Jesu: Ascension – review

(Caldo Verde)

4 out of 5 4

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  6. 2011

With their plaintive vocals backed by a churning, chiming multi-layered guitar drone that suggested My Bloody Valentine after a really, really bad day, Jesu were always one of the more intriguing prospects at the heavier end of the musical spectrum. And, so after some flirtations with electronica in recent years, Justin Broadrick, the band's driving force, has returned to the sound that made their early releases so arresting. That's not to say there aren't augmentations: their fourth album opens with an acoustic fakeout before a wall of noise swamps the listener; later, Sedatives could easily pass for a straight-up indie-rock song. But it is the dense, dour mini-symphonies such as Broken Home and December that, while unlikely to appear on the average feelgood summer playlist, offer the kind of beautifully brutal music that will continue to reap rewards as the long, dark nights of winter draw in.

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