Justin Broadrick played in Napalm Death, pioneered industrial music in the UK with Godflesh and numerous side projects, and now has a solo project, which is sometimes also a band, called Jesu. In addition, he has produced a whole host of big name artists and started several record labels. Many, including me, think he is a genius and if you’re as yet unconvinced, then try listening to Jesu’s new album 'Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came'.
You’ll gather from this intro that we think it’s rather good and you’d be right. Justin Broadrick might be compared to say Michael Gira of Swans. Like Gira, his influence is immense and it’s fully justified because he continues to create exceptional music that is creatively alive and wonderfully executed. And it’s that wealth of great ideas that continue to push the boundaries that makes both of them exceptional.
Jesu was Broadrick’s attempt to make his music more accessible and it has oscillated between extended pieces like 2009’s 'Infinity' to the generally shorter song format of 2011’s 'Ascension'. The instrumentation varies too, sometimes electronica-led and sometimes guitar-driven. On 'Everyday...' he gets the balance almost perfect.
'Homesick' opens the album with a warm welcome which is almost a pop song. Then 'Comforter' goes a bit weirder with some detuned pitch shifting, jangly guitars and piano. The title track follows, driven by a heavy bassline and blurry vocals gently grinding to a halt in a very different place from where the album started.
All of which nicely sets up the tour de force that is 'The Great Leveller' a seventeen minute excursion that brings all the previously featured elements together in perfect coherence. Music doesn’t get much better than this. After a short, but perfectly judged silence 'Grey Is The Colour' brings things full circle to close with a four minute, rather uplifting anthem.
The album is probably best appreciated if you listen from start to finish but it’s not essential. Heck, even the cover photo is a brilliant piece of artfulness. 'Everyday...' is right up there with Jesu’s best work – perhaps most notably the 'Opiate Sun' EP - and for those who like Neurosis, Cult Of Luna, Isis, Torche, and similar artists, it’s a chance to connect with the Don of the scene. For anyone unfamiliar with Broadrick’s work you couldn’t pick a better place to start putting that to rights.
Find more info and purchase the album at jesu.bandcamp.com.