|Studio album by|
|Released||13 April 1992|
|Length||48:30(vinyl and cassette releases)|
|Singles from Pure|
Pure is the second studio album by English industrial metal band Godflesh. It was released on 13 April 1992 through Earache Records. Though originally labeled only as industrial metal, the album has since been recognised as one of the earliest post-metal releases. Musically, Pure is rhythmically mechanical and features harsh guitars, with protracted songs and an abundance of deliberate repetition. Like much of Godflesh's music, it is regarded as particularly heavy and aggressive, and these elements helped it gain critical acclaim.
Pure was supported by the promotional single of and music video for "Mothra", and the 1991 EP Cold World was recorded in the same sessions as the album. In 2013, Godflesh performed the majority of Pure live at Roadburn. Despite dissatisfaction with the production quality of the album, Godflesh frontman Justin Broadrick considers it one of the band's most honest releases. In 2012, Fact ranked Pure as the 64th best album of the 1990s.
After the release of Godflesh's first album, 1989's Streetcleaner , the band played concerts across Europe and eventually embarked on a 1991 tour of North America with labelmates Napalm Death.This was the first time frontman Justin Broadrick and bassist G. C. Green played in America, and the band were met with unexpected favour. Broadrick elaborated upon their reception in a 2010 interview with Exclaim , saying, "By the time we got there, the band had already grown beyond my expectations, it was already becoming a popular band in the underground, which we hadn't really expected. It was very much a surprise for us that people responded so positively to the music". It was this tour that solidified Godflesh as a full-time project, and once it was over, Broadrick and Green returned to the studio. After the release of the 1991 EP Slavestate , the band decided to focus on a second studio album. The resulting sessions led to another 1991 EP, Cold World , and Pure in 1992.
With Pure, Broadrick wanted to explore the experimental side of Godflesh.However, at the time, the band were limited to 8-track reel-to-reel recording tape, which stifled some of his ambitions. To make up for the technological deficit and recent departure of second guitarist Paul Neville, Loop guitarist Robert Hampson was brought in to provide additional instrumentation. Hampson ended up playing on only half of Pure, but the additions helped reinforce the album's overwhelming sound. Broadrick later said the introduction "worked brilliantly". The album's title comes from Broadrick's idea that purity (especially a child's view of it ) is strength.
—Justin Broadrick on the band's direction for Pure
Pure is often characterised its harsh, discordant and mechanical sound,with many critics noting its extreme weight and inhospitable mood. Unlike Streetcleaner, which featured intentionally loose guitar playing, Pure is intensely structured, regimented and stiff, dominated by repetition; The Times of Northwest Indiana called it "colossally repetitive". The guitar tone, a sound first explored by Broadrick on the 1991 Godflesh single "Slateman", is tinny and deliberately grating. Outright riffs are rare, leaving Green's bass and the programmed drums to guide the songs. Mike Gitter of RIP Magazine and Spin described the album as "a metal junkyard of strange harmonics and decayed muzak", and he called the guitars malevolent, the drum machine ice-cold and the bass clanging. Gitter concluded by writing that Pure is "two sides of technology gone amok that would rattle even Ministry's chain-link cage, and that makes Nine Inch Nails sound like the Pet Shop Boys!" Hampson's and Broadrick's guitars often hang in the background, leading Pure to be a notably percussive album with hip hop-inspired elements. The Chicago Tribune said the album employed what sounded like "a 20-ton rhythm machine". Broadrick's vocals on Pure, which are typically sparse, come in two primary styles: guttural shouting and "distant-sounding, voice-from-the-ether singing".
"Spite", the album's introductory track, begins with a jaunty hip hop loop that Kristi Siegel of the Tampa Bay Times compared to the percussion-heavy work of Skinny Puppy, a band that Godflesh briefly toured with before Pure.The lyrics of "Spite" are growled and direct, leading Broadrick to describe it as "the most literal song I've ever written" before calling it "as base as I can get". The second track and the album's only single, "Mothra", is a lively, driving song with some lyrics borrowed from Leonard Cohen's 1971 song "Avalanche". Shawn Macomber of Decibel recognised "Mothra" as a fan favourite, and Joseph Schafer of the same publication called the song "a colossal chugging machine" that sounds like "getting crushed by a ton of lead". The track's title is derived from Mothra, a fictional creature in the Godzilla franchise. Following that, "I Wasn't Born to Follow" is the first extended composition on the album; Sharon O'Connell of Melody Maker called it "a dream with heavy tread".
