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The Academy Dublin
11th May 2024
Birmingham, England’s Godflesh are regarded as pioneers of industrial metal and post-metal, and have influenced heavy musicians of all stripes, though they consider their work a continuation of post-punk rather than metal. Godflesh has just announced their headline gig at The Academy, Dublin on the 11th of May 2024.
Tickets from €33.50 including booking fee
Debuting with a self-titled 1988 EP and releasing the classic full-length Streetcleaner near the end of 1989, the Justin Broadrick-fronted group backed noisy, relentless guitar riffs and guttural growls with thudding drum machine rhythms. Subsequent albums like Pure (1992) and Songs of Love and Hate (1996) incorporated breakbeats and hip-hop influences, setting the stage for nu-metal, and the band also experimented with dub, dark ambient, and drum’n’bass (particularly on 1999’s Us and Them). They disbanded following 2001’s Hymns, and Broadrick named his next band, the shoegaze-influenced Jesu, after the album’s final track. Godflesh returned to the stage in 2010, and picked up where they left off with 2014’s A World Lit Only by Fire. 2017’s Post Self leaned on the band’s post-punk influences, while 2023’s Purge revisited the concepts of Pure.
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). He formed O.P.D. (Officially Pronounced Dead) with B.C. Green and Paul Neville in 1982, renaming themselves Fall of Because after a Killing Joke song and a chapter from an Aleister Crowley book. The group (as well as Broadrick’s experimental solo project, Final) performed a scarcely-attended show with Napalm Death in 1984, and he joined the pioneering grindcore band as a guitarist for a brief time, appearing on the first side of their landmark 1987 debut recording, Scum. However, he left that band and joined Head of David as a drummer. He soon departed Head of David, and sought to form a new group that would be even more musically extreme and experimental. He reformed Fall of Because as a duo with Green and a drum machine, renaming the act Godflesh.
The duo unleashed a pair of releases that sounded unlike anything at the time: the 1988 EP Godflesh and 1989’s full-length Streetcleaner. A healthy buzz began to build around the band, especially in the music press, though the commercial success of more accessible industrial metal bands eluded them, Godflesh never broke out of “cult” status. Still, they were namechecked as a major influence by countless artists, including highly popular groups like Metallica and Korn. Godflesh continued 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, gradually incorporating influences such as dub and drum’n’bass.
In 2009, Broadrick announced that Godflesh would be reuniting to play the 2010 Hellfest in Clisson, France. While details about other shows remained sparse, the band began to appear at other festivals around Europe, appearing at Roadburn in Holland and the Supersonic Festival in England. Rumblings of a new album began to emerge, and in 2013 the band released its first new material in 12 years, a cover of Slaughter’s “F.O.D.” The following year, Godflesh returned with two releases, an EP, Decline & Fall, as well as the band’s seventh full-length album, A World Lit Only by Fire. In 2017, Godflesh released Post Self, an album that leaned closer to the group’s post-punk and industrial influences rather than metal. Pure: Live was released in 2022, and the 2023 studio album Purge revisited the hip-hop influences of the original Pure.
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