Godflesh Pulverises The Fleece In Bristol
Given the recent talk that the future of The Fleece, one of Bristol's best venues to see metal and rock bands, could be under threat, it seemed the perfect time to have one of industrial metal's most important acts, Godflesh perform at the club. Godflesh had been performing a small UK tour in support of their new EP, "Decline and Fall," as well as their forthcoming new studio album, "A World Lit Only By Fire," their first full length album since 2001's, "Hymns," and the prospect of seeing the band live was absolutely thrilling.
They were joined on the night by Ramleh, a name which also has signifficance in their own genre as one of the earliest recognised bands in the noise genre. They more than lived up to their genre's name, as walking into their set, myself and company were immediately met with an ear ache. The band consists of two men, one on bass and the other on guitar, vocals and electronics, the latter of which were certainly the most prominent. Picture a bassist stood in front of an airplane engine, playing one note every now and then and you'll get the idea of what seeing Ramleh is like. I was amazed to see people stood at the front actually nodding along to what was essentially just amplified white noise. Maybe I just don't get it, but I can honestly say that they were one of the worst acts I've ever seen live. Nothing interesting going on, no stage presence, not even any music in the traditional sense of the word. There were far more people stood outside the venue than inside watching them and unless you're a noise fan, I would advise you to do the same if they're supporting someone you want to see.
However, the men of the hour, Justin Broadrick and G.C. Green, collectively known as Godflesh, were well worth the wait. The wonderful thing about the band is that they are truly artists, but unlike some others, carry no air of pretentiousness with them. The two did the soundcheck themselves and began the set when they felt like it, with no long winded intro tape or strobe lighting to announce their performance. The crowd were overjoyed to be seeing the two grace the stage, many of which were witnessing Godflesh for the first time. Reaction to the set increased tenfold when they charged into the "Streetcleaner" opener, "Like Rats," the third song of the set, followed by the classic, "Christbait Rising" from the same record, straight after. It wasn't just material from "Streetcleaner" that got an airing tonight, as "Pure" staples such as "Spite" and "Mothra" were also unleashed, the latter to one of the best receptions of any song on the night.
New material was also on show, most notably in the form of "Ringer" from the new EP, all before "Crush My Soul" was taken out of the bag, to another great reception. Godflesh really are a fantastic live act, complimented by the screen behind them projecting images which compliment the music perfectly and a bass sound which can only be compared to sticking your head out of a car window while driving down the motorway. It blows your hair back and actually heats your body. Godflesh live is literally awesome and one that all fans of extreme metal need to have on their bucket list. I can honestly say that they are one of, if not, the heaviest band I have ever witnessed. If "A World Lit Only By Fire" is anything like their live set, listeners are in for a real treat.
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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