JESU – Conqueror

Justin Broadrick has already made his mark with the now-defunct GODFLESH, but the man certainly isn’t resting on his laurels. He’s churned out some refreshing sonics with JESU‘s self-titled debut and last year’s great Silver EP. New album Conqueror follows JESU‘s brand of thick and heavy GODFLESH-tinged dirge. Songs are long and the pace is slow. And as with any JESU release, tracks aren’t instantly engaging. The atonal, brooding nature tests a listener’s patience. Although this time around, the melodies are consistently dreamier. In fact, it seems like Broadrick has adopted a far more pleasant atmosphere on Conqueror compared to some darker and harsher elements found on the Jesu album. “Transfigure” is easily the most instantly ear-friendly tune on the album. Similarly, “Medicine” almost has an almost singable chorus. This is possibly questionable for long-time followers of Broadrick who are used to rust, not polish. But perhaps all is with positive intent as Broadrick has never been one to limit his own capabilities having dabbled in electronic and hip hop beyond his metal and industrial realm. The ethereal sounds of Conqueror flirts with subtle indie rock appeal…albeit with Broadrick‘s signature guitar, familiar voice, and always essential low frequency trembling. Conqueror may not be the most favorable album in JESU‘s young catalog, but it is more evidence that it is truly one Justin K. Broadrick who is thee very conqueror of music. (Hydra Head Records)

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