Burning Down the Hermitage: Jesuit Marks 25th Anniversary with Vinyl “Discography” Reissue

Photo by Dave Mandel

Remember back in 2011 when I wrote in the print edition of this very magazine that the Jesuit discography was “a beautifully remastered collection documenting the all-too-fleeting existence of one of the seminal bands that made post-post-hardcore’s mid-’90s vicious turn so darkly exhilarating”?

Neither did I! (But our good friend Wikipedia did…)

Anyway, what’s crazy is, yet another decade on, Discography — now available in a 25th anniversary edition featuring “a new cover colorway, a translucent hot pink LP, a clear 7” flexi with silver foil, and a giant fold-out poster that contains all lyrics, liner notes, and over a hundred photos” — still sounds years ahead of its time, still burns with the ferocity and potency of most of its nearest peers (then or now) combined, still overwhelms and enchants in equal mesaure. The violence and abandon captured in these grooves is an extreme music marvel.

Just in case you need a reminder or an introduction, we’re going to embed a couple tracks below — “Car Crash Lullaby” and the Sabbath cover “Hole in the Sky” — along with some thoughts from Dark Operative mainman Brent Eyestone pilfered from Instagram — an app that wasn’t even a twinkle in HAL 9000’s single eye when these timeless anti-anthems first dropped.

Oh, right, and members of this band later popped up in bands such as Converge, Dillinger Escape Plan, Cave In, Old Man GlooM, Bleach Everything, Doomriders, and more.

“When people talk about how intense Jesuit was, it’s natural to think about that term through modern qualifiers and threshold levels,” Eyestone writes. “It’s not uncommon to hear a current band that performs their same exact set every night to a syncopated light show with the same physical move-set described as ‘intense.’ Hey, good for them.

“Jesuit did not map out or choreograph their performances in any capacity. The only through-lines were that they were going to be present and that they were going to be terrifyingly real. It all made for a level of unquestionable intensity that truly needed to be short-lived in order to guarantee the ultimate survival and day-to-day freedom of the young men in he band past their early 20s. The tales were never tall. They actually happened and, gracefully, all survived.”