases; the roots of their sound are in late 90’s and early 2000’s Alternative Metal however they have moments of Groove Metal, Punk and Hardcore that rise to the surface at various points. They play fast and loose with “Not That Godly” sounding like the band are just going for it in a rehearsal space as live with each track recorded as a single take in a similar way to albums like “Southern Revelation” by My Ruin, and that make it a real fun record that will make you crack a smile and want to get into the pit. “The Business Show” has plenty of gang chant moments that will have fans screaming along while raising a pint, the breakdown and scream section is phenomenal. “Museic Clown” then brings the funky basslines and a part spoken word vocal that is reminiscent of Snot, something of a nostalgia trip to the early 2000’s which benefits from modern production value and sounds fresh, crisp and heavy while also sounding raw. Andras Gyorffy’s vocal style is similar to Tony Jelencovich of Transport League in terms of accenting and in each of the cuts here he singings, screams, rants and raves his way through the lyrics with an unhinged quality that is fiercely addictive; he knows boundaries and there is no holding back, the variety is a real Pandora’s box of ideas that is the mirror image of the lyrics.

It should be noted that rhythm section of the band has changed since the album was recorded with drummer Norbert Fejes and bassist Peter Molnar performing here and their skills should not be overlooked. The group vocals and rapid fire riffs of “Genocide” combined with full throttle almost tribal drum patterns given the cut a mid-career Sepultura feel that adds fuel to a fire which is already raging out of control with arguably the heaviest single track of the record. “Strayght” also has some almost tribal fills mid track after its incendiary hardcore punk influenced opening while the schizophrenic vocals of “Membrain” are matched by the razor sharp riffs that impress; but not just the riffs, the tone, the speed and the raw energy of it is what makes it. It’s not particularly technical, but it doesn’t need to be because it sounds like a pack of rabid dogs who have been whipped up into a frenzy by some low hanging offering of food that is just out of reach. The bands decision to twist words from the songs in forming their titles is a curious one, maybe there is something more to that than meets the eye. There is an uplifting vibe to “Self is Team” which pushes an envelope of self worth and belief lyrically in a way which mirrors that of London Metalcore Kings Confessions of a Traitor to solid effect before the dirgy riffs of “Poorgatory” create a fitting finale that bookends the album with a summary piece. Don’t sleep on this, it’s a much needed piece of really enjoyable Metal that doesn’t take itself too seriously and for that we salute Godgiven [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Doggiven
  2. Gerontocrap (ft. Gabor Toth of Harmed)
  3. The Business Show (ft. Balazs Medve of Hit by a School Bus)
  4. Museic Clown (ft. Balint Csongor of Subscribe, Useme)
  5. Ramp-age
  6. Strayght
  7. Membrain
  8. Geocide (ft. Mauro “AldoHC” Garbati of Mud, Gabor Toth of Harmed, Balazs Medve of Hit by a School Bus)
  9. Self is Team
  10. Poorgatory (Gabor Toth of Harmed and Balazs Medve of Hit by a School Bus)

Not that Godly” by Godgiven is out 11th June 2021

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