Godflesh Pure
Grade
A
 
Also Try
Ministry
Head of David

Godflesh is a two-piece from Birmingham, England that rather than take a more traditional route with their music, tend to create a new style and presence with each new album. As a part of their formula of heavy dub bass, bitter guitars and machine-created drums, Godflesh tends to explore other genres of music (jungle, techno, dance) and deconstruct them to the barest form, rebuilding them into useful vessels for Godflesh to place their intense and dark vision upon.

Musically, Pure explores a wide range of style and sound, while managing to stay within a certain spectrum of tone. A number of tracks show a strong industrial/grindcore metal influence strung throughout the song. The opening track, Spite, is an acidic piece that starts with an upbeat rhythm which draws you into one of the more "mainstream" and accessible tracks, showing a solid influence of grindcore (which isn't too surprising considering the band's roots).

Predominance is a menacing track that starts in a whisper and then pounds itself home, only pulling back for rare moments and then managing to power itself forward again. On the other end, Love, Hate (Slugbaiting) is a slowly depressive track that's passionate in its construction. For every piece that seems to be upbeat in delivery, like Mothra, there's another, like Montramata, that takes a slower, more plodding pace to bring about its point.

Broadrick's vocals play an integral part of the music, but not as a tool for delivering a message, but more as another layer of sound. His vocals range from bitter punkish yelling, harsh barking to an almost melodic tone in tracks like Baby Blue Eyes and Don't Bring Me Flowers. While at no time does he seem to hold a high level of vocal range, his presence in the songs seems to parallel the mood of the songs well.

While mechanical in nature, the programmed beats provide an interesting balance of sound to the more organic guitars and bass. And, instead of retreading the same beats over and over again, each track is layered with multiple connecting beats that provide a good imitation of a real drummer. While some effort to provide more industrial and techno-style beats are evident, it can not be ignored Godflesh's tendency towards military style rhythm, as in I Wasn't Born To Follow and Pure.

It can not be ignored that the finishing track Pure II provides an impressive end to this album. Running at 21 minutes long, this ambient soundscape may catch most listeners unaware. Those used to the more experimental works of Lull and Main should find this a fine piece that moves along with a good pace while providing a variety of sounds merged into one oppressive work.

Godflesh is not for everyone. Their music is written with a passion an intensity that may be mistaken for brutal and heavy-handed at times, but underneath, you'll find layers of sound meticulously pieced to create a group of songs that work together nicely as an impressive progression of the band.

- - Vane

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