Hydra Head
Reviewed by: Todd Burns
Reviewed on: 2007-04-20

Posted 04/20/2007 - 08:23:57 AM by meatbreak:
 This is the most predictable, yet at the same time, bizarre review of this record I have read yet. Minimal dynamics + washes of dense frequencies = Broadrick Vs. Shields. Four paragraphs saying the same thing. Shoegaze is not necessarily the watchword with this at all because it is borne from metal with the intention being to make a beautiful pop record. Broadrick chooses to reach his goal of Pop nirvana through hissing static, heavily accentuated deep tones and long shallow rhythms. What really, does this sentence mean?: "But in crafting sonic cathedrals, you tend to lose the emotion that helped erect them in the first place." That is utter nonsense, especially as it comes unqualified by further examples. Are you suggesting that by tweaking sounds with musical equipment to manipulate them into perfect place, it somehow reduces the emotional content of the music? What else could be considered a sonic cathedral? Godspeed albums? Cathedral themselves? The new Asunder album is an especially epic dirge, but with none of the lightness that Jesu embody. It is remiss not to mention the dual quality in this music, of sadness and hope that pervades much of the sounds and words. I consider the lyrics that you dismiss to be quite effective - there are very few of them and they are more mantric than really trying to say anything comple - there's certainly no complex messages to be delivered by this album, just an emotional resonance, that is on the edge of emerging from bleakness towards a silvery light of hope. Sure, plenty of people will find this boring because it is repetetive and many people don't have the patience to let it subtlty seep into them from prolonged exposure to it. This confused me quite a lot too - "The mood sustained too faithfully for a record that doesn’t aspire to the drone masterpieces of Broadrick’s past." This album aspires to a great deal, and if it is sustaining a mood faithfully, surely that is cause for merit. Too many contradictions, or I'm not reading right. Either way, I love this album - I find it an immersive experience on a similar plane to the Silver EP, but crafted that much more thoroughly.
Posted 04/20/2007 - 10:22:18 AM by raskolnikov:
 This is a pretty foolish review of an interesting record. With sounds this huge and immersive counterbalanced by tasteful restraint, who gives a fuck what is being sung about? Given your other reviews on this site, perhaps this release is neither obscure nor old enough to focus your attention upon it. Or maybe you just needed somebody whose name you could drop in your review to tell you that Jesu's Conqueror is actually a fine album?
Posted 04/20/2007 - 10:25:14 AM by boilingboy:
 Yes, absolutely. The worst is the comparison of Jesu with a poseur like Trent Reznor. Justin has always followed his own the extent of his financial ruin when he could no longer go on with Godflesh in good concience. Final, Techno Animal, Napalm Death and Possible records. JB moves from project to project impatience, but imbuing each one with integrity,committment and no thought to commercial considerations. Jesu, and Conquerer, is no exception. I highly recommend anyone to check out his lengthy interview at
Posted 04/20/2007 - 11:36:22 AM by draglikepull:
 While this album isn't as interesting as the Silver EP was (the title song was one of my favourite tracks of 2006), it's still a very good album, and well worth listening to. I don't know what's with boilingboy's pointless bashing of Reznor though. Regardless of whether or not you like his music, I don't see how any rational person could seriously question his integrity. It's pretty apparent from any interview with him that he's very honest and diligent with his music.
Posted 04/20/2007 - 12:07:38 PM by remission_:
 I didn't really feel like trying to analyze what you were talking about in this review. I'm just glad that I wasn't the only one that was a little dissapointed by this album.
Posted 04/20/2007 - 11:21:46 PM by beejentle:
 this record was pretty shite. kinda like your Yndi Halda review.
Posted 04/22/2007 - 11:56:46 PM by IanMathers:
 So lyrics _aren't_ important... until rasky doesn't like them. Way to be consistent, dude. Todd's right; Conqueror isn't a bad album, but it is pretty boring, and doesn't hold a candle to the first Jesu album. Which is weird, because they don't exactly sound worlds apart; but there's something crucial that's either missing or been altered here that doesn't have me reaching for this one nearly as often.
Posted 04/23/2007 - 12:40:48 AM by maltieria:
 I agree with much of the review, especially the cathedrals bit. Started to get this vibe from Jesu starting with the Silver ep, too much careful standing still. This stuff was just about mindblowing live, though. The Heartache ep rules all.
Posted 05/01/2007 - 10:34:50 AM by raskolnikov:
 Ian--My statement concerns itself with the relationship between lyrics and shoegazer bands...nobody listens to My Bloody Valentine for their lyrics, dude. It would be like listening for complex and detailed electric guitar mixes on Bob Dylan acoustic albums. Since the reviewer spent a good bit of time tying Jesu into the shoegazer tradition, I thought it was nitpicking to go after a shoegazer band for shoddy lyrics--the style is partly defined by that characteristic, using vocals as just another texture in the overall sound rather than a lead instrument in the mix the way much trad rock does. But since you're a critic, I assumed you knew that already...and I guess I was mistaken in that assumption.