junius days of the fallen sunJunius

Days of the Fallen Sun

01. (Meditations)
02. The Time of Perfect Virtue
03. (Shamanic Rituals)
04. A Day Dark with Night
05. (The Purge)
06. Battle In the Sky
07. (Nothingness)
08. Forgiving the Cleansing Meteor

[02/18/14]
[Prosthetic Records]

There is usually an inverse relation between energy and longevity. Some bands burn bright and turn to a crisp in the process and end up rehashing their original releases. Some bands need time to take off, preferring a long culmination of style that might be hard to keep track with. The rare bands, those we’ll take with us into the rest of our lives, are those that can produce intense emotion and keep their pace at the same time. Junius are quickly turning out to be of the latter, rarer breed. Their fifth EP, alongside two full albums, is nothing short of a near perfect creation. It knows when to be harsh, when to be epic, and when to be still.

Drawing on ideas that remind one of Deftones, the essence of this album lies in the unique balance between the instruments and the vocals. More than anything, the bass and drums conjure a massive soundscape. The guitars sit on top of this, further increasing the feeling that you’re standing just beneath a tsunami. The myriad choirs, familiar tools of Junius from previous works, only add to the overall sensation of being a small thing in the presence of something gigantic. The track ‘Battle in the Sky’ is the perfect example of this: here the guitars are at their most grandiose, with the bass, drums and keyboard effects mixing in the background into a torrent that wouldn’t shame the likes of Ancestors or Isis.

Many bands know how to create these sounds. Not many of them have a vocalist like Joseph E. Martinez. The wisdom of his performance is in not trying to compete with the instruments. Instead, he uses his unique sound to create something almost timid yet amazingly powerful. Nearly swallowed in the grandness of the music, he nonetheless manages to convey so much emotion that the listener finds himself immersed in the music but focused on his voice. This is what gives the closing track, ‘Forgiving the Cleansing Meteor’, its power. In perfect time with its post-rock structure, Joseph’s voice slowly leads us towards the closing climatic segment of the album.

Days of the Fallen Sun is a powerful album that defies its post-rock influences. Instead of relying on longer tracks and drawn out riffs, it keeps its power constrained and dynamic. The longest track, ‘A Day Dark with Night’, delivers the most enticing promise. When the album ends, it seems so short, yet so much ground has been covered. We can only wait for their next full length release to see what more breadth of canvas does for this already excellent and intelligent group. For now, Days of the Fallen Sun will keep us riveted to its unique sound and message, housing a secure spot in any winter playlist.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv4WudngDvY&w=560]

Junius – Days of the Fallen Sun gets…

4.5/5

-EK

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