I think while reviewing the latest from Boston’s Junius, you’re going to find me using the word “epic” a lot so be warned. It’s nice that in this day and age, there are still bands out there making intelligent, thought-provoking music for mass consumption. Junius started that with 2009’s The Martyrdom of a Catastrophist and continue on that path with Reports from the Threshold of Death which is also an album that puts up a great big middle finger to the sophomore slump.

From the moment “Betray The Grave”  kicks in, the listener will be transported to another realm. A realm where good music reigns supreme and Junius provides the soundtrack. “All Shall Float” blasts through the gates with unrelenting power until vocalist/guitarist Joseph Martinez chimes in with his angelic voice that balances out the power they bring sonically so perfectly. This trend continues throughout Reports… especially on tracks like “A Reflection on Fire” and “The Meeting of Pasts”, the latter being a true standout on an album full of standouts.

Bringing the power of Isis without the prog experiments and 9-minute songs, Junius is still thinking man’s metal that demands your full attention (And with slightly shorter songs, they’re a little easier to digest, too.). Nothing says this more than closer “Eidolon & Perispirit” with its’ quiet start that builds to an epic (there’s that word again) conclusion complete with some heavy riffing that’ll have you bobbing your head long after the final chord rings out.

Reports From The Threshold of Death sounds as if it should be played in a cathedral while angels descend bearing gifts from the heavens however with a wall of sound such as theirs, they’d probably bring down said cathedral around them as they began. Junius are a band that exude such a confidence with the dichotomy of heaviness and beauty that they bring in each and every performance. If Reports from the Threshold of Death isn’t on almost every end of the year “Top 10 of 2011” list, I’ll be shocked.

Reports from the Threshold of Death is out now on Prosthetic. Buy it here!

Grade: A


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