Jesu – “Annul” (Stereogum Premiere)
The more metal, shoegaze, various “posts,” and electronics intersect, the more obvious it is ex-Napalm Death/Godflesh/Techno Animal Justin K Broadrick’s been at the forefront of something even before he started Jesu seven years ago. Of all his projects, though — the older Final, more recent Pale Sketcher included — Jesu crystallizes his personalized blend of drone, metal, industrial, electronics, shoegaze, ambient, noise, and disarmingly fragile melodies. This re-release of Broadrick’s first Jesu offering, the 2004 Heart Ache EP, proves the point in shimmering, crunchy spades. The collection features the two slow-build 20-minute tracks, “Heart Ache” and “Ruined.” Both sound fresh, while managing to outline what you’ll come to expect from Jesu over the next few years. (Those vocals in the middle of “Ruined” still send shivers.) For this Hydra Head double-disc/LP re-release, Heart Ache‘s been paired with the four-song, 30-minute Dethroned. Broadrick initially wrote and worked on Dethroned in 2004, around the time of Heart Ache, but didn’t finish it until this year. If you listen to the two collections side-by-side, the similarities and differences offer a great way to trace an evolution. Get started with Dethroned‘s driving second track, “Annul.” It nails that heavy/soft thing.