Jul 2023 05

Album CoverGodflesh
Album: Purge
Category: Industrial / Metal
Label: Avalanche Recordings
Release Date: 2023-06-09
Author: Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)


After so many years of development, it can be a risky prospect for any band to home in on one specific point in its history, seeking to hopefully refine the ideas originally explored. Such is the case with Purge, in which Godflesh returns to the eroded foundations of 1992’s Pure, when Justin K. Broadrick and G.C. Green first began infusing their monolithic brand of industrial/metal with the rhythmic rubble of hip-hop and psychedelic ambience. What’s perhaps most alarming is how successfully the duo achieves this revisitation without being bogged down by the trappings of nostalgia or losing the primitive and primal minimalism that has been at the core of the band’s modus operandi.

The opening tracks set the stage as “Nero,” “Land Lord,” and “Army of Non” all submerge the listener in that signature Godflesh distortion, Green’s thunderous bass resonating with an almost funky vibrance amid the breaking beats while Broadrick’s barks and growls are persistently matched by his simple yet evocative riffs, traces of vocal samples buried in the mix to evoke that early ‘90s hip-hop vibe. Of course, these three songs, along with the monochromatic cover art, immediately conjure memories of Pure, but things soon shift toward even murkier waters. “The Father” bears a closer resemblance to Selfless as the reverberant sustain of Broadrick’s impassioned voice and cries of chilly pads engulf the listener in a dreamlike haze, while the faster tempo and whiplash snares of “Permission” recall the band’s experiments with drum & bass. And then we have the menace and monstrosity of “Mythology of Self” like a beast ravening for bloody delights, it’s penetrative and insistent tone exceeded only by the mechanical and apocalyptic despair of the concluding “You are the Judge the Jury and the Executioner,” Broadrick’s still and despondent voice resounding amid squeals of guitar feedback and Green’s chugging bass.

Written in the wake of his diagnosis of PTSD and autism, the album is aptly titled as it presents Broadrick’s most personal lyrical material yet, searching for relief and ultimate transcendence from a lifetime of negativity and isolation. Such has been the purpose of Godflesh since its foundation, and so Purge may offer little-to-no surprises for anyone familiar with the band’s music. However, Broadrick and Green are long removed from the youthful desire for acceptance or recognition… that is, assuming they ever sought that… this writer suspects not. Instead, Purge offers the pure (pun only partially intended) and perfected essence of Godflesh.
Track list:

  1. Nero
  2. Land Lord
  3. Army of Non
  4. Lazarus Leper
  5. Permission
  6. The Father
  7. Mythology of Self
  8. You are the Judge the Jury and the Executioner

Godflesh/Justin K. Broadrick
Website (Godflesh), Website (Justin K. Broadrick), Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Instagram
Avalanche Recordings
Website, Bandcamp, YouTube

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