|©2004 Dry Run Recordings
After the dissolution of Godflesh, Justin Broadrick kept himself involved in music making (hardly a stretch considering the number of projects he's been involved with over the years) by creating a solo venture called Jesu. This new project retained the general monolithic heaviness of its predecessor, but moved Broadrick's music towards an epic, drone-tinged style that relied far more on atmospherics, texture and ambience than ever before. The debut EP, Heartache, was entirely a solo venture. The two tracks each hover around the twenty minute mark. As the titles suggest ("Heartache" and "Ruined"), this is not a cheerful, yo-ho-ho skate sort of album, but rather an introspective release.
Now everyone has probably seen a photo or two in their lifetime of an expansive, empty field or plain, typically in places such as Saskatchewan or perhaps the rural midwestern states. In that photo is a single tree, completely isolated from any other tree. Chances are that photo featured gray clouds and an overall monochromatic mood. Heartache is that tree. This EP has the feel of a very despondent individual ruminating upon his existence. Chances are that individual is the rambling sort, because obviously anyone who comes up with a pair of twenty minute songs doesn't feel pithy.
Of the two songs, "Heartache" is the most reminiscent of Godflesh's style, although considerably less damaging. "Ruined" is the more interesting of the two as it features strong dynamics, somber piano segments and a generally more pensive mood. Heartache might not be the sort of endeavor most people want to take on for a listening experience (this is, after all, a world where the three minute song reigns supreme). However, Jesu shows immense amount of promise and easily surpasses everything Godflesh did in two songs. It bodes well for Justin Broadrick's future.
Review by John Chedsey
Review date: 06/2009