Godflesh
Hymns


4.0
excellent

Review

by Karl V.H. USER (85 Reviews)
January 6th, 2010 | 35 replies | 12,378 views


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Godflesh delivers its last industrial hymn.

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

Justin Broadrick is man with many faces. To prove this, he is worshiped as a founder of the entire grind genre, releasing Scum in 1987 with Napalm Death. Shortly after, Broadrick quit to form Godflesh and released the quintessential industrialized metal record that blew down doors in 1989 called Streetcleaner. After calling it quits with Godflesh in 2002, Broadrick amazed critics by totally reinventing himself again as a shoegaze, industrialized whatever-you-want-to-call-it band named Jesu. So what’s the point of reiterating Broadrick’s career in a generalized fashion? The point of the matter is to show you how diverse of an artist he has become over time and to also point out how his fanbase has followed and adapted to all of Broadrick’s many changing faces over the years. Unfortunately, if you are just beginning to discover this eccentric, yet focused artist, I fully believe everything else that comes after only reinforces why Godflesh was his best work to date.

Hymns, as a whole, almost feels like a summarization of everything this band has done right up to this point in time, incorporating the mechanical, staccato riffing of Streetcleaner and the jagged, memorable melodies and clean production of Selfless and Pure. What seems to be missing on the vast majority of Hymns are the noisy excursions of Us and Them, which isn’t a bad thing considering Broadrick still knows how to beat you senseless with his mid-tempo, guitar driven assault. Speaking of guitar driven, all thirteen cuts on here pertain to the riff with the odd clean passage popping up here and there where Broadrick revolves his clean vocals around. This is particularly effective in the post-metal effect of “Anthems”, allowing Broadrick to enter into a more spacious mindset which he dabbled with a bit on Selfless. What’s interesting about Broadrick’s power-chord use on Hymns is that he lets the chords ring out a lot more, letting the songs breathe instead of capturing that suffocating atmosphere that his guitar work created on Streetcleaner. Some fans may not take too kindly to this, but you might as well just face the reality of what Broadrick had planned in store for his next band. This could be a reflection of his first experimentations into Jesu, but it’s extremely unlikely that you could mistake the two bands; this is still Godflesh through and through. Want a good example? Listen to the crushing opener “Defeated” for a bi-polar example of old vs. new Godflesh. “Animals” really seems to benefit the most from his two amalgamated sides, coming out as a swinging, proggy beast and showing us that Broadrick has matured so much as an industrial artist.

Although, as great as most of Godflesh’s songs are, sometimes Broadrick’s vocals can become a little grating on the nerves, especially when the pounding music lets up and we find Broadrick repeating a crappy lyric over and over again as if he were trying to capture his audience in a type of trance (“Voidhead”). One particular track really stands out as an ear-sore, mostly for its terrible lyrics and bland song writing (“Vampires”); the filler track that always seems to mess up an amazing album. Another track that seems somewhat out of place is “Antihuman” that is simply a mix of Broadrick’s love for electronic experimenting and metal. It’s not that this is a horrible song, it’s that it feels out of place within the context of the whole.

Leave it to Broadrick to put out such a cold, mechanical album that jars, revolts and puts most industrial metal to shame. If you simply think that he has created another Streetcleaner as his last farewell, the man of many faces will show you how to build on a past sound that includes a few nifty little tricks up the sleeve. This would be the last calling of a now defunct industrial band and you couldn’t ask for a more competent musician to go out on a higher note. One last thing, take note of the end track on here called “Jesu”. A hint perhaps?



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user ratings (129)
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3.7
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
January 6th 2010



19296 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Meatplow and Willie, this review is for you two!

Not enough industrial around here lately, too much humping of indie and crap metal. Yet another killer album with no review on this site, jeez!

Digging: Downer - Downer

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 6th 2010



16299 Comments


Industrial is NOT my cup of tea. No sir.




good review, pos, keep it up, push a handicapped kid down the stairs, etc....

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

BallsToTheWall
January 6th 2010



44164 Comments


Was just listening to Songs of Love and Hate the other day. I like Broadrick's other project more quite a bit more though.

Wizard
January 6th 2010



19296 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I knew you would say that Crysis hahaha. And I would love to push handicapped kids down stairs.

Balls, this is Balls out!

BallsToTheWall
January 6th 2010



44164 Comments



Didn't particuarly love that album so probaly wont do more than youtube a song off this.

TheSpirit
January 6th 2010



17624 Comments


I really am not into godflesh, but good review as usual Karl

Digging: Venus Star - Nigredo Expulsion

Wizard
January 6th 2010



19296 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Didn't particuarly love that album so probaly wont do more than youtube a song off this.

Fair enough. Just thought you liked stuff with Balls hahahaha.

Thank you Indomitable.

I don't expect this to get much attention. Oh well, another reason why I just want to step back from reviewing but I can't. So much stuff on this site needs a review.

TheSpirit
January 6th 2010



17624 Comments


Agree! Since you reviewed this, and generally we have the same tastes i think i'll re-listen and see if i like it more perhaps

Wizard
January 6th 2010



19296 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Everything by Godflesh is worth listening to. I'll be honest, when I was getting into alot more metal, I bought this and wasn't fond of it. As years went by and I discovered more accessible stuff in the vein of this, I revisited it and was amazed.

Relinquished
January 6th 2010



24852 Comments


Godflesh delivers its last industrial hymn.

umm................. oh I get it.

Wizard
January 6th 2010



19296 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Corny, stupid lines, which comprises most of my reviews.

Mordecai.
January 6th 2010



8276 Comments


I'm really loving this band at the moment, especially Streetcleaner and Pure. Great review Wiz, pos.

jingledeath
January 7th 2010



7104 Comments


I'm not really into industrial but I'm always open to new things. Is the a good starting point or should I try out some other album first?

SteelErectedb4you8er
January 7th 2010



2616 Comments


There is a lot of good music that does warrant a review. I agree completely. You know, I just recently got into Godflesh from a friend of mine and this album is great. Jesu is completely different, but I like both.

Meatplow
January 7th 2010



5524 Comments


Awesome stuff man, great review.

Haven't heard this one, Streetcleaner, Pure and the Messiah EP rule face though. I should do a run through of the rest of their discography i've missed out on, i've been concentrating way too much on discovering some of the lesser known first wave industrial rather than some of the bands that came later. There is just too much to cover sometimes ;]

I'm not really into industrial but I'm always open to new things. Is the a good starting point or should I try out some other album first?


Streetcleaner has more of the feel of minimalist lo-fi metal to me and is often cited as a precursor to post metal, it might be a nice bridge for you. Give it time though, this band demands patience.

JAV
January 7th 2010



1923 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like this album a lot, Anthem and Jesu are my favorites.
It certainly isn't suffocating and paranoid like his earlier Godflesh stuff.
I think you left out a "to" in the first sentence of the last paragraph.

Wizard
January 7th 2010



19296 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks everybody for the feedback.

Jav, I forgot 'to' in that last sentence. Thanks for pointing that out.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2011



7346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm digging this album. Great stuff!

Digging: Kimbra - The Golden Echo

Liam8VIII
February 16th 2012



90 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"Hymns, as a whole, almost feels like a summarization of everything this band has done right up to this point in time" - definitley agree there, sir.

Wizard
February 16th 2012



19296 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dude.



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