Who? Jesu is Justin K. Broadrick, a Birmingham, U.K., native and long-time metal scenester. As founder of Godflesh, Broadrick famously found the intersect of metal and industrial, and is considered a direct influence on bands like Ministry and Nine Inch Nails. After the departure of bandmate G. Christian Green, Broadrick suffered a now famous nervous breakdown. Jesu is one of a handful of projects in which Broadrick is currently involved (see also: Final, Grey Machine), and new album Conqueror debuted Feb. 20 on Hydra Head.
What’s the Deal? Conqueror is a decidedly downward-gazing output from a man better known for his bombast. Now in his third decade of producing music, Broadrick sounds more like peers from his music past (My Bloody Valentine et al) than someone who once was part of grindcore group Napalm Death. Conqueror is a lesson in endurance for those followers of Broadrick’s former sounds, but over successive plays, Conqueror becomes metal in a fun-house mirror — a patiently executed slow-jam for a hardcore carnival ground long left deserted. Broadrick, for his part, plays both the weary balladeer, on songs like “Medicine” (“We can only see the sunset, we can never see the sunrise”), and the pissed-off ringleader, on the coarsely melancholic “Old Year.”
Fun Fact: When Broadrick was in Godflesh, he was well known for using a gold pick to coax an extra horrific “metal squeal” from his guitar. KAITLIN FONTANA
Now Hear This: Jesu – “Old Year” DOWNLOAD MP3
On the Web: Jesu at avalancheinc.co.uk
Talk: Is Jesu Broadrick’s second coming? Or should he have stuck to metal?