Godflesh - HMV Forum, London

More suited to the close confines of a dirty basement synonymous with the hardcore punk scene they helped to propagate, the impact of D.R.I. is somewhat lost in the comparatively cavernous Forum tonight. But that does not stop them blasting through half an hour of acerbic lyrics and biting riffs, the short and very sharp shocks lapped up by an ever growing, and ever more appreciative crowd.

As fast as D.R.I. were, Goatsnake are equally slow; the gargantuan riffs of Greg Anderson (with one of the best guitar tones in metal to boot) rattle the very foundations of the venue as the sound waves thump through everyone with as much venom as an Ali right hook.

The Southern-tinged grooves might be a long way from home, but are quite definitely welcomed on this wet and otherwise miserable evening in north London as the band transports us out to the Palm Desert, for an hour at least.

Returning to London for the first time in over a decade, the almighty Godflesh are something else tonight; pioneers of the industrial metal scene in the wake of the seminal Streetcleaner album, upon which most of the set is based, the pair prove that they are still unparalleled for sheer caustic malevolence.

Stupefying heavy and earth-shatteringly loud, this is a master class in refined yet pure and unabated hatred; right from the opening chord of ‘Like Rats’ this is a brutal display of supreme musicianship as Justin Broadrick flies up and down the frets with a machine-like precision and GC Green thumps the bass with demonic passion to create this immense wall of sound.

There is nothing beyond 1992’s Pure in the main set, and even then it is only the closing triumvirate of ‘Spite’, ‘Mothra’ and a feedback drenched rendition of the title track; what is more of a surprise is two tracks from the aborted Tiny Tears EP, both probably the most melodious offerings from the Godflesh cannon.

A triumphant encore of hit and evergreen favourite ‘Crush My Soul’ and a particularly vicious ‘Slateman’ draws the curtain down on what has been a magnificent evening of bone-crushing music that proves despite the absences and side projects, Godflesh remain one of the heaviest bands to ever grace our ears.

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