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Doom and optimism

October 22, 2007

One of my favourite artists working in the world of metal at the moment is Justin Broadrick and his Jesu project. The first Jesu album back in 2005 was a brilliant combination of stomach-turning doom metal with flashes of ethereal beauty. Since then, he’s moved even further away from his misanthropic metalhead roots in bands like Napalm Death and Godflesh. 2007’s Conqueror album could almost be considered a “pop” album. If your definition of “pop” stretches as far as mine does.

Every song moves at the speed of toxic sludge and the guitars have never been tuned higher than an octave below normal. But the chord progressions are anthemic and Broadrick’s multi-tracked vocals sound positively angelic at times. The sound isn’t exactly metal and it’s not exactly shoegazer or space rock either. It’s a sound that’s currently unique to Jesu.

The catchiest song on the album is “Mother Earth” and it’s as good an introduction as any. At this rate, the third Jesu album will be produced by Timbaland.

Or not.

Jesu – “Mother Earth”

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