GODFLESH [Special]

If Black Sabbath was reborn as an industrial rock band, they'd probably sound an awful lot like Godflesh. Therefore, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Godflesh hails from the same hometown as Sabbath, the tough steel-welding town of Birmingham, England. Although a few other members passed through the Godflesh ranks over the years, the band's undisputed leader was guitarist/singer Justin Broadrick, who was present since the group's inception. Broadrick was influenced early on by heavy metal, as well as such experimental groups as Can (and Lou Reed's 1975 noisefest, Metal Machine Music). As a result, Broadrick helped form grindcore pioneers Napalm Death at the age of 15. But after the release of their landmark 1987 debut recording, Scum, Broadrick quickly grew bored with the group's one-dimensional direction, and exited.

Broadrick's next project, Head of David, still followed in the same harsh grindcore path as his previous band; although he exchanged his guitar for a set of drums. But like Napalm Death, Broadrick quickly grew tired of Head of David; a telltale sign that his days were numbered with the group is when his bandmates supposedly took a liking to Whitesnake (!). After a pair of releases (1986's LP and 1988's Dustbowl), he departed Head of David, and sought to form a new group that would be even more musically extreme and experimental. That group would be Godflesh.

Teamed up with bassist Ben Green and an Alesis-16 drum machine (which was eventually replaced several years later by an actual human, Ted Parsons), Godflesh unleashed a pair of releases that sounded unlike anything at the time: the 1988 EP Godflesh and 1990's full-length, Streetcleaner. These releases may not sound as extreme nowadays, but Godflesh was one of the first bands to merge metal with industrial, helping to pave the way for countless copy-cat acts. A healthy buzz began to build around the band, especially in the music press, as many thought Godflesh would become the next big thing. More accessible industrial metal bands beat them to the punch however (Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, etc.), as Godflesh never broke out of "cult" status, despite issuing further EPs and full-lengths (1992's Pure, 1994's Selfless, 1996's Songs of Love and Hate, and 1999's Us and Them) throughout the '90s.

Godflesh's very first best-of compilation, In All Languages, was issued in 2001, yet the early 21st century saw Godflesh enter a tumultuous period, when Green exited the group shortly after the release of a new studio album, Hymns, the same year. Although a replacement bassist was announced (former Killing Joke/Prong member Paul Raven), Broadrick announced Godflesh's dissolution during the spring of 2002. As a final thank you to longtime fans, Broadrick decided to re-release an expanded edition of Godflesh's ultra-rare 1994 EP, Messiah, in 2003. In addition to his work with Godflesh, Broadrick headed two now-defunct record labels (Head Dirt and Lo Fibre); produced other artists; and also found time for a few side projects, such as Final and Techno Animal, among others.

With every ending, there is a new beginning and so it has begun again for GODFLESH. after signing on with the music conglomerate, music for nations, GODFLESH re-created itself in a sense to re-present itself to the world. ted parsons was officially brought in as the third member of the band and in august '01, GODFLESH presented 'hymns' for the masses to all praise. 'hymns' is sixth official release for the band and from the start, the band essentially picks up where 'songs...' left off. there was some sad news, as founder and long time member, g.c. (benny) green decided to hang up his strings after 13 years of musical mayhem. in his place, the band inducted paul raven, previously or KILLING JOKE/ PRONG fame. as an overall piece, 'hymns' is rock-oriented album, which refocuses the gears in the GODFLESH machine, while retaining its storied past. from the beginning rhythms of the crushing "defeated," GODFLESH proves once again that they are the benchmark and pedestal dwellers by which all nü-metal bands have spawned and still look up to. other verses which dictate to the masses come from "deaf, dumb & blind," "paralyzed," "tyrant, "for life," "animals," "antihuman," and "jesu". the fans are given an extra treat as well, as there is an untitled, unreleased song following "jesu," which is warmly reminiscent of "frail" from 'songs...' this is warm sounding album, as opposed to the decandent and cold releases of the past and while the past has been a great, one can only see good things to come in the future.

Unfortunately, GODFLESH will not be able to provide us with the love and energy that we have come to enjoy from them for over 12 years. just days before the band was the arrive in the u.s. to tour for 'hymns,' justin broadrick had a breakdown and cancelled the whole tour. many rumors circled as to the reasons, but ultimately, he felt that his heart was no longer in it anymore and disbanded GODFLESH. GODFLESH has been a true innovator and godfather of industrial metal and their influence can be seen everywhere in many of the bands of today. they will be sorely missed, but justin has vowed to resurface in his new project, which he calls JESU. hopefully, it won't be too long now. as for GODFLESH, justin has met his compatriot benny once again and they have stepped into the light as the beams blind all others looking on and the doors close for the last time.

[Web sites]

- Godflesh (1988)
- Streetcleaner (1989)
- Slateman (1991)
- Crush My Soul (1995)

- Us and Them (1997)
- Slavestate (1991)
- Messiah (2000)
- Pure (1992)
[Download all 4]

- Cold World (1991)
- Selfless (1994)
- Merciless (1994)
[Download all 3]

- Songs of Love & Hate (1996)
[Download _(-_0)_]
- Love and Hate In Dub (1997)
[Download _(-_0)_]
- Hymns (2001)
[Download _(-_0)_]
- Final - 1 (0000)
[Download _(-_0)_]
- Final - 2 (0000)
[Download _(-_0)_]
- VA-J_K_Broadrick_Remixes_&_Collaborations (0000)
[Download _(-_0)_]
- Godflesh In All Languages (2001) (Disc One) /(Disc Two)


One Response so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great music man! You should check out ICE, GOD and TECHNO ANIMAL too. They are collaborations between Justin Broadrick, Kevin Martin and Dave Cochrane! Also check out the band MAIN which featured Ben Green from GODFLESH on their first three releases "Hydra Calm", "Dry Stone Feed" and "Motion Pool". The main guy in MAIN, Robert Hampson, played guitar on three GODFLESH releases "Pure", "Cold World" and "Merciless" too.