Monday, March 14, 2011

Seventh Heaven EP - Pale Sketcher

Seventh Heaven EP

Pale Sketcher
Ghostly International.

SCQ Rating: 82%

While it’s true that few artists revered in the metal scene are as restless as Godflesh/Jesu/Pale Sketcher creator Justin Broadrick, his every release has committed to whatever inventive turn was at hand. In that respect, Broadrick’s evolution can be largely assessed from the opening track on each release; as surely as the title track from Lifeline EP announced a more nuanced electronic undercoating for Jesu’s post-rock, ‘Don’t Dream It’ from Pale Sketcher’s 2010 debut provided a marked synergy between his sludgy past and forward-looking aesthetic sheen. All the same, none of Broadrick’s work under the incestuous Jesu/Pale Sketcher umbrella has surprised fans beyond careful steps moving closer or farther from his raw beginnings.

So it’s well-worth noting that the first milliseconds of Seventh Heaven EP tear our smug expectations to the ground and bury them in heated, beat-laden loops worthy of The Field at his most gutteral. Over its pounding, intricate five minutes of industrial house, ‘Seventh Heaven’ breaks the lineage Broadrick’s Pale Sketcher moniker has shared – in tracklisting as well as sonic terrain – with the Jesu catalog, and develops a complex human heart as the EP unfurls. Eventually we’re subjected to 4/4 beats under sun-drenched drone (on ‘Resonanz Therapie Musik’) and some laid-back guitar-based harmonics (with ‘Drag Your Feet’), but first: ‘The Rainy Season’’s move into dub-step’s tonal shades with Polaroid shots of Aphex Twin’s acid-tinged break-beats likely constitutes the best piece of music Broadrick’s done in years.

Broadrick’s dependability has often been his vice, seeing him churn out more EPs and side-projects than most fans can keep up with, but Seventh Heaven cleans the slate while revealing how transitional last year’s Pale Sketches Demixed really was. All of the puzzle pieces feel locked in now; this here’s a prime example of what’s possible when ideal musician meets ideal label.

Pale Sketcher - Seventh Heaven [Ghostly International] by frankyboy

No comments: