Envy / Jesu
Envy/Jesu Split Ep


3.5
great

Review

by Channing Freeman STAFF
November 6th, 2008 | 33 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Jesu once again brings down an otherwise great EP with a lackluster track.

In a way, split albums are more interesting to analyze than regular full-length albums, because a lot of times the bands influence each others' sounds in the studio. Over the years, Envy have proven themselves to be proficient at expanding their palette, and in the case of various split EPs, taking influence from their respective partners and combining it with their classic sound to make something new. Jesu, on the other hand, don't really seem to give a shit who they're paired with, as they've basically been doing the same thing for a few years now.

Lately Envy have put more of a focus on interesting chord progressions and atmosphere than on being heavy, and their sound is all the better for it. The heavy moments are still there, but they are based around tension, release, and unexpected moments which makes them more compelling. "Life Caught In The Rain" is a shining example of this recent focus, showing Envy's refined guitar playing and Tetsuya Fukagawa's screaming, which has become more and more tasteful with each release, making him one of the most accessible vocalists in hardcore. The chord progressions are what stand out though. In the verses, the progression is tense despite it's relatively slow tempo, accentuated by a sliding lead. The chorus is where things get interesting; the progression descends before resolving itself to the first chord, and then ascends to repeat its downward spiral in a higher position. The last section of the song is an even more thoughtful variation of the chorus; Envy shows a compositional care not often seen in their type of music. "Conclusion Of Existence" is the most Jesu-influenced track, with no intense moments to be found. Fukagawa's spoken word performance is great as per usual, but it's the music that propels the song into greatness. "Conclusion Of Existence" is basically a Jesu song in the style of Envy, and it turns out to be better than anything Jesu have done in years. The electronic drums are minimal, unlike in Jesu's music where they are often overbearing, and the string loop just barely rising over the background noise adds tremendously to the mood of the song. "A Winter Quest For Fantasy" combines those two tracks to create one of the very best Envy songs. It starts off deceptively, seeming like another atmospheric track, but it's really the beginning of Envy's best buildup, and the climax of the song is flooring, with some of the absolute craziest drumming in recent memory. It's one of the most intense moments in their history.

Similar to their side of the Battle of Mice split, Jesu churned out one good song and one downer. "Hard To Reach" starts out with a minute of electronic discotheque drum noodling before the typical Jesu background of fuzz kicks in, and it basically stays that way for the duration of the song's thirteen minutes with a few more touches thrown into the mix. The frustrating thing about this song (and Jesu in general, really) is that it sounds nice enough but there's just nothing about it that stands out. It's typical electronic-influenced shoegaze and although not many other bands are doing what Jesu are doing right now, it's off-putting to see them make background music like "Hard To Reach" when they could be putting out songs like "The Stars That Hang Above You" consistently. Justin Broadrick's vocals are actually endearing instead of forgettable, and the tone of the electronic drums isn't as grating as it usually is in Jesu songs. The song is ethereal and dreamy, and the second half sees Jesu resorting to a buildup, but it doesn't feel generic at all. It's an individualism that Jesu have always been capable of; they just haven't been living up to it lately. The electronic drums take center stage with something a bit unconventional - a double bass beat. Broadrick's vocals continue to float above everything else, fading now into the mix with everything else, but this time they add to the mood instead of merely being forgettable. "The Stars That Hang Above You" shows that Jesu can craft an amazing song, but it also makes it more disappointing when they don't.

A typically great showing from Envy and a typically hit-and-miss performance from Jesu makes for a decent split. Luckily, "The Stars That Hang Above You" lessens the bad taste that "Hard To Reach" leaves, which makes Jesu's side a bit better than it would have been if the tracks were reversed. They're starting to stagnate; Broadrick is clearly capable of more. It's never been a question of whether or not he's able to live up to Silver - the fact that he can has been clear for awhile now. The question is when will he?



Recent reviews by this author
Trophy Scars Holy VacantsThe Menzingers Rented World
La Dispute Rooms of the HouseMiley Cyrus Bangerz
Letlive. The Blackest BeautifulKanye West Yeezus
user ratings (28)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2008


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

part 3 of 3 relieved to be done with this

taylormemer
November 6th 2008


4917 Comments


Meh. Looks pretty boring.

bastard
November 6th 2008


3435 Comments


stinkin jesu.

good reviewing man.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
November 6th 2008


3995 Comments


These are actually my favorite Jesu tracks.

Bleak123
November 6th 2008


1902 Comments


The capacity of human intelligence seems to limit the capabilities to expand upon any possible creative aptitudes. Indeed, if one cannot even notice the facets that the ingenuities around him are comprised of, how can he be expected to fashion a beast of his own? This inveterate sense of constraint is a great blow to the veracity of mankind’s abilities. It restrains us and holds our minds to the ground below, averting any possibility of rising above ourselves to something greater; something not fathomed by the conventional mind. This concept of seeking to go beyond one’s self, known as “transcendence”, is essentially a gateway to unlocking pieces of ourselves that can lead to some of the most elaborate and significant creations of our world. For many, this quest to transcend and form creations that were once considered unthinkable and overwhelming consumes life. Certainly it is rare to find such people, but when they are found, creative barriers are destroyed.


Anodyne
November 6th 2008


85 Comments


YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG

Bleak123
November 6th 2008


1902 Comments


enlighten me then ol' chap

00DK00
November 6th 2008


21 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i cant consider hard to reach a let down. it might not stand out as much as the stars that hang above you because it lacks such a strong melody, but i still feel like its a good track in its own right

flamethisuser
November 6th 2008


395 Comments


Weird. I preferred Jesu's side to Envy's side.

natey
November 6th 2008


4170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

[QUOTE=dfelon]
These are actually my favorite Jesu tracks.[/QUOTE]

NortherlyNanook
November 6th 2008


1285 Comments


I think I'd be safe to say that I agree with you on all three of these splits (maybe this one will be a 4, but they're all sitting at 3.5s).This Message Edited On 11.06.08

McP3000
November 7th 2008


3941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

second jesu track is amazing

first one is good, but drags on for twice the length it should

i was terribly unimpressed by envy

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
November 7th 2008


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

probably because you're a huge queer

gbowles
November 7th 2008


70 Comments


jesu is genius. envy envies jesu

McP3000
November 7th 2008


3941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

chan is so wrong

but thats cool

natey
November 7th 2008


4170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Envy ≥ Jesu

iarescientists
November 7th 2008


5863 Comments


jesu = envy = poop

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2008


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol 123

disill
November 21st 2008


13 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A Winter Quest For Fantasy is by far the best song on this.

Wizard
June 2nd 2010


19448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Jesu once again brings down an otherwise great EP with a lackluster track.

Pretty much!

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy