A hundred years ago, the terrible experience of trench warfare radically altered the psychology of Europe. Belgium was battered mercilessly from the first to the last shot and hundreds of thousands of bodies lie beneath Flanders’ fields.
The Great War also profoundly changed the arts and that change is still felt today. Electric guitarist Grégory Duby from Brussels strives to promote contemplative listening. As Jesus is My Son, he uses this slow, low approach to portray the lives of the individual soldiers between battles, their hardships and the fear that freighted the silences, which Duby wants his listeners to pay particular attention.
It comes creeping yellowy-brown and hugs the ground like mustard gas. Despite the ponderous pace, there is a melody to each song, one of the prettiest being “Armistice”, not to mention narrative drama, like on “Deux Nuits”. Though slow, the only truly ominous track is the closing “Mieux Vaut Se Mentir et Être Heureux”, which seems to offer a bleak future.
In focusing on the “non-events” of the war to end all wars, Duby has created an engaging work, as somber and serious as a cast bronze war memorial.