Three years since Godflesh packed out The National they return to Montreal to play the half-empty La Sala Rossa after the show was downgraded from L’Astral. The lack of ticket sales this time around may be down to the higher prices or maybe The Flaming Lips have tempted a few people away for their show at MTelus. Whatever the reason, the atmosphere tonight isn’t quite what it should be but that doesn’t stop the industrial metal pioneers (although they have distanced themselves from that title) from putting on an intensely engaging performance.
After a cinematic and mesmerising opening set from Montreal-based artist Eric Quach aka thisquietarmy it’s a fairly short wait before Godflesh arrive on stage without any introduction and launch into the repetitive thunderous sound of Anything Is Mine from 1994’s classic Selfless album, which they recently performed in its entirety at the Roadburn festival.
Its 30 years since Justin Broadrick (guitar, vocals and programming) and G. C. Green (bass) first unleashed their genre-defining sound onto an unsuspecting music scene and, in those three decades, the duo has stuck firm to their original blueprint. Harsh machine beats, production-emphasised bass, distorted guitar and sparse vocals delivered by Broadrick in a low, guttural fashion. It’s a fairly relentless combination but one that feels like you’ve been hit by a ten-ton truck. In a good way!
There’s very little in the way of chat between songs and both Broadrick, almost unrecognisable with long hair, and Green barely move from their places on stage. The bleak soundscapes are accompanied by a backdrop of apocalyptic scenes and Christian iconography, and both musicians are hardly visible due to the minimal red backlighting. It all adds up to create a mood that perfectly mirrors the songs.
A few technical issues are ironed out quickly and songs such as Parasite and set-closer receive the biggest response from the crowd. “Thanks for showing up,” says Broadrick as they leave the stage before a welcome return to plough through a ferocious Christbait Rising.
After the gig, Broadrick was scheduled to perform at another venue under his techno alter-ego of JK Flesh but the lack of ticket sales for the Godflesh show lead to that being cancelled, much to many fans’ annoyance. But, from this venue at least, nobody leaves disappointed.
Anything Is Mine
Mirror of Finite Light
Review & Photos – Steve GerrardShare this :