"Predominance", the fourth track on Pure, is a highly aggressive song that Gitter said took the sound of rock "to its bleakest and slowest extremes".Jason Pettigrew of Alternative Press called the song a "layered head-shock", and O'Connell wrote that the song "is all rough, rutting rhythm with a post-coital shudder fit to shift tectonic plates". The title track (named one of the five best Godflesh songs by Decibel) is built around a rhythm sample from "Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em" (1990) by Eric B. & Rakim, and "Monotremata" is an exceptionally slow nine-minute song with a degree of heaviness that is, according to Noel Gardner of The Quietus , "distinctive and inimitable". In 2014, MetalSucks singled out "Monotremata" as a "classic". The album's seventh song, "Baby Blue Eyes", features a stilted dance groove, and it is followed by "Don't Bring Me Flowers", a bleak, funereal song that was deconstructed (or "demixed" as the liner notes put it) on Godflesh's 1994 EP Merciless . The album concludes with "Love, Hate (Slugbaiting)" and "Pure II", the latter of which is a twenty-minute ambient sprawl with faraway drums that, according to Ned Raggett of AllMusic, hit "like a distant cannon". Gitter called the piece "a maximal approach to minimalism" that was "devastating" and "rips open a black hole".
While Pure is predominantly recognized as industrial metal, it has been cited as a key album to the post-metal genre, with some even calling it one of the genre's founding releases.Jon Wiederhorn of Bandcamp wrote that it was "Pure, with its more expansive structures and long stretches of billowing noise, that inspired countless metal-based groups to experiment with layered washes of sound." Regardless of impact, Broadrick has occasionally expressed dissatisfaction with the production of the album. In a 2014 interview with The Quietus , he said, "My objections are the mixing. Not heavy enough. I was listening to a lot of hardcore hip hop at the time and I wanted the beats to be as heavy as that. That's my lingering dissatisfaction with that album." Still, when referring to what he considers and what he believes fans consider to be true Godflesh material, Broadrick often includes Pure. The album remains a staple of Godflesh's relatively picky live sets, with "Spite" and "Mothra" appearing most often.
Pure was released on 13 April 1992. CD versions included two bonus tracks: "Love, Hate (Slugbaiting)", the first three minutes of which were taken from a 1986 live performance of a previous incarnation of Godflesh called Fall of Because,and the protracted ambient piece, "Pure II". Pure was reissued in August 2009 as part of a triple-CD package which also included the 1991 EPs Slavestate and Cold World. "Mothra", a song that Decibel magazine called one of Broadrick's most accessible, was released as a promotional single for the album. In 2013, Pure was played in its near entirety at Roadburn. Robert Hampson appeared and performed live with the band, playing on the songs which he originally contributed to. The Loop song "Straight to Your Heart", which had been covered by Godflesh on the bands' 1991 split EP Loopflesh / Fleshloop , was also played.
|Melody Maker||Very positive|
Pure received positive reviews upon release in 1992. Since then, its acclaim has grown. When the album came out, AllMusic reviewer Ned Raggett wrote, "In terms of grinding guitars and shouted vocals [...] it's pure Godflesh ire."In another contemporary review, Melody Maker writer Sharon O'Connell praised Pure for its weight, rhythm and ability to cover traditionally miserable topics in a "strangely life-affirming, almost soaringly spiritual" way. Also writing in 1992, Mike Gitter of Spin said, "driven by a monolithic drum machine that hammers with such force it could probably shift the tectonic plates, Godflesh successfully lays claim to the title of the most gloriously uncomfortable noise on the face of the planet", and Luca Collepiccolo of Blast! called the album an unmissable fusion of extreme metal and technology. Fact wrote in their 2012 "The 100 Best Albums of the 1990s" list, where Pure placed number 64, that "[the album] is far from the sound of Broadrick and Green going soft: one listen to the rampaging drum machines of its title track on a proper stereo is unforgiving proof of that." In 2014, Neil Kulkarni of The Quietus called the album a "stone-cold masterpiece." Later in 2015, Fact's Robin Jahdi placed Pure as the 18th best post-metal album of all time, writing "Pure is what happened when they started experimenting: incredibly harsh worlds of discordant post-punk guitar settling like factory smoke over catchy drum machine breakbeats." Brandon Stosuy of Pitchfork called the album "iconic", and Jon Wiederhorn of Revolver said that it influenced "bands ranging from Korn and Fear Factory to Isis and Converge". Some critics viewed Pure as more consistent than Streetcleaner, with greater attention paid to its beats and grooves.
|1992||The Wire||United Kingdom||"Albums of the Year"||18|
|2000||Terrorizer||"100 Most Important Albums of the Nineties"||*|
|2012||Fact||"The 100 Best Albums of the 1990s"||64|
|2015||"The 40 Best Post-Metal Albums Ever Made"||18|
|"*" denotes an unordered list.|
|3.||"I Wasn't Born to Follow"||7:22|
|7.||"Baby Blue Eyes"||4:39|
|8.||"Don't Bring Me Flowers"||6:48|
|9.||"Love, Hate (Slugbaiting)"||9:57|
All credits adapted from Pure liner notes
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.
Justin Karl Michael Broadrick is a British singer, songwriter, guitarist and drummer. He is best known as a founding member of the band Godflesh, one of the first bands to combine elements of extreme metal and industrial music. He was briefly in the English grindcore band Napalm Death when he was a teenager in the mid-1980s, writing and recording guitar for Side One of Napalm Death's debut album, Scum. Broadrick has also maintained a parallel career as a producer, producing records and remixes for groups such as Pantera, Isis, Mogwai and Hydra Head labelmates Pelican. Since 2012, he has been releasing hard techno music under the solo moniker JK Flesh. Broadrick has set up record labels such as HeadDirt, Avalanche Recordings, Post Mortem Productions, Lo Fibre and Heartache.
