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Joined: 04 Feb 2000
Posts: 5263
Location: South of Voivodland

PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:39 pm    Post subject: Jesu - Conqueror (2007) Reply with quote

The new year brings the long awaited Justin Broadrick 's Jesu album.
With Jesu, Justin is obviously trying to break free from the past with his project band, Godflesh; a band that unfortunately, will always cast of large shadow over any of his musical projects, simply because it was just such a groundbreaking act.

I had very high expectations of this album, simply because i really liked the first self titled CD Jesu, and while Conqueror is not stylistically different from the debut album; featuring the same clean delayed vocals and droning sounds; it just doesn't touch me the same way as the debut album did.

I was hoping that, like in Godflesh, Justin was going to move forward and explore new ground, in this case something similar to what other post-rock bands like Sigur Ros's, Mogwai are doing, but he basically decided to try the the same formula of his first album, just adding a few pop and melodic elements to a couple of the songs in Conqueror.
Sticking to your guns is not a bad thing, i was expecting a bit more from the Godflesh mastermind.

If you liked the Jesu debut album, you will love Conqueror, but don't expect any radical Godflesh-like experiments.
"I believe the common character of the universe is not harmony, but hostility, chaos and murder." -Werner Herzog
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Joined: 24 Dec 2002
Posts: 117
Location: Central Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think your assessment is pretty fair, although I would like to offer some additional points you may or may not agree with.

Obviously I'm a bit fond of Justin Broadrick's work, particularly with Godflesh and Jesu, so take my opinions with that in mind as well... Laughing

I agree that Godflesh was a continually evolving organism. But that creature evolved roughly over 14 years and a host of albums, EPs, split projects and side projects. Jesu is still in its infancy by comparison.

The first 2 or 3 Godflesh albums weren't that progressive in relation to each other IMO. Actually, I find that the Godflesh albums tended to follow a pattern of 2 or 3 albums having much in common, where the first in each series was the evolution from the previous, and the last in the series gave hints to the progression of the next.

With that said, I find one very important bit of progression in Conqueror that has been hinted at since the first EP Heartache - The attempt at perfecting the juxtaposition of majesty (music and vocals) with misery (lyrics and vocals).

Where Godflesh sought to initially bludgeon you with feelings of despair, Broadrick has chosen another path with Jesu. The music soars with incredibly massive sound and uplifting power. The vocals drift between lamentation and loss, through anguish and self-loathing; A Narcissistic exercise in self-destruction.

The first hints of this appeared on Godflesh's Songs of Love and Hate but it was very primitive. The song Frail was a harbinger of this new thing called Jesu.

My prediction is that the next release will contain even more of the melodic and memorable content we've seen in songs like Friends are Evil, Star, Medicine and Stanlow.

I'm absolutely thrilled with the direction Jesu is going. When I first heard Frail, Live to Lose and the "hidden" portion of the song Jesu, I was hoping that would be Godflesh's new direction. When Godflesh disbanded, it was a massive disappointment. Fortunately, Broadrick picked up the best pieces of his former creation and has been busy building a more developed and mature beast.

Godflesh is dead. Long live Jesu.
"Of course I'm not dead. I'm not done yet..."
Joe Haight
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