Selfless (album)

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Selfless
Godflesh Selfless.jpg
Studio album by Godflesh
Released 26 September 1994
Recorded January–May 1994
Studio Avalanche
Genre Industrial metal
Length78:12
Label Earache/Columbia
Producer
Godflesh chronology
Merciless
(1994)
Selfless
(1994)
Songs of Love and Hate
(1996)
Singles from Selfless
  1. "Xnoybis"
    Released: 1994
  2. "Crush My Soul"
    Released: 1995

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. [1]

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.

Earache Records is an independent record label, music publisher and management company founded by Digby Pearson, based in Nottingham, England with offices in London and New York. It helped to pioneer extreme metal by releasing early grindcore and death metal records between 1988 and 1994. The label roster has since diversified into more mainstream guitar music, working with bands such as Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement, Blackberry Smoke and The White Buffalo. The company also hosted the 'Earache Express' stage at Glastonbury Festival in 2017 and will be hosting 'The Earache Factory' at Boomtown Fair 2018.

Contents

At the 2018 Roadburn Festival, Selfless was performed live in its near entirety for the first time. [2] "Go Spread Your Wings", the album's 23-minute closing track, was substituted with "Messiah" and "Merciless", two songs recorded in the same sessions as Selfless. [3]

Roadburn Festival is an international music festival held in Tilburg, Netherlands every April since 1999. It was set up as a spin-off from the Roadburn music blog founded by Jurgen van den Brand and Walter Hoeijmakers. Originally focused on stoner rock, Roadburn grew into a major event spanning the entire spectrum of heavy rock and experimental music. The key staff involved with running the festival are Frens Frijns, Walter Hoeijmakers and Becky Laverty.

<i>Messiah</i> (EP) EP

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, which were created in 1995. After Justin Broadrick disbanded Godflesh, he reissued the material through Relapse Records on 1 April 2003.

<i>Merciless</i> (EP) extended play by Godflesh

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.

Background and composition

Since Selfless and its preceding EP Merciless (1994) saw Godflesh with a major record label, the band was assigned a professional to do final mastering. Bob Ludwig was called in to enhance the pre-existing masters. Godflesh frontman Justin Broadrick spoke positively on this experience, saying that Ludwig's changes were improvements. [4] The album reportedly takes its name from the John Coltrane record, Selflessness: Featuring My Favorite Things (1969), [5] and the cover is a photograph of human nerve cells growing on a microchip. [6]

Bob Ludwig American audio engineer

Robert C. Ludwig is an American mastering engineer. He has mastered recordings on all the major recording formats for all the major record labels, and on projects by more than 1,300 artists including Led Zeppelin, Queen, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Ocean, Bryan Ferry, Paul McCartney, Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen and Daft Punk resulting in over 3,000 credits. He is the recipient of numerous Grammy and TEC Awards.

Justin Broadrick Record producer, musician, singer

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.

John Coltrane American jazz saxophonist

John William Coltrane was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes and was at the forefront of free jazz. He led at least fifty recording sessions and appeared on many albums by other musicians, including trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Thelonious Monk. Over the course of his career, Coltrane's music took on an increasingly spiritual dimension. He remains one of the most influential saxophonists in music history. He received many posthumous awards, including canonization by the African Orthodox Church and a Pulitzer Prize in 2007. His second wife was pianist Alice Coltrane and their son, Ravi Coltrane, is also a saxophonist.

Broadrick described Selfless as his "rock & roll" album. Nevertheless, on the record's sound, AllMusic's Ned Raggett states: "The rough, clipped, lock and load style of the band remained essentially unchanged at heart -- Broadrick's brawling, echoed vocals, the sheer impact of the guitars and drum machine beats, Green's uneasy bass. Still, some of the singing is Broadrick's most conventional, some of the riffing almost epically classic rock, and the technical/digital pulse at the heart of the band sufficiently straightforward enough not to annoy those who can't stand the idea of a non-human drummer." [7] According to The Quietus, the album "returned to the super-dense riffery of their debut but also saw a widening melodic strain that would come to full bloom in Broadrick’s post-Godflesh act Jesu." [8] Trouser Press reported that the album drops the previous techno inclinations for "slow-motion Melvins meltdown surrealism and variations on Chicago skronk ratchetry." [5] In 2018, Broadrick called the track "Anything Is Mine" a blatant rip-off of Celtic Frost. [9]

AllMusic online music database

AllMusic is an online music database. It catalogs more than 3 million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on musical artists and bands. It launched in 1991, predating the World Wide Web.

