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Jesu

Jesu

A year ago, Jesu was only a blip on the radar for most of the music world. And then, as if out of nowhere, Justin Broadrick emerged from the swirling rumors in the darkness with his latest project in the form of Heart Ache, a forty minute EP comprised of only two tracks. While the acclaim was limited at first, Jesu's next album steadily climbed to the top of many individuals' most anticipated releases of 2005.

Jesu's opener, "Your Path to Divinity," begins with slow moving, droney guitars while simplistic, yet well placed drumming of former Swans member Ted Parson compliments the crawling tones. The song slowly twists its way along before it comes to a close with notes from an organ that has been playing underneath the music for the extent of the song.

Moving on, "Friends are Evil," definitely shows significant resemblances to Godflesh. The opening sequence is dominated by dredging guitar riffs. And with the greatest of ease, the song shifts into a segment layered with effect-laden guitars and Broadrick's soft vocal harmonies. The ending sequence, made up of a variety of repetitive guitar tones as well as an organ, reminded of those psychedelic rock instances from The Wall.

While the previous tracks shared more in common with metal, "Tired of Me" bears a closer resemble to post-rock acts like Sigur Rós. The juxtaposition of these songs shows the diversity contained throughout the album. "We All Faulter" merges these two different yet complimentary styles, forming a perfect marriage of the two in a superb piece of atmospheric metal.

"Walk on Water" and "Sun Day" delve even further into this fusion of metal, drone, and post rock. Because of the intricate layering, slow tempo and the length of the tracks, the songs maintain their cohesiveness, and they rise and fall like waves in the middle of the ocean. Broadrick and company revisit the heavier edge to Jesu on "Man/Woman." Broadrick teams his heavily processed vocals with Diarmuid Dalton's sludgy bass and Paul Neville's noisy, penetrating guitars riffs. We're treated to a showcasing of Dalton's bass playing in the second half of the song.

Closing out the album is another of the more ambient songs on the album, providing once again a nice contrast with the previous track. "Guardian Angel" still contains slight elements of doom metal, but the majority of the song is made up by layered, interlocking atmospheric elements with Broadrick's soothing melodies.

So where is the fault in Jesu's full-length effort? Not having any lyrics in the liner notes is somewhat of a disappointment. I hate having to guess and that is my only frustration with this album. But, I should have assumed there wouldn't be any since they didn't accompany the EP. Damn my wishful thinking.

Jesu oozes personality. It's a 74 minute masterpiece brooding with an aura of uneasiness, depression, and melancholy. And despite its negative connotation, I consistently find myself listening to it from start to finish. Jesu is one of the finest albums released in the past five years, and its effect will undoubtedly be heard in the years to come.

9.9 / 10Michael
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Hydra Head

2005

9.9 / 10

9.9 / 10

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