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Heart felt EP - 85%

Manchester_Devil, February 28th, 2005

Justin Broadrick returns to the world of Industrial with his post-Godflesh band, Jesu, named after the song on the Godflesh album “Hymns”, since this EP has Broadrick experimenting with various soundscapes, using a guitar, bass, drum machine, numerous sounds and even a piano of sorts. It would be of note to mention that this experimental EP has two songs that average twenty minutes so this isn’t an album you can just tune in and out again in the space of five minutes, unless you have no patience of course (note the word ‘experimental’).

The EP goes through a lot of changes, the title song “Heart Ache” starts with a droning guitar over a rumbling bass before giving way to a sampled choir that is repeated for several minutes over faint distortion before a simple guitar melody plays over a sound that sporadically appears. Broadick’s vocals are clean and layered on themselves. Giving the song a sort of dreamy feel, almost ambient in nature, certainly unlike Godflesh. Some parts will drag on if you’re not in the mood but this is a damn good song to listen when you’re deep in thought.

“Ruined” starts with a simple piano melody that suddenly goes onto the deep end of the scale before feedback starts building up before the guitar starts going, this is the heavier of the two songs and Broadrick goes from droning to shouting in that order. Though shouting “RISE ROCK” once, let alone several times does spoil it a bit. There are some great moments in this song, such as the last 4-5 minutes, which is an ambient oriental soundscape, that is like being in a Buddhist temple in a remote land before the sampled choirs comes to eventually take over, ending the EP on a high note. Before this is the bass carrying the melody of the guitar up to that moment.

There are some other sounds that are being used that aren’t essential to the songs but enhance it. But this is a recording that showcases Justin Broadrick’s ability to produce Jesu’s sound, stepping from the shadow of Godflesh’s crumbling cityscape and into a rich ambient land.