Wednesday, October 14, 2009

JANVS - "Vega" CD

Another standout black metal hybrid from ATMF, this Italian act's second album reflects a distinct progressive (as in prog-rock) tendency. The superb opener, "Torri Di Vetro" is booming and blasting, but it's got a unique technical side that aims it away from your usual xerox black metal. "Saphire" ushers in an extremely melodic, almost commercial sound, but that's not to say it sucks, by any means. It's still a powerful and highly listenable collision of heavy, layered riffing and vocals that don't sound like a fourth-rate Mayhem knockoff. It's probably too complex and almost psychedelic, perhaps, for those with an ear for more traditional heavy sounds, but I rather like it. "Tarab" is even more grand, complete with dark, mysterious electronic textures and orchestral flourishes. It's big, epic and really something to behold. "Mediterraneo" brings it back to earth with a bruising, blackened thrash stomp, complete with proggy twists. JANVS fuse elements from usually disparate angles of metal, and create their own tasteful spin on the ever-broadening genre. A superlative and forward-thinking release. I am impressed! (ATMF)


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