Streetcleaner is the debut studio album by English industrial metal band Godflesh. It was released on 13 November 1989 through Earache Records and was reissued with a second disc of previously unreleased material on 21 June 2010. The album is widely acclaimed by critics and is often cited as a landmark release in industrial metal; though not the genre's first release, Streetcleaner helped define what industrial metal would become.
Slavestate is an EP by industrial metal band Godflesh. It was released in July 1991 through Earache Records. The EP saw the band experimenting with more samples and electronic sounds than their predominantly industrial metal prior releases.
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.
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.
Paul Neville is an underground experimental industrial metal guitarist and musician from Birmingham, England.
Godflesh is the debut extended play (EP) by English industrial metal band Godflesh. It was originally released in 1988 through Swordfish Records and later saw several reissues on Earache Records with two additional songs. An unexpected underground success, the eponymous EP made it onto the UK Indie Chart and peaked at position 20. Though not supported by any singles or music videos at the time, a fan-made video for "Avalanche Master Song" has since been made official by the band.
"Slateman" is a song by industrial metal band Godflesh. It was released as a 7-inch single in 1991 through Sub Pop and later reissued on Earache Records as a CD, a 7-inch and a 12-inch. In 1996, the single was repackaged alongside Cold World (1991) on one disc by Earache Records as the compilation Slateman/Cold World. Both "Slateman" and its b-side, "Wound '91", were appended to the end of most issues of Godflesh's 1991 EP Slavestate.
Merciless is an EP released by industrial metal band Godflesh in 1994 through Earache and Columbia. In 1996, the EP was reissued along with the Selfless (1994) album as the compilation Selfless/Merciless.
In All Languages is a compilation album by British industrial metal band Godflesh, released on 24 July 2001 through Earache Records. It is a double album, and a companion music video DVD was also released in 2001. In All Languages' first disc acts as a greatest hits collection spanning from Godflesh's 1988 self-titled EP to their 1999 studio album, Us and Them. The second disc compiles rare and unreleased tracks.
The English industrial metal band Godflesh have released eight studio albums and six extended plays along with a number of singles, compilations and remix and live albums. The group formed in 1982 under the name Fall of Because, but they did not release any music until 1988 when Justin Broadrick and G. C. Green changed the project's name to Godflesh and recorded a self-titled debut EP. That EP, released through the independent label Swordfish, was met with underground success and has since been recognised as one of the first industrial metal releases, if not the first.
Cold World is the third EP by industrial metal band Godflesh, released in October 1991 through Relativity Records. It was recorded and mixed during September 1991 as part of the Pure (1992) sessions.
A World Lit Only by Fire is the seventh studio album by English industrial metal band Godflesh. It was released on 7 October 2014 through frontman Justin Broadrick's own label, Avalanche Recordings, and was the band's first full-length album since 2001's Hymns. It was preceded by the digital singles "New Dark Ages" in August 2014 and "Imperator" in September 2014, and it was followed by several international tours.
Streetcleaner: Live at Roadburn 2011 is the first live album from English industrial metal band Godflesh. The release was recorded on 14 April 2011 at the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Netherlands. Apart from being the group's debut live album, it was also the first time they played Streetcleaner in its entirety.
Post Self is the eighth studio album by English industrial metal band Godflesh. It was released on 17 November 2017 through frontman Justin Broadrick's own record label, Avalanche Recordings, and was the band's second album since reforming in 2010. The single "Post Self" was released for streaming on 31 October 2017, and a second track, "Be God", was released for streaming on 11 November 2017, six days in advance of the full release. Godflesh avoided interviews in the wake of Post Self, hoping to retain some of the album's purity and give listeners a chance to digest the music in a vacuum.
Loopflesh / Fleshloop is a split EP between English industrial metal band Godflesh and English rock band Loop. On side A of the 7-inch vinyl, Loop covers the song "Like Rats" by Godflesh, and on side B, Godflesh covers the song "Straight to Your Heart" by Loop. The palindrome "Rats Live On No Evil Star" appears etched into both sides of the record. Only a thousand copies were pressed.
Life Is Easy is a compilation album by Birmingham-based industrial metal group Fall of Because, compiling songs recorded in 1986 and 1987 before the band became Godflesh. Released on 24 August 1999 through Alleysweeper and distributed by Martin Atkins' label Invisible Records, Life Is Easy contains many songs that went on to be rerecorded and turned into Godflesh tracks.
"Mothra" is a song by the English industrial metal band Godflesh. It was taken from their 1992 album Pure and saw release as a radio promo and music video in the same year. The track's title is derived from 1961 Japanese film of the same name by Ishirō Honda. Musically, "Mothra" is a grinding, mechanical song with shouted vocals and heavily distorted instruments.