Classic rock is a radio format which developed from the album-oriented rock (AOR) format in the early 1980s. In the United States, the classic rock format features music ranging generally from the mid-1960s to the late 1980s, primarily focusing on commercially successful hard rock popularized in the 1970s. The radio format became increasingly popular with the baby boomer demographic by the end of the 1990s.

The Quietus is a British online music and pop culture magazine, focusing on arts news, reviews, and features. The site is an editorially independent publication led by John Doran and a group of freelance journalists and critics, some of whom have worked for other media outlets.

Broadrick considered Selfless the "last pure record" that Godflesh made until reforming and releasing 2014's A World Lit Only by Fire and 2017's Post Self . [10]

<i>A World Lit Only by Fire</i> (album) album by Godflesh

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.

<i>Post Self</i> album by Godflesh

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.

Release and critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [7]

Licensed by Columbia Records to break the band to a larger alternative audience, the album sold approximately 180,000 copies, [11] yielding a commercial result below expectations. [12] New Zealand drone metal band Black Boned Angel named themselves after the album's third track.

Alternative rock is a style of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular in the 1990s. In this instance, the word "alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream rock music. The term's original meaning was broader, referring to a generation of musicians unified by their collective debt to either the musical style or simply the independent, DIY ethos of punk rock, which in the late 1970s laid the groundwork for alternative music. At times, "alternative" has been used as a catch-all description for music from underground rock artists that receives mainstream recognition, or for any music, whether rock or not, that is seen to be descended from punk rock.

New Zealand Constitutional monarchy in Oceania

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

Drone metal or drone doom is a style of heavy metal that melds the slow tempos and heaviness of doom metal with the long-duration tones of drone music. Drone metal is sometimes associated with post-metal or experimental metal.

AllMusic critic Ned Raggett wrote that some tunes on the record are "both unpleasant enough to keep the wimps away and accessible enough to win over the more open-minded." Raggett further added: "It's a slightly uneasy balance but one that the band still makes work, with enough worthy tunes on Selfless to make it of interest." [7] Joe Coyle of Duke University's The Chronicle praised Selfless as Godflesh's first complete, satisfying album, writing, "And while the song structures on this new album still remain far from complex, they are all perfect. This album is an achievement that has been long overdue." [13]

Track listing

No.TitleLength
1."Xnoybis"5:54
2."Bigot"4:33
3."Black Boned Angel"6:46
4."Anything Is Mine"3:59
5."Empyreal"6:02
6."Crush My Soul"4:26
7."Body Dome Light"5:30
8."Toll"4:13
9."Heartless"5:32
10."Mantra"7:26
11."Go Spread Your Wings"23:51
Total length:78:12

Notes

Personnel

Godflesh

Additional personnel

Chart performance

Charts (1994)Peak
position
UK Top Independent Albums [14] 12

Related Research Articles

<i>Streetcleaner</i> album

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.

<i>Slavestate</i> extended play

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Crush My Soul single by Godflesh

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Godflesh discography

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Xnoybis

"Xnoybis" is a song by the industrial metal band Godflesh, taken from the album Selfless (1994). It was released in 1995 through Earache Records as a CD, and was also distributed as a promotional to radio stations.

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Mothra (song)

"Mothra" is a song by 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.

References

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  2. Bannon, Jacob. "Further Artists Confirmed for Roadburn 2018". Roadburn Festival . Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  3. Ayers, Chris. "Godflesh – Messiah". Exclaim! . Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  4. Kinski, Klaus. "an interview with Justin K. Broadrick". BrooklynVegan . Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  5. 1 2 Aswad, Jem; Robbins, Ira. "Godflesh". Trouser Press .
  6. Selfless (CD liner notes). Godflesh. Columbia Records. 1994. CK 66157. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  7. 1 2 3 Raggett, Ned. "Godflesh – Selfless". AllMusic . Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  8. Haynes, Rob (20 June 2010). "Godflesh To Play Supersonic. Justin Broadrick Talks Reformation". The Quietus . Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  9. Mudrian, Albert. "Godflesh's Justin Broadrick: 'I Never Feel Comfortable at Any Festival'". Decibel . Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  10. Broadrick, Justin (21 April 2018). "Kicking against the pricks with the Birmingham prodigy". Resident Advisor (Interview). Interviewed by Holly Dicker. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  11. Nasrallah, Dimitri (21 August 2010). "Justin Broadrick: Napalm Death – Godflesh – Techno Animal – Jesu – Pale Sketcher". Exclaim! . Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  12. Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. p. 432. ISBN   1843531054.
  13. Coyle, Joe (12 January 1995). "Short & Sweet: Godflesh – Selfless". The Chronicle .
  14. "Top 30 Independent Albums". UK Independent Singles and Albums Charts. 1994. Retrieved 11 July 2018.