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Promising but uninspired - 54%

Timmah, March 26th, 2011

Justin Broadrick has a endless list of diverse projects that he has put his mind and skills to, Jesu is one of his latest and main focuses of the 21st century. Taking a heavier My Bloody Valentine direction, I was enticed with Lifeline and S/T because of the sheer force and creativity in the music. Opiate Sun is my latest pickup from Jesu and i was expecting Heartache and got a less impressive Silver.

"Losing Streak" starts the EP off and enters with a simple drum beat and a interesting hook, the vocals are mixed higher in this song and you can understand the lyrics, then a solo enters with it seems a southern rock influence something not seen on other Jesu releases. Usual Jesu repetition follows a nice little outro, A decent start.

Next is the title track "Opiate Sun" which seems to have the same feel to it as the first track but seems a bit duller and doesn't seem to have any variety at all, one of my least favorite Jesu songs to this date.

The preceding track "Deflated' seems to also go along with the same atmosphere as the first two songs, nice chugging riff and very understandable lyrics, a much cleaner Jesu song. Overall a very valiant effort but there is something missing, there isn't enough going on. In past releases there always seems to be something new you hear after every listen but this album seems to be missing the crucial aspect.

The last track "Morning Light" is the high point of the album. As it starts you can easily recognize similarities to Jesu S/T, and the feel is different as it's very dark and brooding and riff heavy, reminiscent of Jesu of past days with minimal emphasis on vocals and more on instrumentals, also some very gratifying variations, Easily best song on this EP.

Opiate Sun goes along with the same demographics as Silver, a more poppy but still heavy drone. It didn't really progress Jesu's sound and in someway regressed it, not worth the money to buy and won't appeal to casual Jesu fans. It is a noble effort but lacking in many key elements that have refined Jesu's sound.

Not what I wanted to hear. - 35%

msupplier, December 23rd, 2009

All things Broadrick are worthy of interest and are highly anticipated in my book. Whenever a new release comes out I look forward to what his mind has conjured up this time around. This being said, Jesu releases are particularily of interest to me as they are one of my favorites bands.

With "Opiate Sun", I was originally pretty damn stoked to throw the vinyl on my turntable and hear something fresh, considering I was pleased with the previous effort "Infinity". Well, how do I say this nicely? Um, I can't. This isn't good(except for the last track "Morning Light"). It seems Justin has opted on this release to tread in the forbidden commercial waters. There are the trademark heavy riffs at times, but overall this is bland and boring as hell. Elements of this feel as if they were geared towards popular radio. How very sad.

Musically as well as vocally, I am very open to Justin's varying degree of stylings throughout his discography, whether it be the absolute sickness of songs such as "Man/Woman" from the "S/T" LP or "Ruined" from the "Heart Ache" EP, all the way to the sombre & haunting offerings of "Farewell" from the "Split w/ Eluvium" release & "Falling from Grace" from the "Split w/ Battle of Mice" offering. The point being is that there are no boundaries with me as long as it is good. Regretfully said, this just is not good. There's something about the way he sings on the bulk of this album that is not for me at all. Musically, most of this is mundane. Gone is the experimentation & massive feeling within the simplicity. A sense of selling out washes over me while listening, and that is a terrible feeling, because he is one of my favorite musicians ever.

There's not a whole lot to tell about the first three tracks other than they are an empty shell coated in a friendly non-Jesu feeling. Lost is that special something that makes great Jesu songs. On the other hand, the fourth and final track "Morning Light" is a great- I repeat, great song, and is the only thing that keeps this album from being totally worthless. This song is excellent while being devastating in the 'make you want to kill yourself' in a good kind of way, way. This should have been the formula for the whole album. The song lulls you into a dark, hypnotic place while crushing you at the same time like only Justin can accomplish.

If it were not for the last song I would have no choice but to give this album a 10% or something in that range. Hopefully, considering it is the last song, it will resonate onto his next release(fingers crossed). If not, and Jesu continues in the direction of the majority of this poor offering, I will regrettably have to stop listening.

the worst thus far. - 35%

caspian, November 16th, 2009

After the sort-of promising slab of metal/ambient that was Infinity I was somewhat keen about this record. I'd heard about a rawer production, everyone seemed to love Deflated when it got put on myspace, so I was pretty eager of a broadrick return to big riffs and big production. Oh well.

