Release Date: Nov 16, 2010
Record label: Hydra Head
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Post-Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal
This pairing of Justin K. Broadrick's Jesu releases offers an excellent way to look at the evolution of a project. Broadrick was -- arguably anyway -- the man who brought shoegaze music into doomy, sludgy, turtle-paced metal via the first two 20-minute cuts found here, the long out of print Heart Ache EP. The latter of these tracks begins with a solo acoustic piano, but becomes something wholly other midway through.
If music were only the sum of the adjectives generally used to describe it, Jesu-- beautiful, brutal, melodic, metallic, heavy, heavenly-- would probably be my favorite band of all time. Since 2003, Justin K. Broadrick has stretched gentle, arching pop tunes over relentless drums and electric guitars. Jesu is the more accessible extension of Broadrick's Godflesh, grafting that old band's maw to music both bleak and hazy, warm and hummable.
A reviewer of any of Justin K. Broadrick’s many projects faces the great temptation to slip into a recitation of the Broadrick List. But Broadrick is indeed a visionary who has brought an unmistakable sensibility to countless genres of post-punk music, many of which he himself had a hand in inventing, including grindcore, which he inaugurated while still a teenage guitarist for Napalm Death, and industrial-metal minimalism with the long-running Godflesh.
These days, it might sound foreign to try and release a debut record with just two songs that both stretch beyond the 15-minute mark, but UK experimental metal band Jesu did just that with the 2004 EP Heart Ache. Of course, Jesu’s sole force back then—founding member Justin K. Broadrick—had the pedigree to pull off the task. A former member of Napalm Death and founding member of Godflesh, Broadrick had more than a lifetime’s worth of metal-inclinded musical experience before he started Jesu with one big, lengthy bang.