Junius’ Latest Accrues Light
Junius‘ latest release, Eternal Rituals for The Accretion of Light, is a juggernaut. Collaging together metallic riffs, electronic textures, pummeling blast beats, and soaring vocals, the Boston based quartet has created a proggy masterpiece. Taking equally from Deafheaven’s Sunbather and Tool’s Aenima, Eternal Rituals for The Accretion of Light is a tour de force through the darkest reaches of the sonic spectrum.
The ten-track album begins with “March of The Samsara.” Junius riffs brutal from the beginning of the song to the end. Underneath the band’s churning rhythms and dark leads, a ethereal swell acts to counter-balance the song’s blackness with light. Lyrically, “March of The Samsara” sets up the atmosphere that Eternal Rituals for The Accretion of Light exudes. Cosmic and metaphysical concerns collide with the viscerality of human experience for a song that takes a hefty concept and wrestles it down through its five and a half minute unfurling.
And this heavily conceptual element stays in the forefront throughout Eternal Rituals for The Accretion of Light. Full of occult-ish and monk-like imagery, the album builds its tension from the juxtaposition of these elements and the human concerns that peek up through the narrative of the album. Like Anciients’ Void of the Void or even Sinoia Caves’ Beyond The Black Rainbow, there’s a sense of future primitive/dystopia that creeps throughout the album–a feeling that never is quite fully resolved.
But the act to resolve this feeling doesn’t seem to be the intent of the album. Eternal Rituals for The Accretion of Light opts instead to elevate the struggle above the ending. And nowhere is this more apparent than “The Queen’s Constellation.” The epic track launches from a steady arpeggio and focus’ its lyrics on the push and pull dynamic of being caught between heaven and hell, paradise and pain.
From this just pass mid-point track, Junius begins to wind down Eternal Rituals for The Accretion of Light. The album’s second half is much quieter, more introspective than its first half. The turn does well to highlight the band’s multifaceted sound. Whereas more black metal aesthetics dominated the first have, there’s more droning and Middle Eastern melisma in the second. The record’s second half trades in hook rather than brutality–a welcome turn for those not fully immersed in the heavier bands.
Ending with “Black Sarcophagus,” Eternal Rituals for The Accretion of Light (as I mentioned above) again shows that the resolution of strive is not the most important thing about it. The album (and this song in particular) deals with rupture and rapture rather than closure. Lyrically, “Black Sarcophagus” ends the album with an opening, an experience that changes the context of what came before it. In some ways, this feeds into the concepts of the album–the whole cycle of death and life.