on 5 April 2005
Often cited as Godflesh's finest hour, and with good reason, this album is the perfect fusion of their formative influences - extreme metal, the spiky angularity and dissonance of post-punk/No Wave (albeit moving at a far slower tempo than most of those bands), together with the caustic samples and pounding, primitive drum machines that formed the backbone of the 80's Industrial scene.
Although later albums, such as 'Selfless' and 'Songs of Love and Hate', unfortunately smoothed down these sharp edges for a more streamlined style, largely jettisoning the discordance and harsh samples in favour of more bland, straighforward metal riffage, this is one of the most bleak, corrosive records of the 80's, combining sludgebass riffs, howling feedback, Dark Ambient soundscapes and the omnipresent mechanised beats.
Unlike most so-called Industrial Metal acts, this genuinely connects with the roots of 'Industrial' (bands like Swans and SPK). Fans of MOR, corporate 'alt-rock' bands like NIN or KMFDM (whose lightweight, poppy sound is closer to Bon Jovi than it is to Swans), may find this record too caustic - this is not angst-as-lifestyle-choice/fashion-statement Goth posturing for the PVC set, but genuine, lacerating abjection and nihilism.
Although there were occasional flashes of the old fire on later Godflesh records, Justin Broadrick's best work during the 90's was to be found on side projects like Techno Animal, and particularly Ice, whose 'Bad Blood' album recaptures some of the spirit of this record.
on 1 February 2001
Following the release of Napalm Deaths influential 'Scum' album in the mid 1980s, the band underwent a number of personnel changes. The most notable members to exit the now legendary brummie grindcore outfit were bassist/vocalist Nick Bullen and a punk guitarist called Justin K. Broadrick.
By the late 1980s Nick was working fulltime with Napalm Death drummer Mitch Harris on experimental outfit Scorn. Justin K. Broadrick was by now working on his own project along with his ex- Fall of Because bandmates G.C Green and Paul Neville. This band became known as Godflesh.
After the release of the bands self-titled EP Godflesh, it was time to get to work on the first real Godflesh album. The line-up became Justin K. Broadrick on guitars/vocals and ex-Fall of Because man G.C Green on bass. As has become a recurrent theme with Godflesh there is no drummer. Instead dull moody rhythms comes from a drum machine adding to the oppresive feel.
In May 1989 at Soundcheck studios in Birmingham, Godflesh set to work on the first side of Streetcleaner. Later that month the band started working on the second side of the album at Square Dance studios in Derby this time with Paul Neville bolstering the line-up as a second guitarist. With the cover-art taken from the disturbing yet visually stunning film 'Altered States' you know that your in for a rough ride as you place the CD in the player and press play.
From the bleak yet catchy opening track Like Rats to the more darker and sinister tracks like 'Christbait Rising' 'Pulp' 'Streetcleaner' and 'Wound' this album is a complete classic. Each song is filled with guitar feedback, screeches and a pounding bass all the time driven by the mechanical rattle of the drum machine as it keeps rhythm.
Alot of people have said this is their peak. However Godflesh have been consistent in producing great albums. If you like this then check out 'Songs of Love and Hate' and 'Us and Them' which are two albums that are classics in their own rights. Also worth looking at are;
'Pure' 'Slateman/Cold World' 'Selfless/Merciless'
Side-projects to check out are;
'Sweet Tooth' 'Ice' 'Techno Animal' 'Head of David' 'Fall of Because' 'Final'
Best of all they're British and one of the genuine innovators of the last ten years. Along with Napalm Death, Carcass and Cathedral, Godflesh are an example that this country can produce bands that can play a bit if need be.
on 3 March 2011
If there is one thing I had to say to sum up this album it would be intensely moving. The album is one of the heaviest albums of all time but not by screaming and thrashing guitars, their music is powerful and raw, their pulsating beats, mixed in with bass and eerie guitar riffs are a superb mixture of a type of music that has never graced this earth before. When I play songs like Pulp, Christbait Rising and Devastator I can almost feel the earth's crater rumble. Their music is art and I'm not surprised Godflesh have influenced big bands like Fear Factory and Korn.
