Godflesh Streetcleaner: triumph of industrial grindcore

godflesh-streetcleaner

Sometimes great albums happen. Multiple forces converge — influences, musicians, leaders, ideas, opportunities — and everyone involved becomes more than they are. They rise above their mortal lives and create something profound enough to live in, a musical world we want to inhabit and take up its struggles and make it turn into the full potential we see nascent within its objects.

Streetcleaner falls into this category. After a stylistically-inspiring but somewhat deconstructive first EP that never really created a direction of its own except aesthetically, the three individuals who comprise Godflesh returned with a new energy. They combined influences from their fledgling industrial grindcore, indie rock and death metal, and came up with an album resonant with layers of potential. Instead of aiming to destroy melody, they built it from the smallest elements so that it could only be seen when those overlapped and only then often by implication, creating a haunting album like an ancient mansion full of unexplored pathways and secret rooms.

Slowing down their attack, Godflesh carved time into a space through the selective introduction of sounds which then received an ecosystem of other sonic fragments with which to interact, creating an atmosphere that also had form and narrative. From indie rock they borrowed melancholic but affectionate melodies, from death metal complex song structures, and from industrial the sound that genre had always desired to express, namely a machine crushing human hope like a Charles Dickens novel. Together these influences formed a sound like Killing Joke accelerated into apocalyptic nihilism with the raw sonic experimentation of death metal.

Streetcleaner came together like an impossible dream. It borrowed from many musical traditions but the band kept both its own voice and a style specific to the album. What really distinguishes this album however is the content. Streetcleaner captures a range of human emotions in response to the disaster of human emotions that creates our modern world: individualistic selfishness leading to herd behavior empowering vast evils. In putting this into sound, Godflesh opened a dialogue with the darkest parts of our souls and the reason those souls are dark, which is that we know the possibility of light.

The band never concentrated its energy in such a way again. The following album, Pure, went back to a higher concept version of their first EP, but never managed the emotional intensity that the interwoven melodic streams of Streetcleaner brought out among the crushing noise and abrasive battle robot rhythms. They swung back the other way toward indie rock for a few more albums, but those went too far into face-value emotion and lost both intensity and honesty. Eventually the band faded out into a series of projects pursuing influences as most senior underground efforts do. However Streetcleaner remains as the apex of industrial music and the album every dark topics band wishes they could make, as well as a profound influence on the rising black metal movement and the second wave of death metal.

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Minneapolis Destroyed In Nuclear Explosion After “White Lives Matter” Banner Found

Defense Secretary Mark Esper invoked the Seventh Trumpet protocol by which United States government figures communicate directly with the population over radio, television, and internet channels simultaneously to announce that, after the discovery of a “White Lives Matter” banner in Minneapolis, the city was erased by a nuclear explosion.

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Unresolved Mysteries Explores Baffling Disappearance Of Nagging Girlfriend

“Are the pigs gone?” With these words, the new season of Unresolved Mysteries kicks off on Netflix with the mysterious and unexplained disappearance of Austin woman McKayla Rotini, who vanished without a trace last year. The first episode opens with her boyfriend, Jayden O’Malley-Wicznewski, smoking a bong with his friends, the cops having just left as part of their investigation into McKayla’s disappearance.

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Retrospective: Septic Flesh – Ophidian Wheel

In the modern metal lexicon, European metal has often been used to denote bands that relied extensively on Iron Maiden harmonies, keyboards, pseudo-classical melodies, female vocalists, tremolo picked riffs and overall less influence from Pantera and Metallica. Septic Flesh have come to epitomize this style despite adding a lot more Metalcore elements to keep with the times. Before the name change, the band were once an overlooked force and presented many ideas that metal as a whole was never fully able to capitalize on. Ophidian Wheel is the summit of the band’s creativity and pushes the romantic qualities of metal even further.

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SMR – The Confines of Madness


Kehpa Lehtinen – It is ok to be sad and dark
A regrettably titled EP by a Finnish composer who dabbles in the usual mixture of pop, film music and classical. Much of this short record adheres to the methodology of such a style but there are a few moments of genuine darkness and melancholy due to the disturbing melodies that seem to exist across all forms of Finnish music. Standard piano tropes incorporate small amounts of dissonance while a theremin will usually play the leading voice. The theremin is a difficult instrument to master as it reacts to the slightest movement, meaning that no melody can ever be replicated the exact same way and each individual will always have their particularities as physiques and motor skills vary greatly from person to person. The innate “slightly out of tune” character of the theremin has been toned down here through studio trickery but when used well in conjunction with the more exotic intervals, manages to convey powerful moods. These songs aren’t fully developed and mainly state a few themes without any narrative but show glimpses of potential that such a combination can make. If Kehpa Lehtinen was to forego the easier elements of his music and follow though on the ideas presented here, there could be something very special.

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