Heavy music is full of legendary bands boasting deep catalogs stacked with iconic songs — sometimes it can be hard to know where to start, or what to consider their best. With that in mind, we present the “Mandatory Metal” lists, which collect what we consider to be the definitive tracks from various members of the metallurgic pantheon. Up today, Godflesh, Birmingham’s leading purveyors of devastating industrial metal and a band that influenced the likes of Korn, Fear Factory, Pantera and Metallica. Justin Broadrick’s project has a ton of awesome songs in its catalog, but in our opinion, these classic cuts are their most essential. If you disagree, sound off on The Pit Facebook page.
Absolutely pummeling and uncompromising, the gripping opener off Godflesh’s landmark debut full-length, Streetcleaner, serves as the band’s enduring mission statement.
Sample lyrics: “You breed/Like rats”
Gorgeous yet crushing, Selfless’ lead cut hinted at more melodic possibilities for Godflesh while still staying true to the project’s devastating vision.
Sample lyrics: “I see so much/Burns my eyes/Lift your arms up/Touch the sky”
Justin Broadrick pulled on his love of hip-hop in the looping, danceable beat to this standout industrial scorcher.
Sample lyrics: “Pure/By yourself/I’m so impressed/Pure
ALBUM: Songs of Love and Hate
Just try not to bob your head to this massive dancefloor-ready ripper, which manages to be both nihilistic and fun.
Sample lyrics: “Fear for your own survival/You can’t fight what you are/You’re still running/From yourself/No escape/From your own hell”
Broadrick fully unleashed his killer singing voice on this fittingly titled standout from what was Godflesh’s bittersweet swan song until their eventual reunion.
Sample lyrics: “You make me feel what you feel/I will become you ’cause you know what’s real”