Their music resembles the end of the world. It's very apocalyptic and intense throughout. The crushing riffs and almost demonic vocals are just perfect and are pinpoint accurate. The new re-mastered version is a great buy and worth a buy, even if you own the original version. I bought this immedatly even after owning the original for years.
Godflesh are one of the most important and interesting bands of all time. JK Broadrick is an artist and a true musician. His music and Godflesh are like nothing I have ever heard before. This album must be owned by a true metal fan.
This album is a 5/5 no question about it.
on 29 June 2008
This is basically the soundtrack to Travis Bickle's tortured mind!
An insane drum machine, tortured vocals and an overwhelmingly distorted bass guitar plus a selection of samples & ambient, nightmarish sounds.
Lyrics are as nihilistic as they are misanthropic and this is possibly too ugly for fans of the much cleaner NIN or Rammstein. Even Ministry sound produced by Bob Rock, compared to this apocalyptic score from the godfathers of British Industrial music.
It can sound a bit repetitive, but that is one of Industrial music's main
IF you ever invite a girl round and for some reason you need to make excuses, then put this on your CD player - Trust me, it works!
The perfect companion piece to David Lynch's Eraserhead!
on 23 July 2011
Crushing, industrialish, lo-fi doomy awesomeness. I always loved the first couple of tracks but it really took a long time for me to really appreciate the album as a whole. It's an acquired taste but when you get there it packs an incredible punch. Unique, amazing and properly heavy sounds.
on 9 March 2007
another reviewer here uses the word seminal and i have to agree with that,im reviewing this album in 2007 and of course if one listened to this album on the year of its release i 1989 then im sure that word would have been used as well along with an expression that could well read what the heck is this as this is the very beginning of the sound known as industrial metal and the sound is both fierce and apocalyptic.
Some will say that this album is as heavy as it gets ,i say no to that,this album is heavy but alot of metal has been played since this so this album is more accessible than you may believe ,at times the vocals are gutteral,at times more clear,there are similiarities to barney from naplam deaths vocals but that should be no surprise as justin was once in napalm death but godfleshs sound isnt really like napalm deaths,it is unique for its day,slow,vicious,yet inspiring,the band clearly influenced fear factory in so many ways including the way burton c bell sings,the album is filled with tracks that alienate and scare and at times a trance like status is achieved as the songs delve into a world of darkness,key tracks here include 'christbait rising''life is easy' and one of the few faster tempo tracks that you could have a sing along too with 'dead head'.'locust furnace' is also an excellent track,this is an album that wont suit all,in some ways this album doesnt sound that exciting when you consider the bands of today but this album deserves respect and repeated listens opens up a few doors and you will understand that this is a very good album.
on 23 June 2006
The other reviews describe the music better than I could - as one mentions, this is real "industrial" music, in that the music recreates the dark atmospheres of inner cities and urban decay. It is harsh listening, but the throbbing drums carry the music along in a way that means the listener is not totally alienated. Oddly enough I was introduced to this LP via my drum teacher, who thrust it in to my hands in about 1990 proclaiming that it was amazing and he had heard nothing like it. Thank you Steve!
You should buy this cd because unlike may early albums, this is not the sound of a band finding its way - this is a firm statement of intent, fully formed and possibly due to its simplicity, something that even many years on, sounds totally modern.
on 15 March 2014
Been meant to buy this for a long time but just haven't got round to it. Saw them live (along with Neurosis @ the Forum in 2012). It is an essential purchase in the genre. Very heavy.
on 28 February 2010
amazing heavy tunes ... as good as seeing them live at planet X in liverpool ..
on 28 November 1999
Godflesh's heaviest record. Dark and crushing. Plus some bonus track