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Jesu / Eluvium

Jesu / Eluvium

Out Of Body Experience. - 70%

Perplexed_Sjel, October 4th, 2007

Jesu are change personified. Given the band's rather short existence, they have changed an awful lot since the early days when listeners would be blown away with the crashing riffs that would suck you down into the pit of Jesu. The British duo are an odd outfit, to say the least. Their style itself has become accustomed to transformation, and in a major way. The atmosphere that builds behind the band has altered. The vocals have shifted from an aggressive style to a style that depicts subtle sadness. They're light, graceful and emotive.

There is only one other band that immediately comes to mind that can pull of change as well as Jesu seemingly can with such ease and undeniable talent, and that's Neurosis. Kings in their own right. Jesu are gaining a reputation for being pioneers of experimental music. Creating a swirling ambience with immense atmospheres that are heavy enough to crush the biggest stone with inspiring ease.

What is so remarkable about Jesu on the Eluvium split is the fact that they can produce such heavy guitar riffs and place them side by side with simply stunning soundscapes produced by the artful programming by Justin himself. The almost industrial sound is perhaps not too unfamiliar to fans of the band. Especially considering Justin's previous work with Godflesh, an industrial that also loved to experiment with different sounds.

The experimentation doesn't just stop at the blistering synths or the heavy duty guitars, it continues in the form of the vocals. Justin's vocals used to be far more aggressive than they are here. You'd be forgiven for thinking they were taken from the popular music genre, which isn't a negative. Justin's vocals, although quite contrasting to the feel of the atmosphere, are suited well. The atmospheric nature, as aforementioned, seems quite saddened to me. However, Justin's vocals are anything but. At times they can contain a slightly melancholic feel to them, but they're mostly just blissed out and subtly happy. This adds a new dimension to Jesu and makes them more dynamic. On this split with Eluvium, they have shown what talent they have and how they can change dramatically with ease.

Recording a split with Eluvium is probably a smart idea. Both bands are similar in one way or another. Both like to experiment with sound and this could be seen as a positive for the split in general. They have the ability to play off one another and use each other for exposure to a whole new set of potential fans. That can only be a good thing for either project. However, the contrast in ideas between Jesu and Eluvium may be too much for some to handle. The approach in style may be off putting and that could detract from the overall opinion of the split. In my eyes, as a fan of both Jesu and Eluvium, it can only be a positive.

The Eluvium side to the split isn't as good as the Jesu side, but it's not bad. Eluvium's track, which is split into three parts, is more so droning than Jesu's songs. Which is odd. Eluvium have always showcased the ability to be able to create relaxing atmospheres. Time-Travel Of The Sloth is no different. In simplistic terms, it's just one long ambient piece that seems almost other worldly. It's affect upon the listener is massive. Taking them out of their bodies and transporting them to a galaxy far away. Away from mankind into a place of solitude and loneliness. Where their sound travels forever. Deeper into the hearts of the listener. Piercing, penetrating and shattering the soul into a thousand pieces with melodic piano sections and intense soundscapes.

It's worth buying for the Jesu tracks alone.

Curse you Eluvium drone track! - 70%

caspian, July 24th, 2007

Jesu and Eluvium.. Definitely a pairing that makes some of us do a sex pee, and some people fall asleep. You've got Jesu with their heavy, downtuned MBV-isms and Eluvium with their strange, glowing ambient drone stuff. Both bands can test people's patience but there's plenty of great music made by these dudes.

Jesu's stuff on this album goes in a somewhat different direction to their usual doomy shoegaze. While I would normally put Jesu under the 'slo n lo' kind of metal, there's no metal here to speak off. It's all soaring synths, (it may be guitars, I'm not sure.) mid tempo breakbeats and super poppy vocals. There's even some super mopey piano in here. It sounds like Boards of Canada remixing My Bloody Valentine. There really is no metal here at all! Farewell is probably the stand out track here, possibly the most blissed out thing Broadrick has ever done, a super happy track that's just totally killer. Why are We not Perfect is slower and a lot more depressing, something that brings to mind the more bummed-out tunes of the debut LP. Blind and Faithless.. not so good, but inoffensive and short which isn't such a bad thing.

Unfortunately, Eluvium's track can't quite compete with Jesu's tunes. Most Eluvium tunes test the listener's patience, but this one is just ridiculous. The problem here is that the payoff is not worth the agonising build. The track starts off with a seemingly endless one note drone. There's subtle builds within the drone, but they're really damn subtle. Did I get bored? Yes. I got extremely bored. The end of the track is quite good.. Basically, some backwards piano gets added to the mix, it gets louder and a bit of Sunn O))) style Sub bass comes in, whilst the synths continue the drone. It's pretty cool, the big droney part at the end, but it doesn't quite make the super long build worthwhile. Good music for sleeping, or for meditating maybe, but not something that you can listen to with all of your attention.

So, now to put a rating onto this. This is quite hard to do. We have about 13 minutes of awesome music (that would be Jesu tracks 1 & 3), about 13 minutes of OK music (Jesu Track 2, Eluvium ending), and 10 minutes of shite music. Therefore I'm giving this about a 70. If you're new to Jesu, get Silver. If you're new to Eluvium, get Talk Amongst the Trees. Otherwise, if you want to get this, you're going to have to hang out on Ebay, because it's already sold out!