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
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
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
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.