Godflesh – Hymns (2001)

Hymns was the final album by Godflesh before they originally broke up in 2002. It seems to apply the no-nonsense aesthetic from records such as Pure and Slavestate to the band’s later, more “nu metal” kinda sound as found on Songs Of Love And Hate and even parts of Us & Them. What’s also quite nice to note is that Ted Parsons, who drummed for Swans on a fair number of their seminal recordings, is the drummer here. This is also the second, and final, Godflesh studio album to feature a real live drummer, and their first after being released from Earache.

I find Hymns is often overlooked. There are many Godflesh gems here, such as the opening belter “Defeated”, which slows to a groaning crawl that really drags out the agonizing pinched harmonics. “Voidhead” is a painful listen (in a good way), taking the repetition of industrial into the nu-metal world kicking and screaming. Then, towards the end you’ve got the hat-trick of the venomous “Vampires”, the ridiculously heavy “Antihuman” and the soaring “Regal” soothing you just before the skull-bashing closer, “Jesu”.

Being a Godflesh record, there was a 50/50 chance that the cover art was going to be fucking shite. It kinda looks like it was just pulled off a Google image search, and the booklet doesn’t really elaborate much either. The End Records and Music On Vinyl also did everybody a solid and put this out on vinyl in 2013, leaving Us & Them as the only Godflesh album not available on wax. Surely drum and bass belongs on vinyl, right? If I ever win the lottery I’ll finance the repress myself, if Digby lets me buy the rights. Anyway, I’m rambling. I’ll fuck off now. Listen to this!