Messiah (EP)

Last updated
Messiah
Godflesh Messiah.jpg
EP by
Released
  • 5 December 2000 (limited run)
  • 1 April 2003 (full release)
Recorded1994–1995
Genre Industrial metal
Length
  • 22:42(original EP)
  • 50:49(public releases)
Label
Producer
Godflesh chronology
Hymns
(2001)
Messiah
(2000)
Streetcleaner: Live at Roadburn 2011
(2013)
Original fan club cover
Original cover of Messiah (2000).jpg
Released in 2000

Messiah is an EP by industrial metal band Godflesh. The EP was originally recorded and mixed during 1994, and was released independently to members of the band's fan club on 5 December 2000 along with four remixes, [1] which were created in 1995. [2] After Justin Broadrick disbanded Godflesh, he reissued the material through Relapse Records on 1 April 2003.

Extended play musical recording longer than a single, but shorter than a full album

An extended play record, often referred to as an EP, is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is usually unqualified as an album or LP. Contemporary EPs generally contain a minimum of three tracks and maximum of six tracks, and are considered "less expensive and time-consuming" for an artist to produce than an album. An EP originally referred to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play (SP) and LP, but it is now applied to mid-length CDs and downloads as well.

Industrial metal is the fusion of heavy metal music and industrial music, typically employing repeating metal guitar riffs, sampling, synthesizer or sequencer lines, and distorted vocals. Prominent industrial metal acts include Ministry, Godflesh, KMFDM and Nine Inch Nails.

Godflesh English industrial metal band

Godflesh are an English industrial metal band from Birmingham, England. The group formed in 1982 under the title Fall of Because but did not release any complete music until 1988 when Justin Broadrick and G. C. Green (bass) renamed the band and decided to use a drum machine for percussion. Melding heavy metal with industrial music and later with electronic music and dub, Godflesh's innovative sound is widely regarded as a foundational influence on other industrial metal and post-metal acts and as significant to both experimental metal and extreme metal.

Contents

Background

Messiah was recorded at the same time as Godflesh's 1994 studio album, Selfless , [3] but only saw limited release until being reassembled and repackaged in 2003 after the band's dissolution. Regarding the EP, Broadrick said:

<i>Selfless</i> (album) 1994 studio album by Godflesh

Selfless is the third studio album by British industrial metal band Godflesh. It was released on 26 September 1994 in Europe and on 18 October 1994 through Earache and Columbia Records. Being the band's major-label debut, the record features a more conventional and rock-oriented sound compared to Godflesh's previous releases. It spawned two singles, "Xnoybis" and "Crush My Soul". The music video for the latter was directed by photographer Andres Serrano.

Basically, Messiah was something we recorded in, like, 1994. We recorded it around the time we did the album Selfless. And when we did Selfless—which was on Columbia in America—we did so much stuff at that time, so we had a glut of material and we wanted to be somewhat focused about it. We had this EP that we recorded at the same time, which was Messiah, and we just sat on the EP because Columbia wanted to do so much with the tracks on Selfless that we couldn’t really focus on this EP. And they seemed not to really understand the context anyway, for one reason or another. [2]

Columbia Records American record label; currently owned by Sony Music Entertainment

Columbia Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. It was founded in 1887, evolving from the American Graphophone Company, the successor to the Volta Graphophone Company. Columbia is the oldest surviving brand name in the recorded sound business, and the second major company to produce records. From 1961 to 1990, Columbia recordings were released outside North America under the name CBS Records to avoid confusion with EMI's Columbia Graphophone Company. Columbia is one of Sony Music's four flagship record labels, alongside former longtime rival RCA Records, as well as Arista Records and Epic Records.

Upon reviewing the shelved EP after touring in 1994, Broadrick and Green proved dissatisfied with the package. While going through the mixing process again in 1995 for the eventual 2000 fan club limited run, the development of the next studio album, Songs of Love and Hate (1996), took precedent, and Messiah was again forgotten. After Godflesh disbanded in 2002, Broadrick was asked by Relapse Records founder Matthew Jacobson, an apparent fan, to fully release the EP, which had become a sort of legendary collector's item. [2] Wanting to refine and perfect the package, Broadrick agreed and the EP saw full physical and digital distribution in 2003.

<i>Songs of Love and Hate</i> (Godflesh album) 1996 studio album by Godflesh

Songs of Love and Hate is the fourth studio album by English industrial metal band Godflesh. Released on 20 August 1996 through Earache Records, it is the band's first album to feature live drums, played by drummer Bryan Mantia, and a more traditional heavy metal sound, generally lacking the experimental and mechanical elements of previous releases. The cover is a photograph of Cancer Alley, Louisiana.

Relapse Records record label in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, United States

Relapse Records is an American independent record label based in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. It was founded by Matthew F. Jacobson in 1990. The label features a large number of grindcore, death metal, and sludge metal artists.

