Only Heaven

Young Gods

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Only Heaven Review

by Ned Raggett

Long lumped in with the industrial crowd due to label associations more than anything else, the Young Gods ultimately remain unclassifiable; while signing with Interscope meant some American marketing in the wake of Nine Inch Nails' huge breakthrough, the Gods remained their own unique outfit on this, their best album yet. Ranging from the brief, minimal sonic fragments like "Outside" and "Gardez les Esprits" to the acoustic (!) lament "Child in a Tree" to amped-up, overdriven post-techno devastations such as "Strangel" and the moody but charging "Speed of Night," the Gods create a consistently listenable album, demonstrating their considerable ability via variety while always providing songs to hum, sing, or just mentally mosh your head off to. "Kissing the Sun," a reworking of old R&B hooks like "Gasoline Man" but taken to practically apocalyptic levels both musically and lyrically, balances nearly a cappella verses from Treichler with crunching riffs that sound like Metallica played by Robotech battlecraft. The centerpiece, the 17-minute "Moon Revolutions," takes the epic aspirations of "Summer Eyes" one step further, starting with a typical enough Gods punch before settling into an unsettling ambient midsection that slowly fades back into a pummeling, driving conclusion going at full tilt. Sounding like nothing else recorded that year, Only Heaven more than maintains the unassailable reputation of the Gods as a constantly innovative, forward-thinking band.

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