For most musicians, naming an album Conqueror seems a little overconfident. But when it comes to Justin Broadrick, you wonder what took him so long.
Jesu is just one of the ways Broadrick has stunned the world. His trailblazing work inNapalm Death, Godflesh, Techno Animal and numerous other projects has had a crucial impact on grind, drone, industrial, post-metal and myriad other genres. It’s not an easy task to find a groundbreaking musician today who doesn’t trace some of their inspiration back to one of his creations.
And even though Broadrick’s never been someone to play it safe, 2007’s Conquerorwas, up to that point, him at his most bold. Jesu‘s first releases were simply the band getting a foothold; those amalgams of crushing sludge and pop being a few deep breaths before the free fall into a larger world of eruptive, triumphant melody.
But that’s not to say Conqueror is somehow lightweight. You may try to casually listen, but you’ll quickly find yourself submerged. It rushes over you in tsunamic waves as rhythms tromp through stratums of noise, monstrous guitars roaring under Broadrick’s vocals in that gripping mixture of melancholy and hope. And above all, like so much of his work before and since, nothing else on earth sounds like it.
It’s futile to comb through Justin Broadrick‘s entire oeuvre and try to pick out all the truly vital records. But in a list of landmark albums, Jesu‘s Conqueror looms as large and unshakable as its title.