Review: Junius – Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light

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Atmospheric post-rock/metal shoegaze? A genre discussion about this band would be fruitless.

Junius has been on the metal music radar for awhile now, and it’s starting to make a lot more sense with this release. The Martyrdom of a Catastrophist, their debut, was largely an art-rock offering, then they shifted into a (very good) Deftones clone on Reports from the Threshold of Death. Now, with the third album in the trilogy, they have embraced their heaviest material and made a whole album with it. I’m certainly not complaining about this move, and I think it will please many of you as well.

Joseph Martinez has a knack for making you feel exactly what he wants you to feel. The opening song starts with a great riff that eventually weaves in a melodic discordance that is unnerving and foreboding, which ends up being the sense of dread that you feel on and off throughout the runtime. The counterpart to this dread is an ethereal shoegaze reminiscent of Alcest. Speaking of, I should probably mention the coincidence of the eastern influences, as Alcest’s recent album was largely Japanese themed. Discernable Eastern sounds (I had to take a world music class at one point, so I should be able to explain in more detail the scales and awesome stringed instruments they use, but alas, my memory has a few faulty circuits) are used sporadically, making their presence felt but never becoming a distraction, except maybe on “Telepaths and Pyramids”, where there is some throat chanting and a melody that sounds a little too stereotypical.

“Mass for Metaphysicians”, and “Clean the Beast” to a lesser extent, are so close to being Leprous songs that I wouldn’t be surprised if Einar Solberg searched his hard drive to see if they were songs he forgot about. As a huge Leprous fan, these two songs are probably my favorites. Even bringing in some harsh vocals, these songs are the sweet spot for us metal fans; that is if you don’t mind a little bit of a chug riff when it’s done well. The electronic atmospheric work really brings home the meditative tone that Eternal was going for. I especially enjoyed falling into the arpeggiated hypnosis brought on by the intro of “The Queen’s Constellation.“

The first few minutes of closer “Black Sarcophagus” had me thinking that they ruined the album. Conceptually, it just couldn’t end on a slow introspective song. Exiting samsara had to lead to something epic, and for far too long, Junius made me think the whole concept was bullshit; we die, get reborn, and die again, never to leave the circle of endless suffering. I was ready to throw a 1 out of 5 toilets at this review. But then, out of nowhere, the perfect cathartic riff really brings it together right at the end.

Many will still probably consider Reports from the Threshold of Death as their magnum opus, which is perfectly acceptable because if you like the style, the songs are really spectacular. However, this new more progressive route is far more pleasing to my ears. More interesting, no doubt. A few songs let me down, but there’s far more good than bad.

Eternal is out this Friday via Prosthetic Records.

  • Approved.

  • GL

    I really love that dudes voice. Something about it. The “post rock like” tunes really supplement them well. Gonna have to buy it Friday.

    Kinda surprised you were going to give it a 1/5, then a single riff changed your mind? Crazy.

    GL

    • Joaquin Stick

      It was mostly a joke about my anger with the last song not being what I wanted it to be, but then they done fixed it.

      • GL

        Gotcha!

      • Stick: “Oh no you fucking didn’t, Junius . . .”

        (A few minutes later) “Oh, wait, you didn’t.”

  • Interest is piqued!

    • Rain Poncho W.

      *peaked *edwarding intensifies*

  • Waynecro

    Nice review, JS. I plan to give the whole album a listen when I’m in the appropriate mood.

  • AndySynn

    I am so in love with this band that I’ve violated their restraining order several times.

  • Major Zim

    Reports from the Threshold of Death was neat and I wanted to like it a lot, but flat production really made that difficult for me. Then, I saw them live (with Alcest and Enslaved, how’s THAT for a fucking lineup???) and I was absolutely floored. Neurosis is maybe the only band I’ve ever seen live who sounded BIGGER than Junius. It was an amazing experience and made me a die-hard fan. Then the agonizing wait came, but the Days of the Fallen Sun EP really promised us the next full length would be fantastic. The production was there, songs were even more engaging and no longer felt same-y, and again we waited, so I am beyond stoked that this album is finally here and they’ve delivered on something I’ve been waiting for for 6 god damn years by this point.

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      THAT IS A FVCKING LINEUP, MADAM.

  • The Tetrachord of Archytas

    So excited for this. Also I thought it was interesting that in the interview he didn’t ever mention days of the fallen sun. That was my entry point for the band and might still be my favorite release of theirs

  • Despite the fact that the Podcast interview with the dude from this band literally put me to sleep, I need to dig into this.

    • ^^ this guy parties

      • Howard Dean

        Only while he secretly listens to the new White Death album on loop.

        • DARKBEARD

          no amount of Black Cilice love shall hide his shame!

    • My dulcet tones have been known to soothe even the most savage beast.

    • Maik Beninton™

      Real talk: I slept hard on the Chris Barnes interview.

  • Howard Dean
  • Rain Poncho W.

    I dig this record.

  • I have the Toilet to thank for introducing me to Junius (via the podcast). A Universe Without Stars is a >>>>>> and now I am eagerly awaiting the release of this one!

  • Depechemodeisgangsta

    For some reason, i got a Rottin Christ Vibe on the “Clean the beast” song.
    P.S. Super excited for me, just found out that Depeche Mode is coming to Miami FL, on their new tour, can’t wait for that show, great live “pop” band.

  • Dagon

    I liked both tracks. Some of the lush instrumentation in “The Queen’s Constellation” reminded me of Mesarthim (band).

    • Rain Poncho W.

      DAGONINHO

      • Dagon

        From da ashez

  • xengineofdeathx

    My favorite is still the S/T debut (because of the post punk and goth influence) but I’ve enjoyed the fuck out of all this band’s work. Holy balls I can’t wait for this album to sex my ear holes.

  • J.R.™

    the whole “self flagellation” / “ascension through pain” thing in clean the beast is entirely my jam. I love the way the verse lyrics are presented entirely too much. Even typing this….DEVOTION THROUGH SILENCE…THE PAIN THE PURIFY…. digggggg

  • InfinityOfThoughts

    I saw these guys in Boston about 5 years ago, at Brighton Music hall (I lived one street over at the time, it was the tits I tell ya). Holy fucking shit the bass (and I’m a bass player) was so goddamn loud it gave me a headache. Awesome show though but goddamn if it didn’t give me a migraine haha.