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Jesu - Conqueror CD (album) cover

CONQUEROR

Jesu

Experimental/Post Metal


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4 stars The tags that are usually given to Jesu's music are usually, in my opinion, very wrong: Jesu is not post-rock, it is not drone and I can't really see where in the world could this be doom metal. I know, it's one of their releases and I haven't listened to the early works, but really, this is shoegaze, in its noisy and depressing tradition.

The first two songs are the most straight-forward ones, and they are quite good, the first few notes of the album are very gorgeous and build up very well. Then come the calmer songs, and my two favorite ones, both "Transfigure" and "Weightless & Horizontal" have achingly beautiful melodies and very dreamy instrumental, really delightful music.

The album is pretty regular and contains more beautiful music ("Bright Eyes"), but it doesn't vary a lot, I guess there's not too much to vary after all in this kind of music. Anyway, a beautiful album and definitely a must-ear for fans of depressive, sparse and dreamy music.

Report this review (#253787)
Posted Tuesday, December 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
progkidjoel
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Wonderful modern shoegaze.

Jesu's second album represents a brilliant blend of post rock, indie and shoegaze sensibilities. The sound here is unique and distinct, and works brilliantly within nearly pop-based song structures to create a maze of guitar chugs and lush vocal work. Jesu creates a near masterpiece full of spacey and open and flawlessly links distorted, downtuned guitar with octaved keyboard chords and heavy drummery.

The album is repetitive in parts, but is always incredibly beautiful even in its heavier moments; this is no mean feat, as many bands who work around guitar chug rhythms fail to create truly heartwrenching tunes like these without resorting to boring cliches and unnatural sounding emotion. What we are essentially given here is an hour of heavy post rock, with distinct textures and atmospheres to help define and separate this band.

This album is brilliant to space out to, featuring heavy use of delays and reverbs to create dense sound mazes. The opening track features a very post-rock sound, without reverting to the typical stereotypes many associate with the genre. Throughout it's 58 minutes, there are moments of beauty (Conqueror) great sadness (Weightless & Horizontal) and melancholy regret (Medicine). The lyrics on this album are incredibly noteworthy, memorable, beautiful and appropriate to the music. Take the lyrics from the longest piece, Weightless & Horizontal for example:

Try not to lose yourself I'm way past trying I'm way past caring I'm way past hoping

Try not to lose yourself You're always needing You're always hoping Wash away your tears

Try not to lose yourself

Truly poetic and beautiful, these lyrics are heartwrenching when combined with the brilliant melody and guitar work on this track.

Although brilliant in many places, this work unfortunately falls short of true greatness, and does not strike me as a masterpiece, but remains a brilliant modern album.

4 stars.

Report this review (#302759)
Posted Friday, October 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
2 stars Something happened on the second release by JESU. While the debut seemed to seamlessly weave many different styles of rock together making drone metal seduce post-rock, shoegaze bow down to sludge metal and making misanthropic walls of sound conjure up true apocalypse, the second release CONQUERER just seems totally off from the get go. This album basically proves that throwing a bunch of different styles and genres into blenders don't necessarily result in a tasty nutritious smoothie. When such efforts work well it is hardly perceptible by the listener that much effort went into the creation of the final product but CONQUERER proves to me that despite all the ingredients pretty much being the same there are a couple factors that make this a much less enjoyable experience than the debut.

First of all Justin Broadrick who is the main dude of this gig suddenly decided to incorporate more vocal melodies to the music but at the same time decided to keep the music dark, gloomy and depressive but yet sounds like he's trying to audition for a more cheerful indie pop band such as Animal Collective or My Morning Jacket. While this doesn't sound like a bad idea on paper, the truth is that at least in the final results of this particular album doesn't quite work for me. It ends up sounding like one of those black metal albums going clean vocal style but decide to keep the timbres of the instruments the same. The depressive instruments are now trying to be cheerful and the chord progressions and distortions totally derail as the whiney vocals try to paint some indie rock rant of millennial depressiveness.

Yeah, the idea is worthy of trying but with the diminishing of drone effects and the chipper attempts to brighten up the lyrical content sounding like Radiohead attempting to play with Boris just doesn't quite pull it off. As much as i've tried to get into this album, it just leaves me cold not because it's trying to leave me cold which if successful would leave me at least lukewarm but because it utterly fails in the balancing act of making these disparate worlds fuse together properly. Although i prefer a band to take risks and experiment with sounds, i have to say that this risk didn't pay off and makes me want to instantly revert back to the debut album rather than pursue any future releases. Not a good strategic career building move if you ask me.

Report this review (#1591417)
Posted Monday, July 25, 2016 | Review Permalink

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