Saturday, October 15, 2011
Junius - Reports From The Threshold of Death (2011)
Country: Boston, Massachusetts
Style: Alternative Rock/Post-Metal
Several years ago I found many bands, some of which are my favorites nowadays, through a Youtube user who made compilations of great bands and Junius was in one of them. Since then, I've listened to the band off and on for about a year or two since finding them. It wasn't until I started hearing about this album that I started listening to them again, after several months of absence.
In terms of being metal, Junius has never really been a band that's been totally dedicated to being all that heavy. For me, a lot of their sound is based a lot more on atmosphere and dynamics, like many other post-metal acts, but I feel that the use of heavy is a lot more understated. Junius has also been a band that has had more "songs" than what could, I guess, be called movements. In terms of being a "post" act, I actually hear a lot more alternative influences in Junius' sound, the likes of Deftones, Tool, and to an extent Ulver, which really brings a whole different flavor to this album than what I expected. Sure, the "post" tag certainly is still applicable to the band, the quiet-loud-quiet-loud dynamic is used frequently throughout, but I don't hear many bands in that genre, or scene, that have songs like these. These songs are pretty simplistically written, so I'm sure a lot more people who aren't really into "metal" could definitely find this to be an interesting record.
Now, when I first heard Betray The Grave, and keep in mind that this is after a sabbatical from the band so forgive me for being a bit ignorant on this but, the vocals totally sounded like Chino Moreno from the Deftones, and this is something that continues throughout the album. Along with the vocal comparison, some of the songs on here sound like they could have been Deftones songs, and that's meant as a compliment. This sounds like "White Pony"-era Deftones, and it really is quite impressive because these guys have the songs, the atmosphere, and the sort of emotion that is needed to successfully recapture a sound like that, as so many other groups have attempted to do. But to be fair, I should say that it's really only the ambient side of Deftones that these guys cop, stylistically. A lot of the heavier aspects of the band are more downplayed on here, focusing a lot more on melody and atmosphere, which doesn't exactly help their case in sounding like the aforementioned band, but it does set them apart from many others attempting to sound like them.
Overall, I did enjoy the album, I think they did a good job at doing a style that isn't usually done well. I kind of wish they went for a bit of a more original style, but I think what's done on here is done well. Check it out if you like more atmospheric rock, post-rock/metal, or the Deftones.
Overall Score: 8
Highlights: Dance On Blood, Haunts For Love, Transcend The Ghost