By Ryan Falla
One look at the track listing for the record ‘Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light’ by Boston natives Junius looks more like the chapter listing to a book on metaphysics than an album. Junius makes an effort to mix the intellectual stylings of spiritualist writers with the musical intensity of melodic epics. Touted by Rolling Stone as “a perfect mix between Neurosis and The Smiths”, vocalist Joseph E. Martinez puts on a hypnotic display of dark baritones in the same vein as Type O Negative icon Peter Steele.
Junius takes the atmospheric approach to involving energy within the music by way of intellectual stimulation. While this does strike the brain with great intensity on multiple occasions with tracks such as ‘Telepaths & Pyramids’ and ‘Black Sarcophagus’, much of the record has the effect of falling into typical melodic tropes. ‘March of the Samsara’, the opening track, comes off with pretension; the hypnotic vocals falling flat over a basic melodic energy. Junius is clearly at their best when they don’t paint the same melodic shine with each track.
While they attempt to hit epically vast tones with ‘Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light’, this record does more to bottle their music into cookie-cutter melodic elements rather than show off the deeper talents present within Junius. This band works best when they strip their music of attempts to hit epic melodies and focus instead on etherealizing their music.
Junius has a very slow, atmospheric build to their music. This formula isn’t inherently faulty, but too often does Junius establish their plateau within the buildup rather than a climactic point. Junius finds real success when their music melody is abandoned for hypnotism, but this formula is not present until the second half of the record.
The track ‘Masquerade in Veils’ shows off the best form of Junius, an oddly entrancing pairing of old-man Johnny Cash with Stephen Morrissey; essentially a better version of Nine Inch Nails. This trifecta of dark hypnotism is present in very little of the album, and the fact that it doesn’t kick off until the second half of the record leaves this work painfully lopsided.
Too much of this record takes attempts to build up the same melodic formula with different tracks until it hits the halfway point when Junius takes to showing off their own personality. What’s worth listening to in this record is nearly drowned out by the typical melodic efforts throughout.
Instead of letting the record play as a whole, it would be apt for you to pick and choose the tracks you listen to. What comes out strong in ‘Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light’ is little, the album holding its value in a handful of tracks rather than the work as a whole.
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Release Date: March 3rd 2017
1. March of The Samsara (5:34)
2. Beyond the Pale Society (5:26)
3. A Mass for Metaphysicians (5:52)
4. Clean The Beast (4:29)
5. All That Is, Is of The One (1:00)
6. The Queen’s Constellation (5:41)
7. Telepaths & Pyramids (4:40)
8. Masquerade in Veils (3:17)
9. Heresy of the Free Spirit (3:19)
10. Black Sarcophagus (6:15)
Total Duration: 45:33