Junius – Reports From the Threshold of Death

Junius

Reports From the Threshold of Death

01. Betray the Grave
02. All Shall Float
03. Dance on Blood
04. A Universe Without Stars
05. Haunts For Love
06. The Meeting of Pasts
07. (Spirit Guidance)
08. A Reflection on Fire
09. Transcend the Ghost
10. Eidolon & Perispirit

[10/25/11]
[Prosthetic Records]

I’m at an impasse, you see? Allow me to pose an example which may make my predicament make sense to you. I’m listening to Junius’ sophomore full length. I can point out the marvelous voice of Joseph Martinez, the stellar production, the unique atmosphere. Everything seems to be set for a super high score. After listening through the album two times, I’m in the mood for something different. I get off the computer and head into my bedroom to check up on some college football. After about 30 minutes, I start to recollect moments from this album so I can starting forming the basis for a review. However, something odd happened, which startled me, as it has never happened to me before. I can’t remember a single moment from this album. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the problem.

Allow me to apologize for my rather lengthy introduction, but it was the only thing that I could think of that could properly introduce the main and glaring problem with this album. Indeed, I’ve listened to the album close to fifteen times, and even still, I can only remember small bits and pieces, rather than sizable chunks. This is made all the more problematic because most of the tunes are under five minutes and follow a verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure. Usually, after a few listens with this structure, something sticks with you. However, with this album, it just doesn’t. This could be due to a number of factors, but the two main reasons is that most of the songs sound very similar and the songs don’t change moods. What I mean by the latter is that you can listen to the first minute or so of a song and you’ve essentially heard the entire song.

However, that doesn’t mean that Reports is an album that you should ignore. One of the best descriptions of their sound I can think of is doom meets pop meets Deftones. There are very dense, heavy moments where you can lose yourself in the soundscapes that Junius create. They are quite beautiful, using a super heavy guitar and bass to create the foundation, and built upon that foundation is keyboards, occasional choir vocals, and Martinez’s absolutely stellar voice. Martinez single-handedly gives this record a sense of life, a sense of emotion, and makes it stand out from similar-sounding groups. He sometimes goes a little off-key at times, but these moments are few and far between. One may best listen to Reports while doing absolutely nothing, shut out the world, and cranking the record at the highest volume possible. Then will you be able to feel the complete emotion that Junius’ create.

The production is super unique. The mix (especially the vocals) is covered in a super-lush reverberation that gives this album a huge amount of size. The guitars are some of the heaviest I’ve heard in this genre, and the bass is super punchy and audible, especially in the verses. The drums are also a part of the super-reverb, and it works extremely well.

It’s really unfortunate that, even after multiple listens, I can’t remember many moments from Reports. It’s very frustrating, actually. I’ll strain for minutes trying to think of a chorus, and I can’t remember it. Regardless, this is still an album that you should listen to at least once, as it’s a very good album. I do hope, however, that you remember some of the moments, as I’m still trying to remember.

Junius – Reports From The Threshold of Death gets:

3/5

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