rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Nero
02. Land Lord
03. Army of Non
04. Lazarus Leper
05. Permission
06. The Father
07. Mythology of Self
08. You Are the Judge, the Jury, and the Executioner

Justin Broadrick is one of the most important, forward-thinking musicians in extreme music and extreme metal. There is no hyperbole at hand. Consider his background. He was with NAPALM DEATH for their seminal 1986 debut "Scum". He was sought after by FAITH NO MORE and DANZIG when those bands were in their prime, declining both offers. And while he has helmed a variety of projects like JESU and made his mark as a producer, he will best be known as the central figure of the pioneering English industrial metal act GODFLESH.

GODFLESH return now with its first long player since 2017's "Post Self". "Purge" is an eight-track release showcasing the Birmingham maniacs' unique take on industrial metal that entails a cold metal crunch infused with infectious hip-hop beats. With "Purge", GODFLESH somehow conjure melancholy as much as they do utter bleakness. They do so while also exuding an optimistic spirit and drive. It follows the trajectory of "Post Self" with songs like "Permission" that are just as danceable as they are menacing. Songs boast stuttered beats marching alongside throbbing bass lines laying that lay the foundation for Broadrick's wandering metallic riffs move about with a sinister kind of curiosity.

It has never exclusively been the Justin Broadrick show, though. A few others have come and gone, but the duo that is GODFLESH has included Broadrick and bassist Ben Green for the bulk of its existence. And yes, a couple of drummers, including Ted Parsons (PRONG, SWANS, KILLING JOKE),  have been a part of the fold. Yet it's the percussive machinery that most significantly augments the unit's coldness. A song like "Mythology of Self" couldn't have been as inhuman and hateful as it is without the soulless drum machine that backs the stabbing strings and Broadrick's almost death metal like belches.

While the dramatic buildup that opens "The Father" is ominous and mournful, it's simultaneously triumphant and hopeful. Sure, there were shades of positivity in the past. Now, however, there are indicative moments that there's a will to survive and transcend. Broadrick acknowledges his personal inner demons and disdain for humanity throughout the album overtly, but his expression on "The Father" also colors the picture of a man who has the resolve to rise above it all.

On "Purge", GODFLESH revisits the concepts of 1992's "Pure" with fresh eyes. "Purge" is a statement of contempt toward the world's ever-present, oppressive power structures. On a far deeper level, the album title itself perfectly captures and intentionally references the utility that GODFLESH provides Broadrick. The music offers therapy and relief, however brief it may be, to help him cope with his diagnosed autism and PTSD. It's interesting that he perceives himself as an outsider considering that he's unquestionably a leader who, alongside Green in GODFLESH and on his own with his myriad of projects, continues to push the envelope.

The pronounced metallic edge, industrial isolationism and mysterious electronic ambience found on "Purge" aren't anything new to GODFLESH, but there's a profoundly psychedelic quality, confidence and thread of hope showing a band that continues to express itself in new ways and expand the boundaries of heavy music in the process.

Author: Jay H. Gorania
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).