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Godflesh Biography

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Godflesh In-depth Biography

If Black Sabbath} was reborn as an industrial rock} band, they'd probably sound an awful lot like Godflesh}. Therefore, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Godflesh} hails from the same hometown as Sabbath}, the tough steel-welding town of Birmingham, England. Although a few other members passed through the Godflesh} ranks over the years, the band's undisputed leader was guitarist/singer Justin Broadrick}, who was present since the group's inception. Broadrick} was influenced early on by heavy metal}, as well as such experimental} groups as Can} (and Lou Reed}'s 1975 noisefest, Metal Machine Music}). As a result, Broadrick} helped form grindcore} pioneers Napalm Death} at the age of 15. But after the release of their landmark 1987 debut recording, Scum}, Broadrick} quickly grew bored with the group's one-dimensional direction, and exited. Broadrick}'s next project, Head of David}, still followed in the same harsh grindcore} path as his previous band; although he exchanged his guitar for a set of drums. But like Napalm Death}, Broadrick} quickly grew tired of Head of David}; a telltale sign that his days were numbered with the group is when his bandmates supposedly took a liking to Whitesnake} (!). After a pair of releases (1986's LP} and 1988's Dustbowl}), he departed Head of David}, and sought to form a new group that would be even more musically extreme and experimental}. That group would be Godflesh}. Teamed up with bassist Ben Green} and an Alesis-16 drum machine (which was eventually replaced several years later by an actual human, Ted Parsons}), Godflesh} unleashed a pair of releases that sounded unlike anything at the time: the 1988 EP Godflesh} and 1990's full-length, Streetcleaner}. These releases may not sound as extreme nowadays, but Godflesh} was one of the first bands to merge metal} with industrial}, helping to pave the way for countless copy-cat acts. A healthy buzz began to build around the band, especially in the music press, as many thought Godflesh} would become the next big thing. More accessible industrial metal} bands beat them to the punch however (Nine Inch Nails}, Ministry}, etc.), as Godflesh} never broke out of "cult" status, despite issuing further EPs and full-lengths (1992's Pure}, 1994's Selfless}, 1996's Songs of Love and Hate}, and 1999's Us and Them}) throughout the '90s. Godflesh}'s very first best-of compilation, In All Languages}, was issued in 2001, yet the early 21st century saw Godflesh} enter a tumultuous period, when Green} exited the group shortly after the release of a new studio album, Hymns}, the same year. Although a replacement bassist was announced (former Killing Joke}/Prong} member Paul Raven}), Broadrick} announced Godflesh}'s dissolution during the spring of 2002. As a final thank you to longtime fans, Broadrick} decided to re-release an expanded edition of Godflesh}'s ultra-rare 1994 EP, Messiah}, in 2003. In addition to his work with Godflesh}, Broadrick} headed two now-defunct record labels (Head Dirt} and Lo Fibre}); produced other artists; and also found time for a few side projects, such as Final} and Techno Animal}, among others. ~ Greg Prato, All Music Guide
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