Monday, April 16, 2007

Jesu

Dripping heavy, cascading walls of sound, U.K. shoegazing trio Jesu -- helmed by Justin Broadrick who used to front the mighty Godflesh and an original member of Napalm Death., with Diarmuid Dalton and Ted Parsons in tow -- churn out static-edged mini-epics. With Broadrick's echoing vox serving as another whirring layer of instrumentation it gives you a bone chilling feeling that runs through your spine. I almost get the same feeling listening to this album when the first time I listened to Tool’s album Anemia the fist time in the dark.

This album sees Broadrick embracing what could only be described as a wash of sound: chords that seemed to neither begin nor end, vocals that drifted and echoed and an overdriven, bass-heavy production style that emphasized both the visceral power of the guitar and the contrast of melody and noise.

It was a beautiful album, but some correctly noted that it sounded like
a more melodic version of Godflesh, rather than a whole new band yet
I look at Jesu as the complete opposite of what Broadrick was trying to accomplish in Godflesh. It time it gives off an early Tool sound yet is
more simplistic and powerful then anything they have released. Jesu pushes the limits of ambient doom/metal/progressive music more then any other band of the genre and I’m glad this bands has been apart of my music collection over the past year.

Lyrically, Justin’s lyrics follow the same melancholic air as his previous albums, with pervasive themes of loneliness and depression, though it’s the sad musings of an adult, not the self-important childish depression one suffers from too many acts. His vocals often provide the anchor to each song, acting as a solitary streetlight visible in the fog.

There is truly nothing like Jesu out there right now, music that transcends genre and convention and focuses purely on the creative act. Jesu oozes more personality then any bands trying to push the limits of intelligent heavy music.

Download: Conqueror.