(Hydrahead Records)

Justin K. Broadrick has quite the resume. He formed grindcore pioneers Napalm Death at the ripe old age of 15, then defected to lead the loudest, most pummeling industrial rock band of all time, Godflesh. Broadrick accented his main avenue with countless solo side projects, and Jesu appears to be the band in which he has finally found a superior voice. Combining the obscenely loud, chugging industrial metal of Jesu's eponymous 2005 debut with the heavy My Bloody Valentine influence of last year's Silver EP, Conqueror shows Broadrick as the latest to wear a particular crown: an artist who has successfully married impenetrable, pulverizing noise with transcendent pop hooks. The album opener "Conqueror," the hair-raising "Old Year," and the career highpoint "Medicine" provide the rare occasions when extreme metal can be considered beautiful. -- Andrew EarlesGrade: A


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