Dusted Reviews

Jesu - Silver

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Jesu

Album: Silver

Label: Hydra Head

Review date: Jul. 4, 2006

The dog days of summer are lapping away, cooking my brain, and things seem to shimmer with the heat. Jesu’s four-song, 30-minute EP is a perfect soundtrack. While it may still be relevant to rehearse Justin Broadrick’s history on some level (the Napalm Death to Godflesh move seems a bigger one than the Godflesh to Jesu move), this group (with drummer Ted Parsons lending an occasional hand to guitarist/vocalist Broadrick and bassist Diarmud Dalton) is developing an ever more distinctive sonic presence, one defined both by its crushing weight and its other qualities, not so much ephemeral as strangely effervescent.

Yes it’s heavy, yes it has riffs – just consult the closing “Dead Eyes,” where Broadrick and Dalton whip together a sinister feel. But there’s a resounding, chiming, ritualistic quality to this music that always makes me feel like I’m in some cathedral. So while a lot of folks are fond of referring to Jesu as shoegazer metal or metalgaze (and I suppose it’s not a bad reference – after all, some of this stuff sounds like it could be off of The Cure’s Disintegration), these songs billow outward rather than burrow under. But at the same time the music envelops you, presses down on you, and – for all its apparent self-doubts and introspection – demands submission.

So the music isn’t cheery or even particularly light, even if it flashes a gleaming melody or memorable hook. After all, despite the processional feel of the title track, there is the chastened ending where Broadrick laments “So there’s just a little gold.” Similarly, the relatively sunny “Star” moves from a shining surface to a spoiled mood, a confession that Broadrick can’t ignore what others shrug off (“It won’t be so hard, not for you”). Gleaming brilliantly on occasion, the music keeps withdrawing into itself, returning to a dirge-like state: despite its fleeting incandescence, this is grinding and hypnotic (though never completely doomstruck in the sense of, say, Khanate). If there’s any parallel, then I’d name early Esoteric (the buried vocals, the rippling bell-like effect of the decaying chords as they waft outward and then recede). But however we choose to define Jesu’s music, I think it’s quite gorgeous and arresting. This EP represents more a refinement or a rededication than a new direction. But it’s enough to satisfy until the next full-length comes along.

By Jason Bivins

Other Reviews of Jesu



Heart Ache & Dethroned


Read More

View all articles by Jason Bivins

Find out more about Hydra Head

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.