Godflesh
Godflesh


4.0
excellent

Review

by MrElmo USER (2 Reviews)
April 27th, 2013 | 31 replies | 2,093 views


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The begining of an underground legend. Armed with raw anger, power and DIY production comes the bleak eyesight of our mechanical beasts.

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

Welcome to Birmingham in 1988, young Justin Broadrick is barely a teenager after leaving Napalm Death and playing with Head of David but he's still got creativity and ideas to share. With his friend Ben Green on Bass and the Machines on drums he decides to create the artistic entity known as Godflesh. Heavily influenced by the likes of Swans, Killing Joke as well as Throbbing Gristle. Justin and Ben chose to channel their anger through a violent mechanical lo-fi sound. And so the same year sees the birth of Godflesh as a band and as an E.P.

The Godflesh E.P is structured, repetitive, cold, bleak, filthy and primal. The drumming of the machines pummel you into the ground like on "Spinebender", the bass and guitar are in search of texture and atmosphere and achieve in doing so by giving us the ambiance of an empty but functional factory, filled with only the rhythms of the machines and the racket of the pipes. The only human presence to be found is Justin's voice, ranging from angry and guttural like on the opener "Avalanche Master Song" or calmer and menacing like in the cold immensity of "Godhead". His vocals and repetitive lyrics manage to reinforce the already oppressive feel of the music and serves the machines more than the machines serves him.

Outside of such a crushing atmosphere, all of the riffs from both Justin and Ben are ridiculously tight and can just devour one's self-control and calm in a second, leaving you entranced and following their rules as with "Veins" or the furious "Weak Flesh" the two really throbbing pieces on the album and (like all the rest of the E.P) killer material in their own right. The rhythm section is strong and (as aformentioned) primal since it's under the careful hands of the machines. A longer composition like "Wounds" sees a song based on a few rhythm sets and the rest revolving next to it; creating an engaging track that keeps on progressing within the factory with the sounds of the manufacturing belt and human whispers around it.

Songs like "Streetcleaner II" (added as a bonus like "Wounds" but part of the same sessions and era) even show the more experimental side of Godflesh. Here taking a lot of influence from noise and power electronics bands with a recording played alongside a void of dissonance, dead slow rhythms and general eeriness; resulting in a tense and brooding piece that will make you certainly uneasy...

This record simply encompasses what makes Godflesh such a special band, they rose and denounced the horror of the industrial alienating world by becoming the infernal machine themselves. The S/T gives us a general view of what they would later accomplish as well as being a biting and dark first record that should be heard by any fan of Isis or heavy music in general. Here's to Godflesh: Masters of a new found heaviness that didn't solely rely on the power of your amps but also on the world that they can convey; in this case a world that has lost all hope and dreams, where every day is exactly the same...

Side fact: See the cover? It's a still from "Seconds" a pretty damn good horror flick from 1966; watch it if you're getting sick of all those remakes of horror movies.


user ratings (72)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
MrElmo
April 27th 2013



1950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Saw this didn't have a review, dunno if I'm qualified or good but the situation needed to change.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2013



5921 Comments


Review is decent, but could use a bit of proofreading.

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

MrElmo
April 27th 2013



1950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah going to edit it a bit

MrElmo
April 27th 2013



1950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks mate

evilford
April 27th 2013



21222 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Nice rev pos'd you rule m/

Digging: Krabathor - Cool Mortification

MrElmo
April 27th 2013



1950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

First pos :D

MrElmo
April 27th 2013



1950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers mate, this is a really high 4 imo and it just doesn't get enough love around here. Godhead, Ice Nerveshatter and Weak Flesh are m/ x5 and everything else is almost as killer!

CK
April 27th 2013



4888 Comments


Awesome! You know, Pure needs a review also... hint hint

KILL
April 27th 2013



70599 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sweet gota give this another listen its been a while

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2013



7317 Comments


Sweet review Elmo. This band is ace!

Digging: Dog Fashion Disco - Sweet Nothings

demigod!
April 27th 2013



43891 Comments


been meaning to check Godflesh for a while now

Digging: Black Flag - My War

Liam8VIII
April 27th 2013



86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Can't beat Godflesh hopefully the new album will live upto their back catalogue. Listening to Avalanche Master Song is like being ran over by a steam roller! Good review, pos'd! And I was going to mention about the 'Seconds' film from the cover - phenomenal film, still packs a punch nearly 50 years later. (Oh and you kept mispelling 'rhythm' too).

Liam8VIII
April 27th 2013



86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've been considering reviewing 'Us & Them' too, that ain't got a review! I did Selfless about a year ago...

MrElmo
April 27th 2013



1950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh didn't notice for rythm, cheers dude, will correct.
Good job on the selfless review btw and yeah I also hope the next album will rule but honestly with Justin being a consistently active artist that hates rushing his creation I'm sure we won't be dissapointed.

MrElmo
April 27th 2013



1950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

CK: yeah I migh plan on doing a pure review but in a long time, I need to relisten to Pure as well as streetcleaner to be able to compare and review it; plus I'm not sure what to say apart from awesome atm so it'll come in due time (at least I hope so).

Greg: cheers mate, glad I improved.

Demigod: you should mate, this is and pure are good starts, Streetcleaner of course afterwards; Oh and us and them is sooo badass and entertaining (listen to control freak now). In general Godflesh has a no-filler discography imo so you can't go wrong wherever you go.

evilford
April 27th 2013



21222 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

They have a couple of less stellar albums in the middle but Streetcleaner, pure and songs of love and hate are ace

evilford
April 27th 2013



21222 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

And all the eps rule

CK
April 27th 2013



4888 Comments


^^^Slavestate :D

MrElmo
April 27th 2013



1950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dunno, selfless still has the riffs and Go, spread your wings. (it has one or two lackluster tracks yes but is still damn good)
Us and them is seriously excellent
Hymns is the only I haven't heard.


ResidentNihilist
April 27th 2013



967 Comments


Fall of Because is better than this, mind you that's better than Streetcleaner. Okayish review like vodivoid said though, needs some work.



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