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Review: ‘Hymns’ Reissue by Godflesh

Brummie Hardcore Metallers Godflesh are reissuing 2001’s very popular Hymns and including a second CD with a selection of remastered demo racks from the album and also a previously unreleased track...

Brummie Hardcore Metallers Godflesh are reissuing 2001’s very popular Hymns and including a second CD with a selection of remastered demo racks from the album and also a previously unreleased track from the recording sessions.

Now 1982 was a fantastic year, mainly because I was being pulled screaming from my mother after 9 beautiful months quietly minding my own business in her belly. Something else was also being born that year, while I was was putting all my energy into growing, G C Green was looking over the vast expanse of salty slush known as the Atlantic Ocean at Al Jourgensen’s Ministry and thinking, ‘hmmmmm, I quite like that’. So he grabbed a few back copies of Throbbing Gristle records and before we knew it Industrial Metal had been born, by 1988 Green had enlisted Napalm Death guitarist Justin Broadrick and created Godflesh. They took a quick squint around the Industrial table at metal camp that year and saw bands like Nine Inch Nails and KMFDM and thought to themselves, ‘we can do that’.

Godflesh, after an EP, released Streetcleaner and over the next 11 or so years toured and released new albums, some were good some were not quite as good, until 2001 arrives and they release Hymns. A well put together album it fused many genres, as eclectic as the band members that created them. Opening track Defeated is possibly the best opening track in Industrial history, pounding guitars and bass march relentlessly forward as Broadrick groans deeply. All the tracks follow this pattern, guitars that crush the listener, vocals that speak to directly to the oldest, animal part of your brain, and all of this broken up only by the creativity of Ted Parson’s drumming. From the start to the hidden track Hymns pounds away out your ear drums and remains today as fresh as it was 11 years ago, a true statement to all those who shunned  Industrial Metal and all it could achieve. Sadly all that lives must die, one day I will die, in 2001 Godflesh died when Green left the band causing Broadrick to have a breakdown in 2002. Industrial Metal gave way to Nu-Metal and the unbreakable spirit of Industrial and Hardcore bands from Godflesh, through KMFDM to Madball gave way to Bleached Blonde hair, baggy jeans and red baseball caps. Industrial Metal still exists in several guises today, but it’s hard to spot, and you’ll hardly ever se it on the popular ‘alternative’ music sites.

Thankfully not all that dies is gone forever, in 2010 Godflesh was reborn when Green and Broadrick showed the French how they do it in Birmingham. They teased us with talk of a new album in early 2012 and now that we have this reissue of one of the corner stones of British Metal a new album has indeed been confirmed., Hang on, I hear you cry, is this reissue any good?

The reissue is fantastic, the quality of the sound has been amplified with the grainy scratches taken away, leaving us just the great music we got the album for. We already know the first 13 tracks are out of this world, purely remastered just for this CD but not changed in any other way. We’re treated to 6 Demos of tracks on the album, all are quite good as far as demos go, it’s nice to see how the tracks have progressed and for the die hard Industrial lover they may even serve as a more pure taste of what the tracks would have been. Just to tantalise us more we’re given a brand new track right at the end called If I Could Only Be What You Want, which is exciting for any Godflesh fan. The track has a distinct taste of Nine Inch Nails about it, there is definitely an influence there, but the track doesn’t really flow with the rest of the album, it’s good, but I wouldn’t of missed it if they’d left it out.

All in all this reissue is a winner, even if just for the quality you can hear in the playing due to the remaster, it’s nice to hear the demos, but don’t get too excited about the new track. Buy this if you’re a fan of industrial music, play it loudly and proudly, and lets all hope that the new album is as good as this when it arrives.


The Mighty Machine Steve, forged in the heart of a collapsing sun, born in The Dark Star, the soul of Heavy Metal. He is the Apollo Creed of Alternative Music.... except not black.