Janus or JANVS (in capital letters) is a band that hails from the breathtaking city of Genoa, Italy. Founded in 2004, Janus released a demo named Nigredo and two acclaimed full-length albums Fvlgvres in 2007 and Veja in 2008. Now, after six years, the band releases another full-length album that is a re-record of the demo Nigredo.
Here’s what the band states about it: “Being in the band’s mind for a long time, the re-recording of the 2004 demo “Nigredo” is a step in a new musical direction, yet deeply rooted in what made Janus such an interesting project. Fully re-recorded by the complete lineup (Matteo Barelli, Claudio Fogliato and Massimo “M:A: Fog” Altomare) and rearranged to match the evolution of the last ten years, “Nigredo” is a haunting and dark shaded trip back in the first stage of a growing awareness.”
It is also mentioned that the four original tracks of the album were rebuilt from scratch and there were custom guitar and bass sounds to make it even more unique as well as to fit the Italian lyrics the mentioned four demo songs, which are Imperium, Abisso, Rovina and Suicidio. This album also features two invited guests, Ivar Bjørnson from and Palingenius.
And what’s more to add before stating my opinion about this release? Well, they covered my all time favorite Enslaved song, 793, from Eld. The cover is magnificent, the band added Janus style, Janus mood to the song and not only carbon copied it. It’s atmospheric, ethereal… Such a beautiful tribute to the earlier, might work of Enslaved. One more point added!
Like most people, when I hear about a band re-recording their old material, I get that feeling that they either need money or they don’t have any ideas for a new album. Or both. But, when I heard Nigredo for the first time, comparing to the demo the band released under the same name, I obviously concluded that this wasn’t the case here.
Unlike the “grim” black metal presented on the demo, here we have an atmospheric black metal release, featuring clean vocals as well, a more melancholic, but still alluring, graceful. The work is very emotional and hypnotic. It does take you away from whatever you’re doing, wherever you are. The Italian lyrics, being Italian (and in my humble opinion it’s simply one of the most beautiful languages), adds more particularity to this album, more emotion, I believe.
There’s also an almost romantic touch to their sound. But, please, not that “touchy mellow yellow she loves me she loves me not” romantic feeling, I’m talking about the romantic mood you get when listening to Ulver’s Wolf and Passion (by no means the style is similar; I’m just talking about the mood of the song). A very interesting take.
In a (an almost) short sentence: Janus is worth your time and money. Please, whenever you’re able to, check this release and support the band.
Album: Nigredo (2014)
Label: Avantgarde Music
Claudio “Malphas” Fogliato – Bass
Massimo “m:A Fog” Altomare – Drums
Matteo “Vinctor” Barelli – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Programming
Official Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officialjanvs
Official Homepage: http://www.janvs.it/May 12, 2014