Jesu - Infinity
Avalanche
Drone/Ambient/Shoegaze
1 songs (49:30)
Release year: 2009
Jesu
Reviewed by James

After a slew of Jesu releases throughout their history, things seemed to have quieted down for the band in recent months. 2008 brought the Why Are We Not Perfect EP and a few guest appearances here and there, but 2009 has been utterly Jesu-free until now. Infinity is the first scheduled Jesu release for this year, consisting of one 49-minute monster of a song. Now considering songs that break the 40-minute mark tend to be either horrifically bloated and wandering, or, even worse, incredibly bitty and seemingly made up of 10 or so underworked songs strung together to seem more worthy (the title tracks of both Porcupine Tree's alarming own goal The Incident and Dream Theater's Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence both fall squarely in this category). Infinity, however, falls into the former, starting off full of promise before fizzling out into aimless droning halfway through. And drone, which few seem to be able to understand, is more than just playing random chords as slowly and loudly as possible. It's about atmosphere, specifically created by a throbbing low-end and howling feedback, both of which the overly digital production fails to capture. Justin K. Broadrick apparently programmed the drums for this one, which seems more than a little pointless and time-consuming considering the band already have a perfectly capable drummer.

This, coupled with his Greymachine project, seems to signify a hunger by JKB for the kind of angry, pounding metal he used to play in Godflesh, but here he's attempted to marry his previous band's metallic stomp with the blissed-out vibes of prime Jesu, and it just doesn't gel. Infinity starts off promisingly, with shoegazey textures building up over an ambient keyboard loop and a rhythmic repeating noise pattern. Suddenly, we shift abruptly into a doomy riff and rattling industrial drums, with JKB crooning away in the background. It's good, but the song makes no sense in getting there. But from here it seems to be plain sailing, locking into a nice groove, with things progressively chuggier and heavier as we go along. But it seems as if each riff is getting subtly less interesting than the last, and it's down to JKB's vocals returning at the 15-minute-mark to try and maintain our interest. Admittedly I was never a fan of his growling in Godflesh, and to me it just doesn't fit the Jesu sound. Things pick up with a feedbacky ambient section at around 20 minutes, but a few minutes later everything drops out, and we're in full-on drone country, but not very good drone at that. There's the odd bit of processed vocals in there, but with very little backing up JKB's echo-y wail it just doesn't sound right.

And from here Infinity wanders off into some perfectly agreeable drone riffs and guitar melodies which do absolutely nothing to hold my attention. Cut off the song at roughly 25-minutes and you've got a reasonable release here, but the second half is little more than a very, very extended outro and really feels very unneeded. At the very least, it should have been edited down. Things seem to pick up with the roar of a bass guitar towards the end, but it comes to nothing and the song melts away into ambient noise. There's no climax, no real need for the past 20 minutes to have even happened. Infinity isn't a bad album, just a very unremarkable one, and by the end of your thoughts will no doubt drift into any of the infinitely more interesting things you could have been doing with your time.

Killing Songs :
Erm?
James quoted 52 / 100
Other albums by Jesu that we have reviewed:
Jesu - Every Day I Get Closer to the Light From Which I Came reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Jesu - Ascension reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Jesu - Opiate Sun reviewed by James and quoted no quote
Jesu - Silver (EP) reviewed by Adam and quoted no quote
Jesu - Heart Ache reviewed by Aaron and quoted no quote
To see all 7 reviews click here
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There are 4 replies to this review. Last one on Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:27 pm
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