Godflesh – Pure (1992)

It’s that time again; another Godflesh post! How long will this one be? How far up Justin Broadrick’s arse can I get this time? Ha ha! All jokes aside, my love for Godflesh is seemingly never-ending, although I do have lapses in listening time these days as there is so much other stuff out there I’m currently wrapping my lugholes around. At the moment I’ve been on a tremendous (and possibly worrying) hip hop / Bjork kick, so switching back to something as punishing as early Godflesh for the purpose of this review has really juxtaposed my listening ability. I guess it makes Pure seem twenty thousand times heavier. That can only be a good thing.

I’m not sure if Pure was the logical progression from something as sprawling and nauseatingly epic as Streetcleaner. I can totally see how the band got from A to B, so to speak, but Godflesh could have just as easily wandered off into the wailing, droning, clanking territory instead. Regardless of what could have happened, history dictates that Godflesh tightened and disciplined their sound for their second record. Pure is clinical and more machine-like than before. Both Streetcleaner and Godflesh are mechanical as fuck, but they also both presented a harrowing sense of depth and that weird sense of claustrophobia (or is that agoraphobia?). Pure just gets in, fucks you up, and leaves. It is an absolute riff machine.

I’m surprised this isn’t more popular in “regular” metal circles; the riffs on display here are tight and mosh pit inducing. If this record didn’t exist, neither would Fear Factory (or maybe they would have just stayed as a death metal band). The production is something that is very similar to the later, metal-to-the-core Pantera, and I don’t suppose that it’s a coincidence that Justin ended up remixing on the “Walk” single. Even Metallica’s Kirk Hammet claimed that Godflesh were the heaviest band on the planet, before he stole a bunch of artwork ideas and was a general all-round dick. To top it all off, Metallica went on to release Load and Reload at this point, so karma is a bitch.

This LP can be rather difficult to find at a decent price. If you keep scoping and peeping that shit on various websites you will eventually be very lucky and can score a copy for a pretty good price. I got mine for the absolute steal of £10, because the seller insisted that the copy wasn’t in good shape, despite sending me pictures that seemed to show otherwise. My copy is a bit crackly, but that just lends to it’s charm. It looks just like any well-played record would look like after 20 years of storage. Out on Earache Records, and has also been re-issued on CD a gazillion times so you can probably get a copy for 5p or something.