Review by Adam Roncaglione
Has an opening track ever been so powerful as Junius' “Betray the Grave?” Surely, there has been plenty that can contend with it, but my God, it's been a while since I've had a feeling like this. It's a brilliant cacophony of feral emotion and thundering raw power. Junius' 2nd LP, Reports From the Threshold of Death, manages to bottle this conscience mental reaction and generate an aural pleasure for the ages.
Junius and I have a long standing relationship that traces back to mid-2004. The New England quartet sent me their debut EP, Forcing Out The Silence, and almost immediately I was smitten. At first I had pegged them for some Cave In/dredg amalgam, and I had no real qualms with that. However, that assessment was not really accurate at all. Sure, they effectively executed the spacey, wall of sound with lots of echo, but the similarities ended there. This band truly shape-shifted genres like few I'd heard before.
Their 2006 EP, Blood Is Bright, saw their maturation morph them into a genre all their own, post-rock-wave. It was chilling to see a group of artists merge the post rock aesthetic of Mogwai or Irepress with the nu-wave bravado and baritone of Joy Division or The Cure. It was darkly refreshing and invigorating.
Their latest offering really is the high water mark for Junius... so far. It's 44 minutes of post-nu-wave bliss that I continue to go back to. In a generation where music is outdated in a week, Reports From the Threshold of Death still has me craving it a month later. It's unquestionably their heaviest album, but ironically, it has moments where it's there heaviest in a melodic sense as well. They continue to show their influences proudly as well, with moments uncannily similar to the Deftones, ISIS, and Duran Duran. No matter what sort of mash-up they construct, it's rarely less than spectacular.
As far as stand-out tracks go, “The Meeting of Paris” is my absolute favorite, followed closely by the aforementioned “Betray the Grave” and “Haunts for Love.” That being said, there are no weaknesses to be found here. This is one of the top five albums of the year for me. If you are a fan of nu-wave, post-rock, post-metal, or pretty much post-anything, there's little chance you won't fall all over yourself loving this beast of an album. These Bean-Towners have done it again.