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Jesu - Conqueror (Cover Artwork)

Jesu

Jesu: ConquerorConqueror (2007)
Hydra Head Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: AubinAubin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

With both his debut Jesu, and the followup EP, Silver, Justin Broadrick made it clear that his days of screaming were behind him. The debut saw 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 .
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With both his debut Jesu, and the followup EP, Silver, Justin Broadrick made it clear that his days of screaming were behind him.

The debut saw 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.

The ensuing EP addresses some of this criticism, with the band lessening some of their reliance on the old tricks of crunchy guitars, and emphasizing a more ethereal and gentle heaviness that seemed like pop-punk channeled through shoegaze. It was remarkably accessible to the uninitiated and is still perhaps one of the best places to start for anyone interested in Broadrick's remarkable catalogue.

Conqueror, on the other hand, finds Broadrick as uninhibited as ever, taking his inspiration from no one, not even his own history. Like My Bloody Valentine's Loveless -- a record which is likely to be mentioned a lot in connection with Conqueror -- Jesu has a new musical vocabulary, creating highly visual soundscapes that are so far removed from traditional rock as to be near unrecognizable. Even the sounds Justin extracts from his guitars sound otherworldly; shimmering but always melodic; loud but never metal.

That's not to say that the record sounds blurry or disconnected; the songs seem to follow a logic of their own, nothing like the standard arc-to-denouement that pervades most post-rock acts. Jesu knows exactly when to tighten up the guitars, with some melodic bridges ("Transfigure") invoking memories of the breakdown in Hum's "Stars."

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. We're just lucky that they chose to record it.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Jesu - SilverConverge - Jane DoeDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeIsis - PanopticonRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeColiseum - No SalvationCoalesce - 012:2Converge - No HeroesCoalesce - Give Them Rope She Said v2.0Black Cross - Art Offensive

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
TommyPickles (May 27, 2008)

Amazing

nocigar (February 26, 2007)

I like this, a lot.

branden (February 25, 2007)

im new to jesu, but i bought this yesterday. and so far i dont really like it. thats only after one listen though, ill give it a few more chances. but imo the lyrics are seriously pretty weak

Anonymous (February 23, 2007)

oddly enough, i just found the heartache ep on itunes

homie (February 23, 2007)

Awesome.

Infrarecon (February 23, 2007)

After repeated listens I'm with everyone else on Silver being better. Still a great album though.

Inspection12e (February 23, 2007)

This album is amazing.

Does anyone know where I can get the Heartache EP?

Fuzzy (February 23, 2007)

This album is fantastic.

Anonymous (February 23, 2007)

fantastic record...so nice to hear something fresh for a change...

Electrickle (February 23, 2007)

Another great album by these guys, best release of the year so far.

Anonymous (February 23, 2007)

yes yes yes

Anonymous (February 23, 2007)

this band sounds interesting. i know nothing about them, whats their connection with Jesus, or is it just a good sounding name?

dangerass (February 23, 2007)

This is an awesome disc, but Silver is hard to beat.

colin (February 23, 2007)

i think i prefer the albums in the order they've been released. however, not by much, as they're all incredibly fine efforts. great act all around.

aubin (February 23, 2007)

You're right about Heart Ache. I actually ordered that one all the way from England so you'd think I'd remember.

Amazingthemike (February 23, 2007)

Heart Ache was the debut, not the self-titeld album. Just an FYI.

inagreendase (February 22, 2007)

Yeah, I did like Silver better, but this is oddly soothing. Odd because Broadrick has said he wants to make some of the most "wrist-slashing"-worthy music around, or something, but it's just nicely calming and unnerving.

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