Some folks hide from their past while others are content to rehash old glories to the point of tedium. Justin Broadrick is the intriguing performer who does neither. Best known for his affiliation with metal monsters Napalm Death in the '80s and industrial kingpins Godflesh in the '90s, Broadrick recovered from a nervous breakdown in 2002 and turned his attention to Jesu. Essentially a solo project, Jesu's debut EP Heart Ache was both an embrace of the musical extremes of Broadrick's past and an unforeseen exploration into the ambient possibilities of feedback and drone.

After bringing in Godflesh associate Ted Parsons on drums, 2005's Jesu showed a more melodious flair, actually allowing a bit of structure and definition into the sonic textures and abstractly loud meanderings. The stopgap Silver EP continued this trend, and with Conqueror, Broadrick has once again widened his ambitions significantly. Featuring epic-length songs that never wear out their welcome, Conqueror is a wonderful mass of contradictions, a thunderously loud collection of swirling guitars and seemingly endless echo that still somehow retains its conventional structure and ambient tone.

Finding uncommon ground between a whisper and a wail, Broadrick writes songs such as "Transfigure" and "Weightless & Horizontal" that are self-descriptive and hypnotic compositions that recognize the transcendent and indefinable nature of authentic beauty.



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