Releases

Jesu – Opiate Sun EP

2009 has definitely been a year where Justin Broadrick has had the urge to keep busy, very busy with his current lifeblood Jesu. This year has seen the release of the monolithic and strangely cathartic 50 minute long one track effort Infinity.

Infinity harnessed many older styles of Broadrick’s being very much akin to his Godflesh days and treading on much drone mannerisms which harked to Sunn O))) and Earth. The one immediate aspect of Opiate Sun is that it differs drastically from its predecessor. But while the heaving soundscapes are somewhat eschewed here, this EP still retains that factor that makes Jesu stand out so vividly from a crowd.

Unsurprisingly, OS sees Mr. Broadrick taking on all instrumentation, recording and production. It’s a lofty testament to his flair as a musician, which is sometimes overlooked.

Opener, “Losing Streak” is largely indicative of the stylistic switch as its heaving with hooks and poppy melodies, a far cry from JB’s much more extreme beginnings in Napalm Death. The track is an upbeat and life affirming oeuvre to commence with.

The candid melancholy that has always been present in Jesu’s music remains, but here; it has been twisted and then delivered through a medium of positive zeal.

But the title track then bursts through more melodic passages yet weaved around downcast solemnity before moving onto OP’s dazzling standout number.

“Deflated” is resonantly stunning with Broadrick pushing himself vocally beyond his usually morose croon. The soothing chorus is a beacon of the far more clean melodious path chosen on Opiate Sun and with a track seeping such tunefulness like this the switch is altogether welcomed.

A slightly old school Jesu intro beckons closer “Morning Light” and maintains that somewhat harrowing ambience that has always been a key component in Justin Broadrick’s music. If anything it’s a suitable closer.

Opiate Sun is a staggering composition of dramatic aural aesthetics with lingering and poignant atmospherics. But all interlaced around a new found love of the “hook” as this EP is forthrightly radiating with compelling pop melodies but still enough esotericism to maintain Jesu’s identity.

Some fans are understandably getting a bit sick of Jesu seemingly sticking to releasing EPs. A new full length album is way too overdue. But, Opiate Sun leaves a fresh and intriguingly sweet taste behind. Is it suggestive of the route that will be taken when said full length does land? Who knows. But one thing is certain, Opiate Sun is another accomplished feather in Justin Broadrick’s already garnished cap.

8/10

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