Album Review

Jesu – “Conqueror ” – [Hydrahead]

Daryl Licht   10/25/2007   A Library, CD

On their latest release Justin Broadrick???s Jesu continues its evolution down the musical path illuminated on the ???Silver??? LP. Although this release contains the same basic sonic elements as all previous Jesu recordings (thick, ???wall of sound??? guitars, mechanical rhythms, layered, droning keyboards, and reverbed/delayed vocals) the emphasis continues to focus more on the pop spectrum. So, yeah, there???s still thick guitar feedback heaviness, but now it comes in waves, accompanied by dreamy keyboard dronescapes, instead of the precision pound and massive blocks of riffage featured on their self-titled double LP. Personal favorites include the fuzzy dream pop of ???Transfigure??? and the distorto pop dirge “Weightless And Horizontal”.

This special, Japanese-only issue also contains a bonus disc with the two lengthy tracks from the, as of yet, unreleased ???Sun Down / Sun Rise??? LP. The first of these two tracks,???Sun Down???, is another piece that sounds very much like an extended version of the material on the first disc. ???Sun Rise??? continues to feature similar elements of sound, as well, but lowers the level of sonic density considerably to create a more ambient piece that even includes some electronica informed touches. Personally, I thought these two tracks were among the better pieces on this two disc set.

While I must admit that I found this release, overall, to be quite enjoyable, I???m not sure how interested I???ll continue to be in future Jesu titles if Broadrick???s sonic evolution continues further down its current path. When the ???Sun Down / Sun Rise??? LP does come out, it (also containing only two lengthy tracks) will make a fitting bookend to the ???Heart Ache??? CD (still the best Jesu title, in my humble opinion!) and, perhaps, a good note on which to close out the Jesu phase of Broadrick???s career before he runs its good name and reputation into the ground of disrepute like he did with Godflesh.

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