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Godflesh

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. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Decline & Fall

Comments

its Kentucky Fried Chicken sold hamburgers they would probably taste a lot like McDonalds. then it should come as no surprise.... .
lstrickland2 0 1 2
the first line of this bio is absolutely ridiculous
Agreed...Flo w e r s is amazing
Flowers on Merciless ep my favorite song
Great stuff. I remember hearing Streetcleane r when it first came out. I love that album.
I saw Godflesh Live once. They were the opening act and we were late to the show so they were already playing. I'll never forget the insane power eminating from the arena as we approached. Its almost indescribabl e . This load rumbling-boo m i n g echo. Awesome.
Gotta love that godflesh
love godflesh! love hearing their progression from abrasive industrial metal to drum and bass droning industrial metal; then i put on some jesu.
@luckybongo guttershock. c o m
Been a huge fan ever since I heard streetcleane r when it was released.I want to know wher I can get T-shirts by dibanded bands???Mile s f r o m n o w h e r e
I think Godflesh had a sound all by themselves. I really dont think you can compare them to anyone. As well as Jesu and just about anything Justin puts out. I've been a huge fan of this band since the early 90's. I can listen to them today and hear things I missed 20 years ago.
i like it
barden-shb
I am amazed at the abscence of swans accolades here. Massive gaps were bridged by this band and the groundwork for Godflesh was layed. That being said, i would put Justin Broadricks body of work against that of Ministry, Big Black and just about anyone else mentioned in this string of comments.
Pandora is leaving albums out, or the record labels don't let them play them. Where's selfless, merciless, hymns, songs of love and hate?
in a class all thier own. for along time nobody did what godflesh did. ==(;-{ each to thier own style,(throb i n g grisstle,big black...)
Godflesh is the apocalypse with a beat. I could dance to that :)
What about the album "selfless"? Seems like Pandora always leaves out an album.
That's all good and well industrialso n i c e c h o , but Throbbing Gristle came out with The Second Annual Report in '77 and revived the long thought dead genre of industrial or "noise" music if you will.
The argument your making is valid, yet pointless, and I hope you can learn from this and focus on the music; not the creators' esoteric qualities...
industrialso n i c e c h o
Ministry's "Land of Rape & Honey" came out 2 years before "Streetclean e r " , Big Black's "Rich Man's 8-track" & "Songs About F**king" a year before that even, both were more influential to the confluence of Metal, Industrial, & Punk/postpun k than Godflesh...G o d f l e s h never "broke out of "cult" status" cause they were not pushing a wave, they were riding it (not to knock'em, but get the facts straight)... n o w early Napalm Death...THAT was influential.
Can-influenc e d ? ? ? That's enough for me!

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