By Dan Perretta
Have you ever wondered where people who listened to a lot of metal and space rock like Hum ended up? Well, a few of them started a band named Junius. The band, as a whole, has seemed to become even spacier with every record I hear from them and their newest release, “Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light,” is no exception. I have to say their is no finer music to chant along with like a religious cult waiting for the sun to envelop the Earth. Junius writes very thematic albums that sound a lot like a story or stage play. It is not just the lyrics that turn their music into an experience, the music seems to follow a similar ebb and flow of a show and I think that is what I like to most about the band, in general. Junius makes an album feel like a journey, but you can listen to tracks out of context and not have an issue.
“Eternal Rituals” definitely continues their journey toward conceptual music. From what I understand, this album was based upon aspects of reincarnation and karma, which are subjects I always find very fascinating. I am never disappointed in the stories Junius tells. They are deep, moving, and creative, and I cannot emphasize enough, the music matches the story and its intensity. As a matter of fact, “Eternal Rituals” has Junius playing a little heavier than I am use to hearing from them. They have always been a “heavy” band, but this album feels darker than their others at times. There is an emotional heaviness to the music and delivery.
The guitar work on “Eternal Rituals” is very simple, but purposeful. Junius is not going to dazzle you with super technical guitar riffs and raging solos, their power comes from the overall orchestration. The music from the guitar feels almost industrial and marches the songs forward. Occasionally you will hear some spacey delayed riffs and melodies to add to the atmosphere, but they are also simple and concise. Adding to the depth of the songwriting is the keys. The keyboard parts are forward enough to be noticed, but far enough away as to not overpower the song, until it is call for, of course. Have I mentioned that Junius sounds like traveling through space and time? The guitar and keys work together to really drive that feeling home. The vocal styling also plays an important role in the overall feel of the album. A lot of the vocals drone in low tones with moments of intense screams underneath, chanting and more powerful singing, especially for climactic choruses and bridges. The whole rhythm section holds it down big time for this album too. The bass helps keep everything at that marching pace and adding to the general darkness. The drums help add emotion and fluidity to songs.
There is nothing about “Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light” that is lazy or uninspired. The whole album has an immense energy making it feel large and all encompassing. If you are into space rock, post-hardcore/metal, I cannot recommend this album enough. You can find it on Bandcamp, Amazon, and iTunes.