JESU- ‘Every Day I Get Closer to the Light from Which I Came’

Jesu change. Since 2004 the band’s mastermind, former Napalm Death and Godflesh member Justin Broadrick, has gradually, granularly, slowly but surely distorted his post metal sound to incorporate elements of electronica, shoegaze, and, whisper it, melody. It makes sense. Even the project’s earliest output favoured texture, mood and feeling, over any real definition. This time though, something is different.

There are still changes. The most noticeable is another step towards the light. Perhaps befitting its title, this is the shortest, brightest, and most digestible Jesu record yet. The warped vocals and bubbly synths of ‘Comforter’ sound like Sigur Ros, the title track finds Broadrick’s dry vocals clearer, and nearer to the foreground, than ever before, and ‘The Great Leveller’, embellished with yearning piano and looping strings, is 18 minutes long but somehow never drags.

But there’s also something deliberate, permanent, and enduring about it. Where much of Broadrick’s back catalogue best rewards repeat listens, after just one spin here, it’s clear that ‘Every Day I Get Closer to the Light from Which I Came’ has been carved out of stone.

That doesn’t mean it’s rigid- ‘Homesick’ moves twice as fast as Broadrick’s usual pace but is still as close to classic Jesu as you can get, and elsewhere there are the requisite moody, grainy layers and hazy digital shimmers. And that doesn’t even mean it’s that heavy either- the end of ‘Comforter’ could crush you but there’s almost nothing here you would immediately tag as metal. Maybe it’s just technology- the production is so punchy and clear and powerful. Whatever the reason, every note feels important. Occasionally, it’s like properly hearing Jesu for the first time.

Jesu will change again. And that’s part of the project’s appeal really. But this record feels like a statement. Like the version of Jesu that they should put in a museum. Epic.

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