Godflesh-Purge album review. By Mark Jenkins. FFO: Moody, grim Industrial gold.


Godflesh-Purge album review. By Mark Jenkins. FFO: Moody, grim Industrial gold.

Purge is Godflesh's ninth album and I would clearly slot it into the excellent slot of their catalogue. Whilst not as rudimentarily essential as Streetcleaner or Pure, it is easily as decent as the last two quality albums. It is a robust mix of all their albums but is very beat driven and still foreboding as ever. 

The immense eight tracks have been produced with a slightly muddy bottom-end heavy production, but Godflesh is never a bright-sounding audio unit. They are always doomy as an industrial metal band can be and I always admired this. The eerie and menacing atmosphere soars on all the tracks but particularly on the final track, You Are the Judge the Jury and the Executioner. This almost 8 minutes of resplendent, hypnotic drone is completely monotonous in a cold and endearing manner. Indeed a weird way to start a review by mentioning the closing track, but I can do what I want as a long-term fan of this band. 

Nero opens the album and has all the classic GF hallmarks-quiet then loud explosion of bleak vocals, old school programmed drums/beats and punishing bass/guitar. I love how violently catchy this track is, and the programming is a strong highlight on this album, JB has dipped back into hip-hop-influenced grooves and on other tracks winds back the clock with some drum'n'bass/breakbeat stylings. This element is powerfully strong on the banger that is Land Lord and whilst this release has stacks of vocal variation; the irate vocals are smashing on this. The pitch-bending riffs were nasty as well, but if you fail to recognise the importance of this particular skill why the fuck are you even listening to this band?. The warped harmonics are a perfect balance to the battering bass we worship so hard, and those concluding beats were magically abusive. 

Now my fave track of the release, the beefy beast that is Army of Non, fuck me dead what an orgasmic beast of a track. So many incredible features of this song, that insane sample that repeats across the track-so enticing. And the robotic programming mixed with that thunderous bass mixed with down-tuned gritty riffs. Plus I think the punk/shoutish vocals were magnificent and it has all the hallmarks to go on Streetcleaner, easily. Lazarus Leper is probably a joiner track of not much note, it certainly breaks the album up but doesn't add too much value to the album as much as I dig it. But there is always a track like this on most albums, even a few on the less potent albums. Permission lifts heavily with some excellent breakbeat magic that balances out Justin's excellent Helmet like vocals, this is begging for multiple remixes and played loud on decent speakers makes this track soar. The changing vocals at the midpoint were intensely expansive and heavy as hell. The programming contained in this song is just dazzling. 

The Father is another gem that was hugely influenced by Killing Joke and even in some moments old NIN etc, the vocal performance is marvellous, and the effects/mastering etc were a vivid treat. The dynamic is harsh, but very melodic and pure GF atmosphere. The end then closes out very strongly, beginning with the slow tempo acid bath of Mythology of Others. The drugged-out apocalyptic vocals are haunting and the hammering bass combination is electric, plus the sinister drum beats are slightly off beat-thus creating warped and creepy soundscapes, that totally rules. Exceptional track from a solid album. The closing track I mentioned at the start of this review is a definitive assassin of a track, the spacey vocals sit well with the belligerent beats and whilst being a long track, its shoegaze enchantment is never boring. Reminds me of the insane, yet harshly amazing Greymachine project Justin did. Bass is the foundation of this track, it is as meditative as it is sullen, but as always Godflesh is a band you can play in multiple settings or purposes.

This is an excellent album, one that improves with each listen. It is probably their third/fourth-best album, but also is a mix of many of their strong skills and hey, it's 2023, compare their catalogue to say the car-crash of records that bands like Metallica put out, that have zero relevance to proper music fans. 

Out now and very necessary:

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