Junius – Days of the Fallen Sun
Release Date: February 18th, 2014
Junius is a post-rock band from Boston, Massachusetts that have quite the extensive discography dating all the way back to 2004. Being that of the “post” sub-genre tag, I thought I’d be listening to a band that was recently created and riding on the train that is this new craze wave, but I was very mistaken when I did a bit more research. I decided not to listen to their previous work so I could go into this blindly as I prefer doing that with most groups that I don’t know of. Days of the Fallen Sun is setting a high standard early on in the year.
Don’t be fooled by the track length as half of the songs listed last less than a minute, acting as more of the introductions and atmosphere for the tracks before it. At first, I found them a bit unnecessary, but now I feel they add character and a sense of separation in the grand scheme of things. “(Meditations)” starts the EP off with a dark and sinister ambiance which is then heavily contrasted by the next, “The Time of Virtue”, which depicts a feeling of seeking the unknowing. Joseph Martinez demonstrates a vocal style and sound that I haven’t ever really heard of before until now. The shroud of mystery and elegance is astounding and immediately sets this band apart from others in the same vein. Joseph also lends his talents within guitars and synths which are beautifully conveyed with the help of Michael Repasch-Nieves and Joel Munguia who play guitar and bass respectively. The drumming provided by Dana Filloon completes the circle, with a style that isn’t intruding nor camouflaged. Everyone and everything flows together perfectly. This atmosphere and composition can’t go unnoticed.
“(Shamanic Rituals)” provides another build up into “A Day With Dark Night”, one of my favorites. The soaring vocals create an epic focal point which is accentuated by a heavier wave of instrumentals and the prominent hymnal-like chorus in the background. It feels as if the band is playing in a valley that pours into a vast canyon where their sound echoes and reaches every crevice with ease. This is an element that I would love to hear in more music but it seems bands never take the chance or just aren’t capable of it.
“Battle In The Sky” takes on a different approach with a sludgier style, taking away the pristine instrumentals from before. It feels like there are some orchestrals of sorts added into the background, adding that “epic” element which goes with the title of the track. Lightened harsh vocals make an entrance which add depth, a characteristic I enjoy for the most part if done correctly. “Battle In The Sky” does well with separating itself and giving the band a chance to show that abrasive side.
“(Nothingness)” is probably the best introduction of the EP and melds better than the others when it comes to it’s full track counterpart, “Forgiving The Cleansing Meteor”. Destruction, dismay, and knowing are the first thoughts that enter when I listen to this. It feels like a true ending, the destination to a long journey. Joseph provides some of his emotional best of the EP in this, adding in layers that weren’t evident before. The repetitive nature of the track may get under the skin of some, but I feel that it is perfectly placed. It’s as if the band is trying to get everyone to follow them, to follow their idea into the last steps. They are victorious with their task, as we reach the end of the EP and I yearn for more.
Junius have instilled a high standard for those that follow in their path. They have already provided some of the best material for the start of 2014 and I feel that this release will resonate for the rest of the year, much like their sound and approach. This is a release that shouldn’t be overlooked.