Concluding a conceptual trilogy with an examination of spirituality and reincarnation on Eternal Rituals For The Accretion Of Light (Prosthetic), progressive, melodic, post-Metal exponents Junius are not producing throwaway music; theirs is a depth not just of expression and concept, but of musical bent, with soundscapes to complement such musings and reflections. Managing that rarest of feats of allowing their creations time to develop and explore themselves, while still keeping a succinct and focused grip on proceedings, Junius have produced a lush selection, a fertile sea of lurching guitars, dancing synths and Joseph Martinez’ enchanting dark vocals, a clear baritone capable of portraying both rueing and hope with equal abandon and grace.
While geography pays less of a role in the shaping of the sound of an artist in this ever-connected world, the overwhelming sonic trappings of Junius appear European in nature, despite their Bostonian origins. With a cascading guitar melody fading into a Gothic lament, the like of which Johan Edlund would have crooned when Tiamat were seeking A Deeper Kind Of Slumber (Century Media), ‘March Of The Samsara’ paints a landscape that the rest of the album helps turn into a shimmering canvas, resplendent with intellectual explorations, as post-Metal and melodramatic ideas entwine in a marriage of light and shade, melody and minor keys. Elements of Anathema flitter across tracks, especially their Alternative 4 (Peaceville) era on ‘The Queen Constellation’, while ‘Clean The Beast’ nods to Gojira with Circle Takes the Square’s Drew Speziale adding colour with a harsh vocal juxtaposition.
Elsewhere, Martinez’ rhythmic guitar work is splendidly Katatoni(a)c and his leads structured in the vein as the Iconic (Music For Nations) work of Gregor Mackintosh, while the band’s considered musical musings come back to the homeland to integrate Deftones, Isis and Type O as this is a heady concoction of classy music; where the Eastern airy sprawl of ‘Telepaths and Pyramids’ sits alongside the heavy yet anthemic ‘Beyond The Pale Society’. If there is criticism, it is that the tail does not wag as strongly as the head and torso of the album, yet these thoughts are dispelled by the haunting dusky melancholy of final track ‘Black Sarcophagus’.
When talented artists put thought into constructing a contemplative whole, where each of the component elements is crafted with grace and quality and are as deeply considered as each other, and when a collection of songs is produced that establishes and maintains a creative identity, the results can only be superior and positively engaging. Eternal Rituals... is exactly that.