Godflesh
Pure


4.5
superb

Review

by Karl V.H. USER (84 Reviews)
June 10th, 2014 | 23 replies | 744 views


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The sophomore high

8 of 8 thought this review was well written

Godflesh needs no introduction at this point in time given their hugely overarching influence on everything known to man that combined lock-step beats with the slow, crushing sounds of down-tuned riffing and a sprinkling of UK power-electronics. Justin Broadrick (main vocals, guitar, programming) and G.C. Green would go on to inspire everything from industrial metallers Fear Factory and most of the nu-metal electronic bands (too many to name) all the way to lighting a fire under the proverbial bum of post-metal titans Neurosis and their cousins in Isis and Cult of Luna. What really make these tid-bit facts so much bigger is that they did it on the strength of their debut album Streetcleaner. But let’s be honest here, most bands who come into a scene with a genre smashing album as large as Godflesh’s debut often times put out their best and most refined quality music later on in their career but are largely overshadowed by their “most influential work”. Pure marked a sudden end to an era – a stroke of genius that kept the form of industrial juggernaut Streetcleaner – and created what should be considered Godflesh’s magnum opus in their expansive discography.

In 1991, Broadrick and Green released an E.P. called Cold World that was a departure from the toxic industrial factory of Streetcleaner and would set down the foundation for what would become Pure. With a much needed injection of emotion/ melody from that crucial E.P., it was the cathartic surge that really made Pure pulsate with a bit more substance and helped smooth out the jagged edges of their influential debut. Right off the bat, ‘Spite’ manages to mingle in an infectious, danceable beat with that classic staccato guitar riffing Broadrick has leaned on for most of his career. Tracks such as “I Wasn’t Born To Follow”, “Predominance”, and “Pure” are excellent examples of how dynamic Godflesh had become from one album to another showcasing a more varied approach to the rhythms and harder hitting sections under a light not cast from the cold-steel hands of the makers industrial machine-like traits. Broadrick belts out his vocals over these melodically more inclined tracks but it still sounds like a Godflesh patented sound through and through. Leave it to “Monotremata” to really test your patience with a crawling riff that sounds an awful lot like the chugging mechanics of early Swans or most other post-metal bands but with Broadricks subtle guitar tricks – squeals, noodling, off tune chugging – these fine tuned touches play into the chugging guitar parts as if he’s making the riffs come to life. “Don’t Bring Me Flowers” is what I feel the turning track is on Pure where the record really gets interesting. Not only are Broadrick’s croons more noticeably up-front, the drive in the tempo and atmosphere seem to have picked up in perfect duelling fashion making for a tense and anxiety ridden tune. By the time the twenty-one minute “Pure II” comes along, you might as well turn out the lights, close your eyes and be taken away by a sonic soundscape that can only be described as being dragged dead down the dingiest alleyway in the middle of a cold February night drizzle; UK power electronics at their best.

With the rhythm attack and riffs upfront and the hard charging grunts of Broadrick pushed way into the mix, the album is more or less a lesson in audio instrumentation and less about actual songs and singles. Pure is and will always be one of the most criminally overlooked albums in Godflesh’s/ the entire industrial genres history but it seems to be a well-kept secret which further engrains albums like these into the realm of cult-status. Even if you take away its significance within the industrial genre, Pure holds up as not only an example of a sophomore high but a rare feat in how something so dirt-greasy could be turned over into something polished and tuneful.



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user ratings (170)
Chart.
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excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
June 10th 2014



19208 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Finally!

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

MO
June 10th 2014



18217 Comments


fuck yes m/

Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

TheBarber
June 10th 2014



1630 Comments


Oh god it's finally there

Digging: Lilys - Eccsame The Photon Band

evilford
June 10th 2014



21118 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

omg yes insta pos

Digging: Demilich - 20th Adversary of Emptiness

TheBarber
June 10th 2014



1630 Comments


Great review pos, love how you talked about Pure II since it's sometimes cast aside (though Love/Hate
(Slugbaiting) is for me it's harsher superior) even though it sometimes was almost too dense of a read
in the second paragraph.

Where Streetcleaner was a burning factory in the night with it's employees melting during over-time,
Pure was an empty one functioning alone and alongside the ashy fog surrounding it. What a fucking
awesome sophomore

Wizard
June 10th 2014



19208 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I could have just written something around the lines of "Broadrick gives me a boner" or "Fuck you if you don't love Pure" and it would have crashed the site hahahaha.

But seriously, my favourite Godflesh album.

Wizard
June 10th 2014



19208 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Barber. On this line alone, you should have written the review:

Where Streetcleaner was a burning factory in the night with it's employees melting during extra-time, Pure was an empty one functioning alone and alongside the ashy fog surrounding it. What a fucking awesome sophomore



evilford
June 10th 2014



21118 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/soundoff.php?albumid=9416

TheBarber
June 10th 2014



1630 Comments


cheers! I've been thinking of reviewing it many times but was never able to manage it when I tried (a
struggle with words), It sure is a difficult album to write about and you pulled it off well dude

evilford
June 10th 2014



21118 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

seriously tho great review. "I wasn't born to follow" is probably my fav song on this

evilford
June 10th 2014



21118 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

this was probably the album on the site that needed this review the most goddamn I am so happy right now

TheBarber
June 10th 2014



1630 Comments


"http://www.sputnikmusic.com/soundoff.php?albumid=9416"

bump'ed!

R6Rider
June 10th 2014



4467 Comments


Instead of "extra-time" how about using "over-time"?

Still gotta give this a proper listen along with all of their other albums.

Digging: Rort - Warpath

TheBarber
June 10th 2014



1630 Comments


yep, over-time it is

evilford
June 10th 2014



21118 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

celebratory jam!

BMDrummer
June 10th 2014



3919 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Beat me to it, but I was going to do Us and Them anyway. Have a pos

Digging: Svffer - Lies We Live

TheCrocodile
June 10th 2014



212 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was perhaps the most needed review on this site. At this moment you're the best person on the face of the Earth. Pos.

Chortles
June 10th 2014



17892 Comments


nice one dude, i gotta hear this. i've only heard streetcleaner and its godly obv

Digging: Yo La Tengo - Electr-O-Pura

Sound
June 10th 2014



3887 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Mothra, I Wasn’t Born to Follow and Predominance are pure win (pun intended).

Wizard
June 10th 2014



19208 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The hyperbolic comments are making me blush guys hahahaha.

I always dedicate my reviews to someone and this one goes to all the peeps on this site that know who the fuck Godflesh are and why Justin Broadrick is the most criminally underrated musician on the face of this earth.

evilord, why "based wiz"? I don't get it.



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