Right now, the music-listening public is infatuated with prefixed genres like “post rock” and “post metal,” further complicating the once easy task of usefully labeling music. Jesu, along with the current crop of heavy Anglo-American bands, got caught up in the name game, quickly garnering about fifty genre titles. I’ll keep it nice and simple: Jesu is heavy, industrial tinged rock music with metal’s penchant for the epic and grandiose. They sound like Godflesh’s rhythm section with swirling showgaze guitar, powerful doom riffs, gentle waves of synthesizer, and melodic, somewhat subdued vocals. It’s basically Justin Broadrick taking Godflesh to the next level. Simple enough.
“Silver” is just an EP, but the epic songs and majestic (for lack of a better word) title track gives it the heft of a full-length album. I’ll just come out and say it: the song “Silver” is a masterpiece, perhaps one of the greatest metal songs of all time. It begins with a catchy noise rock and ends with a resounding, soaring, quasi-Romantic riff that nearly caused my brain to explode the first time I heard it. It’s like listening to the miraculous restoration of the earth to its former glory or the rise and fall of a civilization- there’s no unpretentious way to describe it. Like most Jesu songs, it only contains two riffs and a transition. It’s a simple composition, but man does it work.
Jesu rely on pounding industrial metal beats to keep a tight focus, but dump on layers of guitar feedback and keyboard effects, interspersed with beautiful guitar melodies. It’s like an epic metal Acid Mothers Temple or classically influenced stoner rock. Justin Broadrick writes songs that take everything that was great about Godflesh and adds sonorous and uplifting melodies and textures, synthesizing the ugliness of industrial, the grandeur of metal, and the impressionistic dreaminess of shoegaze. When done right it’s a heady stew, and here it’s done right.
01 – Silver
02 – Star
03 – Wolves
04 – Dead Eyes