Music and composition

Musically, Messiah is more experimental than most Godflesh releases. Hip hop beats are more common than industrial ones, and uncommon instruments, like a sitar, are employed. [3] Jon Wiederhorn of Bandcamp called the EP a "hybrid of knock-out punch and dreamy-eyed dissonance." [4] Broadrick's vocals are unusually melodic on some tracks, and heavy metal guitar is largely absent from the EP, with the focus instead placed on Green's distorted bass. [4] Much like Godflesh's 1997 remix album Love and Hate in Dub and 1999 studio album Us and Them , Messiah incorporates drum and bass and dub aspects. [3] About the EP's content, Broadrick said it "was mainly focused around the 'Messiah' track itself—that is really the most important thing. Not to discount the other tracks at all, but that, we felt, was a really focused track—we actually feel it’s one of the best Godflesh tracks out there, really." [2]

Hip hop subculture including music, dance and graffiti

Hip hop or hip-hop, is a culture and art movement that began in the Bronx in New York City during the early 1970s. The origin of the word is often disputed. It is also argued as to whether hip hop started in the South or West Bronx. While the term hip hop is often used to refer exclusively to hip hop music, hip hop is characterized by nine elements, of which only four elements are considered essential to understand hip hop musically. The main elements of hip hop consist of four main pillars. Afrika Bambaataa of the hip hop collective Zulu Nation outlined the pillars of hip hop culture, coining the terms: "rapping", a rhythmic vocal rhyming style (orality); DJing, which is making music with record players and DJ mixers ; b-boying/b-girling/breakdancing (movement/dance); and graffiti. Other elements of hip hop subculture and arts movements beyond the main four are: hip hop culture and historical knowledge of the movement (intellectual/philosophical); beatboxing, a percussive vocal style; street entrepreneurship; hip hop language; and hip hop fashion and style, among others. The fifth element, although debated, is commonly considered either street knowledge, hip hop fashion, or beatboxing.

Industrial music is a genre of experimental music which draws on harsh, transgressive or provocative sounds and themes. AllMusic defines industrial music as the "most abrasive and aggressive fusion of rock and electronic music" that was "initially a blend of avant-garde electronics experiments and punk provocation". The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by members of Throbbing Gristle and Monte Cazazza. While the genre name originated with Throbbing Gristle's emergence in the United Kingdom, concentrations of artists and labels vital to the genre also emerged in Chicago.

Sitar plucked stringed instrument used in Hindustani classical music

The sitar is a plucked stringed instrument, originating from the Indian subcontinent, used in Hindustani classical music. The instrument flourished under the Mughals, and it is named after a Persian instrument called the setar. The sitar flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries and arrived at its present form in 18th-century India. It derives its distinctive timbre and resonance from sympathetic strings, bridge design, a long hollow neck and a gourd-shaped resonance chamber. In appearance, the sitar is similar to the tanpura, except that it has frets.

Release

The original fan club version of Messiah was released on 5 December 2000 through Broadrick's own label, Avalanche Recordings, and was limited to 1,000 copies with different artwork than the final EP. [5] This was the first release from Avalanche. [6] On 1 April 2003, Messiah was distributed as a CD by Relapse Records, and on 5 February 2008, the EP was released as three 2xLP vinyl editions (one with unique artwork, one with clear records, one with white records, and all limited to 1,000 copies each). [7]

Avalanche Recordings is an independent record label, founded by English musician Justin Broadrick in 1999. It is named after Broadrick's own recording studio, Avalanche Studios, and mainly releases Justin Broadrick's side projects.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [8]

Due to the convoluted and often limited nature of Messiah's releases, few publications reviewed the EP. Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic said that Messiah features "four intensely pulverizing cuts" that "easily qualify as vintage Godflesh." [8] Chris Ayers of Exclaim! wrote, "ultimately, Messiah offers an unadulterated peek into Broadrick's mind before those albums were even ideas," speaking of Love and Hate in Dub and Us and Them. [3] Paul Sinclair of The Skinny described the EP's title track as a "cult classic". [9]

Track listing

All songs written by Justin Broadrick and G.C. Green.

Original 1994 EP
No.TitleLength
1."Messiah"6:29
2."Wilderness of Mirrors"5:56
3."Sungod"6:23
4."Scapegoat"3:54
Total length:22:42
2000/2003 bonus tracks
No.TitleLength
5."Messiah" (Dub)6:35
6."Wilderness of Mirrors" (Dub)6:08
7."Sungod" (Dub)6:28
8."Scapegoat" (Dub)8:53
Total length:50:49

Note

Personnel

Godflesh

Technical personnel

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References

  1. 1 2 Messiah (CD liner notes). Godflesh. Relapse Records. 2003. RR 6564-2. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Interview: Justin Broadrick (Godflesh/Jesu), 2003". That Was Then/This Is Yesterday. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Ayers, Chris. "Godflesh – Messiah". Exclaim! . Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  4. 1 2 Wiederhorn, Jon. "A Brief History of Post-Metal". Bandcamp . Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  5. Messiah (fan club edition) (CD liner notes). Godflesh. Avalanche Recordings. 2000. AREC01. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  6. de Brauw, Trevor. "Interview: When Pelican Met Jesu". Self-Titled. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  7. Messiah (vinyl edition) (vinyl liner notes). Godflesh. Relapse Records. 2008. RR 6754-1. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  8. 1 2 Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Messiah – Godflesh". AllMusic . Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  9. Sinclar, Paul. "Godflesh Live Review: Summerhall, Edinburgh, 20 Jul". The Skinny . Retrieved 17 December 2018.