Jesu/Battle of Mice
Split

Though both located on the same side of the metal spectrum, its hard to see Jesu and Battle of Mice doing a split together. Obviously, any two artists can do a split, but I feel the point of a split is to make one coherent, meaningful work. Look at the Fordirelifesake and Deluge split, or the Graves at Sea and Asunder split. I’m not huge on splits and I don’t own many, but I consider those (among maybe a few others) to be the pinnacle of what a split should be. The synergy between them is undeniable. I’m still not sure if the same is true for Jesu and Battle of Mice. Regardless, I think the four songs on this split are among the best of both artists.

The split opens with two Jesu tracks: “Clear Stream” and “Fall From Grace.” Both are unmistakably Jesu, but softer than most of their material. “Clear Stream” is indescribable. This track hit me pretty hard the first time I heard it. The complex emotions it conjures are extremely profound, but typical for Jesu. Imagine surviving a severe car accident and what you might feel upon reflection of the event. A new found love for your own life and for those closest to you. You’re in turmoil with feelings of regret for taking everything for granted, and you vow to never let that happen again. I’ve been in that situation before, and oddly enough, “Clear Stream” brings back those feelings. “Fall From Grace” is heavier, but more chill. It’s sort of a relaxing song, and something to listen to under a tree. Despite how electronic this song is, it feels organic and natural. These two songs left me feeling relaxed and at peace. But it was only the calm before the storm.

Battle of Mice. If you’ve heard “Day of Nights”, then you know what to expect. Neurosis style metal with the intense, charismatic vocals of Julie Christmas (also from Made Out of Babies). These two bittersweet, brooding and manical tracks are stellar. “The Bishop’s” building introduction is electrified by Christmas’ performance. The whole track seems to be on the verge of emotional breakdown. Though not really as spooky as “A Day of Nights”, they seem to have gained some maturity. “Yellow and Black” seeths and oozes in a doomy/post-metal fashion. The song writing on both tracks (“Yellow and Black” especially) is damn near perfect. Simplistic and effortless, they take their time, but never too much time. After hearing these two tracks, I definitely feel pumped for the new album.

There you have it. A diverse, and very solid split. I have only one complaint. These two bands are so far apart, it’s a little jarring to hear them next to each other like this. I would have loved to see one of the two bands make a compromise in their sound. Though both bands write in a style which works for them (exceptionally so), if Jesu darkened their sound, or Battle of Mice lightened up, I think this split would be even more effective, beyond the individual songs. But don’t let that stop you. Check this out.

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Written by Belgarath
August 27th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: xBenx

    Cannot wait to get this. The new Envy/Jesu split is brilliant also.

    Very good review Belgarath, you have certainly enticed my appetite (not for destruction), however, I beg to differ, I love splits, other very good ones being,

    Caliban/Heaven Shall Burn (first one)
    Converge/Agoraphobic Nosebleed
    Die My Demon/50 Caliber
    Kartel/9bar/Diction – Southbound
    Crepitation/Kastrated/Ingested

    And so many million more, these were just 5 that came to my mind.


  2. Commented by: Belgarath

    Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll definitely check those out.


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