Godflesh are an English industrial metal band from Birmingham, England. The group formed in 1982 under the title Fall of Because, but did not release any complete music until 1988 when Justin Broadrick (guitar, vocals and programming) and G. C. Green (bass) renamed the band and decided to use a drum machine for percussion. Melding heavy metal with industrial music and later with electronic music and dub, Godflesh's innovative sound is widely regarded as a foundational influence on other industrial metal and post-metal acts and as significant to both experimental metal and extreme metal.[a]
The band signed to Earache Records in the late 1980s and released their influential debut album, Streetcleaner (1989), to critical acclaim. After the release of 1992's Pure and 1994's major label debut Selfless, they started experimenting with live drums, as well as with hip hop and breakbeat sounds. The resulting albums, Songs of Love and Hate (1996) and Us and Them (1999), were followed by Hymns (2001), which saw a simplification of the band's sound. Shortly after Green's departure in 2002, Broadrick ended Godflesh and pursued various other projects, including Jesu. Broadrick and Green reformed Godflesh in 2010, releasing A World Lit Only by Fire (2014) and Post Self (2017) to critical acclaim.
As one of the pioneers of industrial metal, Godflesh's early sound was defined by harsh machine beats, production-emphasised bass, distorted guitar and sparse vocals delivered in a low, guttural fashion. The band performed for most of their career as a duo with Broadrick and Green playing over preprogrammed percussion, normally to a backdrop of apocalyptic scenes and Christian iconography. Godflesh's music has been regarded as especially heavy and grim, with Streetcleaner being named by several publications as one of the heaviest and greatest metal albums.