April 17, 2006

Review: Jesu | Silver EP

Jesu -- Silver EPThe quartet of crumbling doomgazer cuts that comprise Jesu's recently released Silver EP is the most enticing thing we've heard from Hydra Head Records yet this year. The band is the brainchild of absurdly prolific Welshman Justin Broadrick, who plays guitars, programs beats and sings on Silver with augmentation in the traps and bass departments from a pair of conspirators. Many likely know Broadrick best as a founding member of Napalm Death and for his work with industrial progenitor Godflesh, but the fact is, according to a recent interview, the guy has his name on some 100 records that have come out in the last two decades. In "Silver" Broadrick cloaks simple but stirring balladry and melodies among slowly billowing curtains of distorted guitars that are studded with programmed percussion. The relatively uptempo "Star" eventually succumbs to a plodding groove in its midsection before entering its minute-long fadeout. The vocals are mixed low in the haze throughout the set, and closer "Dead Eyes" goes the furthest in rendering the vocals as simply another melody line by completely scrambling them via processing.

You can download samples of all four tracks here. The Silver EP, which streeted April 11, precedes a second Jesu full-length that is currently in the works, according to Mr. Broadrick's blog here. Jesu plans a tour of Europe next month to support Silver's release.

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