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Jesu’s Ascension in one word: boring.

The worst part is on my Itunes, immediately following Ascension is the “Annul” single from last year which is sooooo good.

There’s no life here. For a guy who just resurrected his industrial alter-ego Godflesh for a handful of shows last year and again this summer, you’d think that some of that visceral, raw energy would spill over into Jesu. Nope. It seems like all the projects Justin Broadrick has his hands in may have finally taken its’ toll on the creativity of Jesu.

“Fools” starts promisingly enough with a quiet intro before the crunch comes in. There are some signs of life here and on second track “Birth Day” as well.  Crushing guitars are reminiscent of Conqueror and Jesu but these two are probably the closest you’ll get on Ascension.  “Sedatives” is surprisingly fast-paced but a little too pop for a Jesu song. There’s even a point on “Black Lies” where the beat drops. Unintentionally.

I mean there are moments where the stars align besides the first two. “December” has some truly classic Jesu guitar grinds but the problem on this one as on most of the tracks here is that the song overstays its’ welcome after hitting that “moment”.

The sound on Ascension is a lot more crisp than previous efforts and I think the loss of fuzz plays a big part in the overall staleness. I’m used to a Jesu record having vocals way down in the mix but with the production so clean here, it just hurts the overall feel.

All around, it’s a muddled mess of a Jesu record. It’s also fitting that this was the first full-length not released on Hydra Head.  As a fan, I would stay away. Go buy last year’s Heart Ache & Dethroned EP instead and hope that maybe there’s a new Godflesh on the horizon.

 

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