Godflesh: Industrial Chaos
Godflesh was formed in 1988 in Birmingham, England by Justin Broadrick (guitar, vocals, and programming) and Ben Green (bass). Broadrick and Green previously worked together with guitarist Paul Neville under the name Fall Of Because, a name apparently taken from Killing Joke's song of the same name. Broadrick also played guitar in Napalm Death and drums in Head of David before creating Godflesh.
Godflesh mixed industrial drum machine beats with discordant guitar and depth-charge bass. Although much of their work is based on the music of Swans, Big Black, Black Sabbath and, to a lesser extent, Throbbing Gristle, they were one of the first bands to pioneer the sound of industrial metal, influencing the well known industrial metal bands Ministry and Fear Factory.
Their name was established in underground music by albums such as Streetcleaner and Pure, which mastered the effectiveness of lo-fi production values in heavy music. A brief flirtation with major label Columbia Records in 1994 for Merciless EP and Selfless saw the duo take on a more high-end production approach. After a solid return to form in 1996 with Songs of Love and Hate, the group seemed to flounder for the remainder of the nineties sounding uninspired and toying with minimalist electronics. However, in 2001 Godflesh released the double album retrospective In All Languages and an album of new material, Hymns, that managed to bring the band back to its slow and heavy roots.
In 2002, Godflesh disbanded, but still released a remastered version of their extremely rare 1994 [EP] Messiah in 2003, which was doubled in length with all new remixes as a sort of parting gift. Broadrick went on to form Jesu in 2003.
Several other musicians have recorded and played live with Godflesh. Neville rejoined Broadrick and Green for the Streetcleaner and Slavestate albums. Robert Hampson, former guitarist for Loop (which in 1991 released the split 7" single Loopflesh covering Like Rats while Godflesh performed their song Straight to Your Heart), appeared on Pure and Cold World. Other notable members/contributors included Brian Mantia, Ted Parsons and Paul Raven.