Album review: Junius – Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light

Genre: Alternative metal / Gothic rock

Release date: 3rd March, 2017

Record label: Prosthetic

eternal-ritualsThe third melancholic psalm by American alternative rockers Junius, Eternal Rituals of the Accretion of Light is a record that has the tantalising ability to hook the listener from the second it begins right through to the very moment it comes to a halt. Clocking in at just over three-quarters of an hour, this album is 46 minutes of sheer, undeniable musical bliss.

During the first listens, Eternal Rituals… allures and seduces through its sheer sonic postmodernism, crafting a generally progressive yet nihilistic tone thanks to a blend of Gothic sentimentality, symphonic rock, alternative metal, acoustic folk, hard-hitting doom and even one or two extreme metal-inspired riffs. For fans of such experimental and heavy acts as Tool and Katatonia, it becomes instantly apparent that Junius is nothing short of a must-listen. Their artistic expertise is second-to-none on their brand new release, with Joseph E. Martinez’s dual guitar attack especially stealing the show, assaulting the ears with a tidal wave of blistering power chords while also finding time to enchant with acoustic cleanliness and building, pitched progressions.

Martinez’s low lead vocals also entice on Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light, carrying with them a dark despondency reminiscent of the pipes of Maynard James Keenan and Nick Holmes. Meanwhile, the rhythms of the rumbling bass (also recorded by the multi-tasking Martinez, filling in for former four-string maestro Joel Munguia) and drummer Dana Filloon craft a continuously slow, evocative pace that makes riffs like the closing of “Beyond the Pale Society” perfect for deep, pounding headbanging, while also matching the darkness fuelling Martinez’s downbeat, deep singing style.

This speed (or, rather, the lack thereof) further fits the lyrics of the record, which prove to be equally as experimental as Junius’ music. Tackling such themes as karma, reincarnation and the metaphysical as well as the life of spiritual teacher Elisabeth Haich, the verbal content of Eternal Rituals… is clearly an example of thought-out, enlightened songwriting at its very best.

As a result, with every listen, there is always something new to uncover with this record. To coin an overused cliché, it is a gift that keeps on giving. With every spin, the listener will dive deeper into the Gothic, gloomy realm Junius crafts with what has been, to date, its best album. Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light is the pinnacle of modern art rock, riding high on a wave of perfection that is almost guaranteed to bring these Bostonian boys to new, unprecedented heights of proggy popularity.

Final rating: Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light gets 10 ridiculously long album names out of 10.

Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light will be available physically and digitally via Prosthetic Records on 3rd March.