Jesu
Ascension


4.0
excellent

Review

by Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration USER (56 Reviews)
May 24th, 2011 | 30 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: They're back, baby.

In their first real full-length since 2007's acclaimed Conqueror (Infinity didn't really count), Justin Broadrick and Co. have made a massively triumphant return to their beginnings. On his blog in a March 2010 post*, Broadrick stated that he felt Jesu had strayed from its roots, divulging that "Jesu, first and foremost, was intended to be a guitar oriented project," and that he had decided to form Pale Sketcher as a means to further explore the electronic side of Jesu. This means that he was now free to express, without restraint, the heavy dream-pop influenced metallic drone that made earlier Jesu efforts such a hit in the first place, and this could not have been a more timely decision. The collective's more recent efforts, namely its split with Battle of Mice and 2008's Why Are We Not Perfect? EP, had showcased a distinct divergence from its roots, with electronic bits dominating crushing guitars and ambient dreamscapes overwhelming the massive power chords that made Silver and Jesu such powerful records. When a new full-length was announced in March of 2011, hopeful fans were left to wonder whether it would be a return to roots effort like Broadrick had implied or a further exploration into the project's quirky electronic influences that had so unbalanced its more recent efforts.

Fortunately, Ascension is everything a loyal fan could hope for and more. Electronic elements are still fully present, but these were present even in highlights of the Jesu back catalog such as Silver: they are and always have been an integral part of Jesu's identity, and this will not be changing any time soon. However, the strength of Ascension and the group's previously mentioned early records is that the electronic backgrounds and soundscapes are nothing more than complements to the power chord-centric base of the music rather than its focal point. They are beautiful accents to the crushing drop-tuned behemoths that we all remember from masterpieces like Star or Silver that make a sudden and welcome reappearance in Fools, Brave New World, and almost every other song on the album save for the electronic closer Ascension. While this effort serves as a complete return-to-roots for Jesu, it's not self-plagiarism in the slightest. From the new-found focus on acoustic guitar-based elements to some of Jesu's fastest tracks yet (Sedatives is a prime example), Broadrick is not a man who will run out of ideas any time soon.

However, no matter how welcome the return of Jesu's original guitar-centric leanings are on Ascension, there is one aspect of Broadrick's art that is more important that anything else that also makes a hugely powerful comeback on this album. While crushing power chords enhanced songs in earlier efforts like nothing else could, the most powerful element in Jesu's stronger efforts was always their emotion. The title track of Silver was not a masterpiece of drone because of its immense drop-tuned power chords: its brilliance lay solely in the pure emotion it conveyed. Simultaneously expressing desolation, sadness, triumph, and, above all, unrestrained hope, this track and others like it were human feeling incarnate. Ascension is not as brooding and desolate as Jesu's self-titled, nor is it as hopeful and triumphant as Silver, but it would have been unfair to expect it to achieve the soaring heights of these titanic epics. It is the band's first proper effort in four years, and any expectations of perfection would have been unrealistic, but even if it is not quite as hugely emotional as these earlier albums it easily hold the distinction of being Broadrick's most powerful output since 2006. With Ascension, Jesu has created the most powerful, heaviest, and most emotional record that could be expected of them, and for that, it is one of 2011's most resounding triumphs.

*http://justinkbroadrick.blogspot.com/2010_03_01_archive.html



Recent reviews by this author
Isis The Red SeaZodiak Sermons
Alda :Tahoma:VESSL Goddess
Hungry For Hands I Was Hungry For HandsJob for a Cowboy Gloom
user ratings (136)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
wyankeif1337
May 24th 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

50th!

Jash
May 24th 2011


4244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

congrats on 50, this here is a good review pos. i got this last night but didnt listen to it, i think ill throw it on right
meoooowwwww

DoubtGin
May 24th 2011


6754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

my first Jesu album and I love it (I guess it's a more mellow release)

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
May 24th 2011


8948 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i like this album a lot but i'm not keen on the drum machine and sometimes justin's vocals sound a bit half-assed

it's a great album though, great review too :]

wyankeif1337
May 24th 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah, well, he's done better (Silver, if i didn;t make that clear enough in the review :]), but this album is his best since said EP.

psite45
May 24th 2011


275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Couldn't agree more with the review. Love this album. Well done.

BallsToTheWall
May 24th 2011


44805 Comments


Need, good work.

FatChickIrl
May 24th 2011


4095 Comments


Gonna check this out regardless of The Needle Drops 5/10 rating haha

Rev
May 24th 2011


9441 Comments


Great review man, good to see you're still at it


I still need to give this a proper spin

Ire
May 24th 2011


41829 Comments


idk i heard this was boring


dreamobile
May 24th 2011


415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's not boring as far as Jesu is concerned. Sedatives is such a misnomer, it's probably the fastest, punchiest song he's ever written

Mordecai.
May 24th 2011


8282 Comments


can't wait to check this out, the first three Jesu releases were brilliant

qwe3
May 24th 2011


21368 Comments


jesu kinda blows but i might check this out

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2011


10676 Comments


Nice review, was hoping someone would do this. Grats on 50 bro good to see another review.

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III - Saturnian Poetry

EverythingEvil2113
May 24th 2011


1282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm glad somebody reviewed this. I really love this album. It may be my favorite of theirs.

crazyblinddude
May 24th 2011


3389 Comments


Yay new Jesu.

someguest
May 24th 2011


21421 Comments


I bought this last week but haven't listened to it yet. I'll get around to it.

Digging: Pet Shop Boys - Please

Dragunov
May 25th 2011


59 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Apart from Sedatives, the rest of the album is so bleak and depressive..it's almost a post-black
record. i hope more people see it as a complete effort without any song acting as a filler. Beautiful
album. Broken Home is such a magnificent journey.

Photon
May 29th 2011


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is a really good album .every song is bleak and beautiful

rabidgodtransmission
June 9th 2011


10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album very listenable. my only gripe is the vocals sometimes are too low in the mix. gray and melancholy



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