Originally written by Andy Smyth
If you are a fan of the Hydrahead label, then Jesu is a must own. Yet another Neurosis / ISIS style band, you can even compare them to Godflesh, especially since this is Justin Broderick’s long awaited solo project, the singer and guitarist for the aforementioned band. The album is super heavy, while maintaining the calming atmosphere that sets these bands many notches above the rest. This hefty album weighs in at a little over 74 minutes. Jesu is not for those with short attention spans.
Jesu is more about the drone and less on the percussion, not to say that the percussion isn’t aptly placed throughout. The drums, as in many of these bands, are used as the framework for the other elements, namely guitar drones, to rest upon.
The album starts its epic journey with a song 9:13 in length (forgive me for not having song titles). not that this size of a track is uncommon these days, but it is a lot to digest, and thankfully it is metalicious. For a main course, one heaping pile of fuzzed out doom, and several sides of melody including a constant keyboard note in the multilayered background, and a touch of drums.
The album makes way to “Track 2,” another 9 minute plus mammoth, and this time with an even heavier approach. A scratchy, dirty, pounding beat gets underway, and do not be afraid to bob your head. Crank this one up! The track then tapers off into more middle earth drones and keyboard note changes, all melting together.
The best use of percussion is displayed on the beautiful “Track 3.” Soothing keyboards, move into more of the same dinosaur sized drones. The song builds to its climax at (7:23). After a long build up, a march style drumming fades in, and it fits so cleanly and patriotically.
Lets just say that every track following is superb. If you are not paying attention, track 7 is sure to give a good jolt to your system; The vocals on Jesu are far and few between, and are done in the typical monotone style, with an intense amount of reverb. This works to the advantage for the overall epic feel of the album.
Jesu, is heavy on the drone (how many times have I said this word by now?), and the layering on this album is done well; of course Broderick should have this perfected by now. So much has already been done for this genre. The bar is already set so high. This album fits nicely in the catalog. It is a dark album, but not as harsh, abrasive and noisy as Godflesh are known to be. This album should aid you well in your quest to reach a winter-long hibernation, or even practice some active R.E.M sleep. This is music you can lay back and melt away to as you become one with your surroundings.