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Having never listened to Junius before, my first impression upon previewing this EP was, “it’s like a heavier version of Filter.” It’s true that there are some melodies that may match enough to remind me of the ethereal rock champions, but in many, many ways, their sound is very much their own. Days Of The Fallen Sun is a fantastic record that takes you on a journey using rhythm and almost droning melody as the vehicle.
The EP is supposed to be a prequel to Junius‘ debut record, The Martyrdom of a Catastrophist, so I assume it is a concept, and this is now a buildup to that story. They also have a 2011 release, Reports From the Threshold of Death, which, if I may be so bold as to judge the type of album solely by the title, sounds very much like it could be a concept record, too. If my assumptions are right, then I’m in! I’m a sucker for this kind of shit, so I guess it’s time I find out what Junius is all about!
Days of The Fallen Sun is basically four songs with four intro tracks that really leaves you wanting more. It’s some kind of mixture between what all my German co-workers listen to (weird hipster rock/electronic stuff) and some of the lighter side of what I listen to. Don’t take the “weird hipster rock” part as a bad thing; it actually sounds quite good and not “hipstery.” I guess I could summarize it better by saying it’s heavy, with clean vocals, and an epic, ethereal sound.
At the end of the record, when you’re sitting in silence, there’s not a whole lot that stands out as a “moment” that you will remember, but you realize you just listened to something special. The group definitely works as a whole, creating one collective sound and delivering it with production that is not over the top, but done tastefully to bring out the raw nature of the band.
My final thoughts on the EP is that it sounds great, the production is well done, and although the songs are epic, they leave you wanting more. These are all good signs in my opinion. The only thing missing for me is a “standout” track. While it may not be necessary, I would love to have something stuck in my head right now, because I’m into the whole recording. Days of The Fallen Sun is an EP worth buying, and I highly recommend it. There’s only minor room for improvement in my opinion, which means I am highly anticipating the next installment from Junius.
Days Of The Fallen Sun is out now on Prosthetic Records.
Rating: 4/5 Stars.
Junius, “Battle In The Sky” – Days Of The Fallen Sun
Junius, “Betray The Grave” – Reports From The Threshold Of Death
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Behemoth’s, The Satanist is released this week in the United States. The record was recorded at Hertz Studio and RG Studio, both in Poland. It was produced by the band, Daniel Bergstrand, and Wiesławscy Brothers.
I once described Behemoth’s Evangelion as the soundtrack to a tour through hell upon your arrival. In that same spirit, Behemoth has once again written the soundtrack to what one’s mind might imagine of one of the most important moments in the Christian Bible: the apocalypse.
From the moment The Satanist begins, there is an aural onslaught and an emotional attachment I feel to the honest and terrifying scene that is painted before me with all the colors of sound. Track after track, this album develops as it progresses, starting strong and ending even stronger.
There are several standout elements for me on this record. I’ll start with the most noticeable: the bass. Behemoth did a fantastic job of bringing the bass out and giving it a more primary seating on all of the tracks. It’s also clear that the songwriting was deliberate in providing a lot of feature moments for the instrument throughout. As a bassist, it’s really refreshing to hear, not only that it is being featured, but that it is mixed in a way that allows it to be up front while still making the entire album sound like a masterpiece.
Now let’s talk about guitar solos! Nergal has been known to do a thing or two in the past, but one of the most obvious things on The Satanist is the build up and execution of a few fantastic solos. Going from the atmospheric sound we all know into a brutal solo at lightning speed is not an easy thing to do, and they actually pull this off and it’s massively impressive.
I’m sitting here trying to decide what tracks to note as standouts, and I’m finding it very difficult to do so without alienating the others. The whole album is fucking awesome. I guess I’ll point my finger, in no particular order, at “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel,” “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer,” “Amen,” “The Satanist” and “O Father O Satan O Sun!”.
I’m going to leave you with a quote from the album translated into English, but before I do I’d just like to add that there are few bands in this world who are doing something that is truly different. Behemoth take blackened death and make it atmospheric. They take something that is typically pure anger and aggression and turn it into emotion. When I think of this band, I think of a living legend, that years from now, people will wish they had experienced this band while they were still of the flesh. This is the most exciting band in heavy music today, and The Satanist is one more piece of evidence to prove it. Bravo.
“I reject all order, all ideas / I trust no abstraction, no doctrine / I don’t believe in god, nor in mind / Forget all gods! I don’t believe in God. Give me man! / May he be like me, troubled and immature / confused and incomplete, dark and obscure so that I can dance with him!/ Pretend to him! Ingratiate myself with him! / And rape him, love him and forge myself / Anew from him, so I can grow through him, and in / that way / Celebrate my marriage in the sacred human church!” – Quote from Witold Gombrowicz drama “The Marriage” used in the song, “In the Absence ov Light”
For those of you who are familiar with Kuolemanlaakso, you already know about the powerful groove these guys have put together to create their signature sound. If you’re just learning about them, then you’re in for a real treat.
Kuolemanlaakso are a Finnish death metal band conceptualized by guitarist Markus Laakso and fronted by vocal heavyweight Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow The Sun, Ex-Barren Earth). Their first record, Uljas Uusi Maailma, blew my mind when I first heard it. There’s this epic darkness throughout the record with an aggressive, possessing groove that is unmistakably “them.” Too few bands are able to come out of the gate with their own sound as unique as these guys, but they just hit the nail on the head and have it work with right away. That same sound comes across perfectly on the band’s new EP, Musta Aurinko Nousee, due out November 29th via Svart Records. The moment the songs start playing, it’s obvious it is Laakso’s writing, and in the best possible way.
The four song EP goes for well over 20 minutes, allowing you just enough time to get yourself immersed in the sound. All of the tracks have their own unique vibe that weaves in and out, developing over time. There is a very good understanding of dynamics that is utilized well; I think it has a lot to do with the players themselves. It all comes together so well.
The title track of the EP (listen to it below!) is a remake of a classic Finnish track of the same title. Oddly enough, I had actually heard the original on the radio just hours before I heard the remake, not knowing that the coincidence was coming. When the song came on the second time, it was hilarious to us, but this was quickly diminished by the incredibly dark sound brought to the remake.
In my opinion, “Musta Aurinko Nousee” is an incredible display of Kotamäki’s ever-evolving vocal talent. The guy hits some low notes that bellow with an almost effortless ease. The haunting way they remade the classic is just one more check mark on the list of things Kuolemanlaakso have on their list of accomplishments, and I think we’re going to start hearing a lot more about them very soon. Pay attention to this band.
Musta Aurinko Nousee is out November 29th on Svart Records.