Jesu’s latest full-length, Ascension, is surprisingly only their third, despite the band’s eight-year career. This is due in no small part to the plethora of EPs that the band has released. While he has other members that help when on tour and occasionally in the studio, Jesu is Justin Broadrick. The droney, shoegazer sound he creates also takes a slight nod to a doom, industrial influence, though it seems that the heavier take on Broadrick’s sound has lessened with the release of Ascension. Yet, in that delicateness, Jesu has found a quality that suits it well. It’s a sign of progression in the sound while still retaining some of the ethereal, ambient sound that declared the difference between Jesu and Broadrick’s former project, Godflesh. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Ascension is a “happy” album, it’s certainly not as dark and morose as much of Jesu’s previous releases. Might it be possible to listen to the ten songs on here and think more of a sunny, spring morning than an overcast winter afternoon? While I would have preferred a little more of a heavy edge to some of the music, it’s always good to see an artist progressing, especially if—as is the case with Ascension—it is done in a competent and well-played manner.
–kurt (Caldo Verde, caldoverderecords.com)