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Godflesh - Purge review

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Band: Godflesh
Album: Purge
Release date: June 2023

01. Nero
02. Land Lord
03. Army Of Non
04. Lazarus Leper
05. Permission
06. The Father
07. Mythology Of Self
08. You Are The Judge, The Jury, And The Executioner

This Godflesh review is coming from a strange place. Ordinarily their music is simultaneously numbing and punishing. However, after a day of staring at spreadsheets, having the dentist go medieval on my mouth with a harpoon and power drill, and ineptly fumbling my way through an hour of the Dead Space remake, pressing play on Purge and letting the nostalgic mechanized assault of Godflesh wash over me, the album filled me with such happy thoughts I might as well have been playing Katrina And The Waves “Walking On Sunshine (Don’t It Feel Good?)”. Or at least the Slayer mash-up, ”Chemical Warfare (Don’t It Feel Good?)”.

So yeah, nostalgic. Word used intentionally. Not terribly long ago I completed my 50th lap around Sol. I haven’t been reviewing or even listening to a lot of new stuff, been too busy on a nostalgia trip, enjoying all the wonderful tunes I’ve enjoyed over my life. So much good stuff. But when I saw Godflesh coming down the pike with a new album, I threatened to crucify any staff member who challenged my claim to review it, then setting them all ablaze to recreate the cover art of my beloved first GF album, Streetcleaner, in the lobby of MS Towers.

Godflesh are Godflesh and the band has constantly been evolving over the years and albums, though unlike, say, Ulver, they’ve always stayed kinda in their lane, with Justin starting more side projects than Garm to the Al Jourgensen’th power to engage his other inclinations and interests.

Purge, at least to these rusty ears, seems like a bit of nostalgia as well, moving forward while drawing on the band’s past. When the album first kicked off with “Nero“, followed by my jaw dropping, I was already ready to make some snarky Purge = Pure Part Two comment. But the album, like the band’s history, shifts as it goes.

The first three tracks are probably my personal favorite representation of Godflesh: very mechanized drum assault, crushing riffs or their patent-pending tension building two-note alteration. Toss in some other electronic elements and the three seem right out of the Pure or Selfless eras.

A couple tracks later, suddenly the more 'industrial' beats give way for more 'club' beats, like something out of their late 90s releases. “Permission” almost seems like something that could appear in some late 90s Cyber-Dystopian Dark Future flicks like The Matrix or Hackers, alternating between some scene set in a club with lots of people in black leather or latex waving around glow stix and scenes from some high speed chase. Weird, but give it a listen and let me know if I’m that far off. “Lazarus Leper” has a basic almost 18th century martial beat that adds in more elements that I can only imagine Fine Line Club BitterCYoung dancing to like Crispin Glover.

So with most the album gone, we’ve had our dose of the more straightforward 'Metal' or 'Pop' Godflesh, then the more dub/beat stuff. The album closes off with a pair of more somber, stark tracks that remind me of the second half of Streetcleaner, the slow, plodding, tense bits that harken back to tunes like “Mighty Trust Krusher”: a strong way to end the album.

So yeah, as I am now even BitterCOlder, I cannot state how much I enjoyed listening to this release. Purge certainly isn’t color-by-number Pure II: Godflesh Boogaloo; it’s its own album that touches on elements of the band’s past but doesn’t wallow in “Member Berries”.

You have my ”Permisson” to head on over to Bandcamp and check this out.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9

Written on 08.06.2023 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.

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