Hailing from an industrial town of Birmingham, a birthplace of the likes of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, Godflesh represented a new chapter in the story of rock music. Equally influenced by heavy metal bands like aforementioned Sabbath, as well as more experimental bands like Can and Lou Reed’s “Metal Machine Music”, Godflesh would go on to influence plenty of bands, even though never broke through to a larger audience.
Justin Broadrick is/was the main architect behind Godflesh and the only constant member of the band. He was one of the early members of grindcore godfathers Napalm Death, but he left the band after their landmark release – 1987 “Scum”. His next band was Head of David, which he also eventually quit, citing the fact that other band members fell in love with bands like Whitesnake and Bon Jovi.
Godflesh was formed in the early 80s and, besides Broadrick himself, included bassist Ben Green and Alesis-16 drum machine (which was eventually replaced with Ted Parsons from Prong). Their first releases were 1988 self-titled EP and 1990 full-length “Headcleaner”, both of which represented an early example of merge of industrial/noise and heavy metal.
All Music Guide described “Streetcleaner” as “one of the darkest, best classics of grindcore (admittedly a label Broadrick himself always hated).” Further on, AMG pointed out that “in comparison to the nuclear-strength, hyperspeed thrash Broadrick initially found himself associated with thanks to Napalm Death, Streetcleaner doesn’t so much grind as crawl, but it does with an awesome, bass-heavy power that feels like doom piled on top of further doom.”
In the following years, they produced a number of albums, compilations and EPs – 1992 “Pure”, 1994 “Selfless” and 1999 “Us And Them”, among others, but they were never able to get rid of “cult” status, whereas bands like Ministry and Nine Inch Nails made it big. Their last album was 2001 “Hymns”, which was followed by Ben Green quitting the band. Killing Joke/Prong member Paul Raven was announced as a replacement, but the band finally broke up in 2002.
Since then, Justin kept himself busy with a number of projects – he reissued rare Godflesh EP “Messiah”, which originally came out in 1994 and started a new band called Jesu, which sounds very different from most of the projects that he was involved with so far.
– Their contributed a number of covers to tribute compilations – “40 Versions” (Wire) to “Whore”, “For Those About To Rock” (AC/DC) to “Covered In Black” and “Zero The Hero” (Black Sabbath) to “Masters Of Misery”.
Justin K. Broadrick (Council Estate Electronics, Curse Of The Golden Vampire, Cylon, Eraser, Fall Of Because, Final, God, Greymachine, Ice, Jesu, Krackhead, Napalm Death, Saskwatch, Sidewinder, Solaris, Sub Species, Sweet Tooth, Tech Level 2, Techno Animal, White Viper, Youpho, Zonal)
Godflesh LP (Swordfish Records, 1988 / Earache, 1990)
Streetcleaner LP / CD / CS ( Earache, 1989 / 1995 / Relativity, 1989 / Combat, 1989)
Cold World CD-Single / 12″ (Earache, 1991 / Relativity, 1991)
Like Rats / Straight To Your Heart (Split with Loop) 7″ (Clawfist, 1991)
Slateman / Wound ’91 7″ / 12″ / CD-Single (Earache, 1991)
Slavestate 12″ / LP / CD (Earache, 1991 / Relativity, 1991)
Slavestate (Remixes) 12″ (Earache, 1991)
Mothra CD-Single (Relativity, 1992)
Pure LP / CD (Earache, 1992 / 1995 / Relativity, 1992)
Crush My Soul 12″ / CD-Single (Columbia, 1994 / Earache, 1995)
Merciless 12″ / 2×7″ / CD-Single (Columbia, 1994 / Earache, 1994)
Selfless LP / CD / CS (Columbia, 1994 / Earache, 1994 / Metal Mind Records, 1995)
Xnoybis CD-Single (Columbia, 1994)
Selfless / Merciless 2XCD (Earache, 1996)
Slateman / Cold World CD (Earache, 1996)
Songs Of Love And Hate LP / CD / CS (Earache, 1996 / Koch International Poland, 2000)
The Ten Commandments CD (Earache, 1996)
Love And Hate In Dub CD / LP (Earache, 1997 / Kreation Records, 2007)
Us And Them CD (Earache, 1999)
Messiah CD / CD-R / 2XLP (Avalanche Recordings, 2000 / Relapse Records, 2003 / 2008)
Hymns CD / CS (Music For Nations, 2001 / Koch, 2001 / Metal Mind Records, 2001 / Sony, 2007)
In All Languages 2XCD / DVD (Earache, 2001)
Songs Of Love And Hate / Love And Hate In Dub / In All Languages 2XCD + DVD (Earache, 2009)
Selected Compilation Tracks:
“Streetcleaner” on Grindcrusher (Earache, 1989)
“Love Is A Dog From Hell” + “My Own Light” on Pathological Compilation (Pathological, 1989)
“Pulp” on CMJ Presents Certain Damage! – Volume 32 (College Music Journal, 1991)
“Slavestate” on Ouch. Relativity Sampler (Relativity, 1991)
“Zero The Hero” on Masters Of Misery (Toy’s Factory, 1992 / Earache, 1997)
“Mothra” on Terror – An Industrial Metal Compilation (Mental Decay, 1993)
“Xnoybis” + “Anything Is Mine” on Earplugged (Earache, 1994)
“Crush My Soul” + “Newspite” on Corporate Rock Wars (Earache, 1995)
“Pure Spite” on Funky Alternatives 8 (Concrete Productions, 1995)
“Nihil” on Hideaway Soundtrack (TVT Soundtrax, 1995 / The Fine Line, 1995)
“Almost Heaven (Hell Dub)” on Mind The Gap Vol. 15 (Gonzo Circus Magazine, 1997)