1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
New And Improved.,
This review is from: Conqueror (Audio CD)
I thoroughly enjoyed the self-titled debut full-length. I was unsure what Jesu of what to expect when i discovered a second full-length was on the cards, i suppose that's the beauty behind Jesu, you never know what you're in for. However, with mystery comes apprehension. I felt a significant amount of that when i first pressed play on the title track for the album, 'Conqueror'. I had read various reports that Jesu were going to lean towards other genres instead of focusing their main efforts on Drone and Ambient, so it could be said i was somewhat fearful. As i stated in my review for the debut album, i was never much of a fan of the Drone genre until Jesu came along and when i heard reports that Jesu were going to delve into the Shoegaze and Pop areas of music i was somewhat confused. One of the aforementioned genres is completely new to me and the other is one i steer clear from. Doubts were growing, apprehension was mounting and the sweat was running down my face.
With that said, i was actually pleasantly surprised. 'Conqueror' has been steadily playing on my laptop since i came across it. Although some of the original elements that made Jesu so appealing are still there, a lot is different. Jesu have a different sound about them. The music washes over you and drowns you in a warm feeling. Something the debut album didn't do. 'Conqueror' is still slow, but its never dull. The master that is Justin Broadrick is a highly talented vocalist and musician, although not all the credit should go to him. People are quick to forget Diarmuid Dalton and Ted Parsons, myself included. As aforementioned, 'Conqueror' has an entirely different atmosphere and tone. Its not as heavy for me. Its softer, more accessible and portrays a swelling amount of aggression in an entirely different manner.
The guitars are quintessential. The droning riffs create a harmonious and ambient tone. The vocals are the most improved aspect of the music. Justin is by far a better vocalist now than he was on the debut release. Uncompromising screams are no longer the order of the day. They have been successfully replaced by a softer and more entrancing style of vocals. One which suits the new approach Jesu have taken very well. 'Conqueror', to me, is by far more upbeat than the self-titled album. I'm usually weary of upbeat music as i thoroughly enjoy my depressing and angst filled music, but this pleasantly surprised me again and in many other ways. Jesu manage to convey negative emotions through positive music to good effect. I didn't think it was possible, but it most certainly is!
Some people are critical of the lack of variety this album possesses, but i feel it has enough to maintain the listeners interest by appealing to senses and emotions the listener may feel they never had. People perhaps may not take to the new style Jesu have seemingly adopted for now, however it may open up a whole new genre to avid fans of Jesu. With every negative comes a position with Jesu, which is incredibly appealing. At times the songs, due to there length, may become a little repetitive, but i'm used to that and generally speaking i tend to embrace it with open arms. I like my songs to be lengthy and repetitive so i can truly grasp the concept of the music and sample the atmosphere it creates.
Notable highlights include, Conqueror, Transfigure, Medicine and Stanlow.