Yep, this another Jesu release to file under "boredom rock", and the cool, raw-but-still-amazing production aside it's rather average. "Losing Streak" is probably the best song on here; a big slow and mopey thing with very catchy vocals that sort of sounds like, I dunno, really slow britpop with heaps of distortion; just not as shitty as that description suggests. All in all the increased vocals, rather standard (albeit slow) guitar lines- you really can't call them riffs- and "regular band' sort of instrumentation suggest that Broadrick and crew have gotten somewhat sick of heading out on their own and harbored in some safer but far more boring waters.

Damn, maybe that is why i dislike this record so much. Not to say that this sounds like Oasis or something but fuzzy production aside, this is pretty much mope-rock from a few years ago that's been slowed down a bit and drags on for ages. The doom-ish/industrial thing Jesu had at the start slowly got more shoegaze-ish, and that was (sort of) fine, but this isn't a terribly promising sign of things to come. A lot of my favourite bands have embraced the rock on an album or two (Metallica come instantly to mind) and that was all fine and good, but this? A real bummer. Perhaps it's because I'm seeing the trainwreck, instead of just hearing about it a few years after the fact.

Not really worth getting, simply put. A few more releases along this line and I may give up on this band entirely..

Conqueror Meets Silver. - 70%

Perplexed_Sjel, November 16th, 2009

If Jesu were hard to pin down before 2009, they’re even harder to pin down now. This has been a slow year for Jesu. It didn’t truly kick-off until ‘Infinity’ hit the stores in the summer and reports were confusing as some were suggesting that ‘Infinity’ was not the latest full-length from Jesu, but Broadrick himself seems to suggest that it most certainly is. That said, ‘Infinity’ saw an albeit brief return to proceedings for Jesu as it crushed audiences with its mammoth doom/drone guitar riffs. Many, including myself, had expected the British band to churn out another shoegaze inspired record along the same lines as ‘Conqueror’, which took a drastic turn away from the droning roots of the self-titled record. However, suspicions were left unfounded as Jesu tore up the record books and opted for a style which seemed to hybrid old and new. ‘Infinity’ took the industrial shoegazing methods of songs like ‘Hard To Reach’ from the split with Envy and moulded that sound with the successful droning methods pioneered on ‘Heart Ache’, one of the best Jesu pieces of material to date. I don’t regard this little EP, which spans just over twenty minutes, to be the be-all and end-all of the Jesu career, but it is a good indication of what the band is capable of when they hit form.

‘Opiate Sun’ however, once again, tears up the record books and throws down a new twist on recent proceedings by going back to the ‘Silver’ EP, which the majority consider amongst the best works by Jesu, though I don’t tend to feel the same way. ‘Silver’ was when the shoegazing influences started to take hold and experimentation was beginning to run riot within the song structures. Broadrick is now known for experimenting as much as humanly possible and ‘Opiate Sun’ is just another indication of this as he moves in and out of new and old styles. The title track, for example, seems to suggest that Broadrick and co. are moving towards the old ‘Silver’ style, but the brilliant ‘Deflated’ turns in the direction of ‘Conqueror’, a much coveted sophomore record which many seem to think wasn’t as impressive as the droning debut. This song takes the clean vocal style of Broadrick, which I very much like, and the subtle droning guitars of the aforementioned full-length, but which are watered down from the earliest works which really tried to crush the listener under a haze of distortion and transfixed melody. The direction of the EP is a tad confusing. I’m not sure whether it is an indication of what is to come because we have been proved drastically wrong in the past, or whether this is just another piece of side experimentation away from the actual business area of full-lengths.

The material itself, present within the EP, is also a little confusing. It moves from one era of Jesu to the next without warning. From the ‘Silver’ inspired melodies of one song, to the lush shoegazing drones of ‘Conqueror’ in another song. The material is strong, regardless of what direction the songs seem to be going in. Whether Broadrick and co. are implementing the mellifluous waves, or the droning guitars, songs like the perfected ‘Morning Light’ are bright stars indicating that Jesu still have a strong future, despite the niggling doubts issued with the arrival of ‘Infinity’, which felt largely unfinished. This EP begins brightly and ends strongly due to much improved song writing, which allows Broadrick, in particular, to work his magic, particularly in his clean vocal portrayal. Although there are those who don’t like his clean vocals, I have always been a fan of them. Metal, to me, has never been about immense talents, but playing well within your means, which is exactly what Broadrick does, in regards to his vocals. His melodic voice sits well with the shoegazing style and even with the droning capabilities of the guitars which also suit the style. This EP may be short and may not count for much in terms of indicating what might come on the next full-length, but it is an ample offering.