(Caldo Verde Records – 2009)
Over the past 20 or so years, Jesu’s Justin Broadrick has become one the most consistent, yet innovative, purveyors of extreme metal and heaviness. As of late, his music has taken a disturbingly pleasant turn. With a cleaner, melodious sound, his brooding dirges have begun to flirt with alternative-rock radio accessibility.
Opiate Sun is partly a return to form after 2008’s underwhelming Why Are We Not Perfect?, but still a far cry from the crushing doom harshness of early Jesu records. The heavy riffs are still there, but have taken a back seat to Broadrick’s ambient shoegazing and increasingly dreamy vocals. Despite the ambivalence this record may garner from diehard fans, there is still a lot to like here.
Trial Track: “Deflated”