Reviews : Albums : Godflesh, "Pure"

Godflesh, "Pure"

Godflesh were at an interesting crossroads in the early 90's. Their last two albums could not have been anymore disparate. Streetcleaner was an odyssey into dirge and destruction while Slavestate was bordered on club music, though not without a touch of nastiness just to remind you whom you were dealing with. However now they realized they had come to a fork in the road. Should they become an industrial/techno band or revert back to the industrial/metal dirge that typified their first two albums? Godflesh answered this question in one simple word: Yes. They decided to do both at the same time. Amazingly, it worked. I don't know if Justin Broadrick and Christian Green were geniuses, but together they created an unstoppable killing machine of musical experimentation. The bass on this album is comes back a bit from Slavestate though it isn't nearly as oppressive as it is on Streetcleaner. Broadrick's vocals are of course all over the place, generally between shouting and that eerie drone of his. The sole exception is the song Predominance where he breaks out the pitch shifter for old times sake. His guitar is also more reined in than usual, probably to compensate for the bass not being as forceful. The drum machine is there just to keep the beat, which it does just fine; then again it's a machine. They also supplement the weirdness of the album with many sound effects in the songs. The effects don't make the songs like they did on much of Slavestate but they do add an interesting quality to the record. This is what I love about this album, it somehow manages to walk the tightrope between crushingly heavy and experimental and make it seem easy. It is not my favorite Godflesh album but it is a great one. Few bands have ever been able to use the tension between experimentation and heaviness with any skill at all. These guys do it and make it sound simple. This alone is a good reason to own this. Getting your head kicked in is just a bonus.

Standout Tracks

   I Wasn't Born to Follow
   Baby Blue Eyes