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Opiate Sun EP

Jesu

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Album Review

Whether or not it is his intention, Justin Broadrick's Jesu project continues to move into ever more song-oriented material, while never lessening the volume or the sheer melodic thud of his attack. Opiate Sun is released on Mark Kozelek's Cabo Verde imprint. Initially, it was conceived as the first of a projected two-part EP idea: Broadrick originally wanted each EP to feature a collaboration between his live (Dave Cochrane and Phil Petrocelli) and studio (Ted Parsons and Diarmuid Dalton) bands. In the end, Broadrick rejected his own concept and plays everything here himself and combines all four songs on one release. Does that narrow the possibilities for the final product? Yes, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. These songs cover just under 26 minutes in length. The opener, "Losing Streak," comes dangerously close to a cough-syrup intoxicated Swervedriver — with Broadrick’s way up-front vocal sounding not unlike that of Adam Franklin, but it’s even heavier, sludgier, and — conversely — more melodic. "Morning Sun," the closer, sounds like anything but. It is instead a dirgelike piece of droning, guitar-fueled funereal post-rock with a tortoise crawl of a vocal melody that extends no further than four notes in total. "Opiate Sun," the set’s longest piece and title track, covers no new ground at all, but with its gorgeous multivalent guitar layers, slow processional drumming, and middle-timbre bassline — the only thing not distorted on the cut — it doesn’t need to because its sheer shattered emotion comes bleeding through in spades. "Deflated" is the most distorted, throbbing, metallic piece here, though it too contains a lovely lyric line that contrasts wonderfully with the low, low, low-end bassline and open-tuned guitar riffs. While it’s true that Broadrick continues to mine the emotional and sonic terrain of every Jesu release, it’s a sound so obsessive in its execution that it is nearly addictive for the listener.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Jesu is another musical project spearheaded by Birmingham-based musician and producer Justin Broadrick — a fixture of England's extreme music scene since his membership in the earliest recording lineup of Napalm Death in the mid-'80s. Also an occasional member of several other bands (Head of David, Techno Animal, etc.), he is probably best known for his decade-plus leadership of pioneering industrial ensemble Godflesh. Finally having officially laid that hallowed institution to rest following...
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Opiate Sun EP, Jesu
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