Published Mar 01, 2017One of the most underrated acts in post-metal, Junius have returned with their third full-length release, Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light. Their first release in over three years, ERAL is the third and final act in the band's conceptual trilogy relating to death, reincarnation, the eternal question of life's meaning and the works of controversial philosopher, Immanuel Velikovsky.
Written and performed by the band's auteur and lead vocalist, Joseph E. Martinez, ERAL maintains the familiar consistency fans have come to expect from Junius. The work is emotionally compelling, sonically diverse, atmospheric and — as overused as the word might be — epic. Often adopted by post-rockers as one of their own, Junius perfectly blend aspects of post-rock with heavy metal, but without fully committing to post-rock's often predictable blueprint.
Beginning with a breath-like swell, opening track "March of the Samsara" immediately captivates with a driving yet calming lead riff that guides us directly into the care of Joseph's Morrissey-esque voice, which reminds us to "…breathe out, breathe in." As if being instructed directly, the listener can't help but submit to the hypnotic ebb and flow of ERAL. And once committed, you're rewarded with "Beyond the Pale Society" and "A Mass for Metaphysicians," which feature some of the most infectious riffs metal has had to offer this year.
Midway through, a decisive shift in mood is felt with fifth track, "All That Is, Is of the One." From massive anthemic choruses to slow spellbinding builds, the band's post-rock influence become more apparent, demonstrating through contrast how expertly mixed and produced ERAL is.
While the thematic and musical consistency exhibited by Junius over this trilogy has been most impressive and enjoyable, their next venture will be crucial in proving whether this consistency is the result of deliberation or limitation. Hopefully, the next full-length will sound like a new volume in the band's evolution, rather than chapter four of this trilogy. (Prosthetic)