I once read an article in a magazine somewhere many years ago, that said something like if there ever was a hell;Godflesh would be the soundtrack to the gates being opened. And Friday night, after being disbanded for almost 12 years and just recently getting back together, Godflesh proved they still could take you to those depths of hell and bring you back in one piece.
This was my first time seeing Godflesh, since being a diehard fan of theirs back since 1989 when I first picked up their album Streetcleaner at a record store in Corvallis. I had never heard of them before, and only bought the album because of the apocalyptic looking cover. Putting the needle down on Side A on my dad’s record player I was hooked, and finally 25 years later I got to see these pioneers of industrial metal live.
Godflesh was originally scheduled to play on October 25th, 2013; but due to the United States government shut down prior to this, Immigration kept denying Justin’s and Ben’s Visas into the US and the tour was postponed to a later date, April 18th, 2014.
So after waiting almost six months for this postponed show, Justin and Ben finally walked out onto the smoke filled stage plugging in their instruments. Justin went to the side of the stage, opened up his Apple laptop, pressed something with his finger and within seconds the song “Like Rats” pummeled everyone’s ear drums and the packed Hawthorne Theatre went crazy.
Prior to the show starting, one of the security guys that was letting everyone into the venue bragged about getting to see Godflesh’s sound check. He said it was brutally loud with a smile on his face. And once Justin and Ben played that first note from “Like Rats”, there no doubt about it, the security guy was correct.
Watching Justin play was amazing. I was pressed up against the stage within arm reach of him. He bleeds music out of every pore of his body. He is a great musician and the sound he creates with his guitar is intense. Godflesh have been known to inspire countless bands ranging from Fear Factory, Danzig, Ministry, Korn, Faith No More, and even Nine Inch Nails.
Godflesh kicked ass in Portland, and I hope I don’t have to wait another 25 years to see them live again. Long live Godflesh! And one of the major highlights on this day was meeting Justin before the show.