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EP Review: JUNIUS Days Of The Fallen Sun

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The titling and artwork of a record can be tricky. Whether the listener knows it or not, this is their first impression of the record and subconsciously they're making the decision already if they want to like it or not. The title of Junius' Days of the Fallen Sun sounds ominous as all hell and the artwork only furthers that feeling… and holy crap does the music live up to that expectation.

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Despite having listened to the EP around thirty or so times before finally delving into the review, I still get chills every play-through. While the band's 2011 record Reports from the Thresholds of Death gave off a peaceful, accepting vibe that seemed to close it's eyes and pass on quietly in it's sleep, Days of the Fallen Sun is a futile fight to survive an inevitable, grandiose death. The release is split into a format where between each of the four tracks is a short interlude that sets the stage for the next chapter of the story, each one becoming more frantic and massive.

The first half consists of "The Time of Perfect Virtue" and "A Day Dark With Night," which see Junius delivering their standard fare of doom-laden atmospheric metal with some added keyboards and overall size (or "balls") to it. It's not a bad thing: in context the songs are constructing a world that will quickly be torn down in the latter half of the EP.

Then the third interlude of the record "(The Purge)" hits and the hypothetical hysterics of a fictional world are cued in with "Battle In the Sky." If there were ever some mass-extinction event to happen and everyone just stood outside waiting for their impending death, I can only hope this song is played worldwide.

"Battle In the Sky" is easily one of the best songs Junius has ever written simply because they take all the elements of their sound fans have come to know and love (choir/strings keyboard patches, atmospheric guitars, bombastic drums) and somehow re-orchestrate them to a terrifying, apocalyptic noise.

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The final interlude "(Nothingness)" pushes the terror along a little more with distant voices and the sounds of fire and we're into "Forgiving the Cleansing Meteor," which is a bit of a slow burner in the best way possible. The song builds upon war-like drums, chunky distorted bass notes, sickly, wavering guitars into a monolith of bleakness and then quickly dissolves into the few vocal tracks left and fades out.

Days of the Fallen Sun is a 25-minute journey through a planet's final days, through the fearful eyes of man. To be able to convey dread and destruction through music like this is an accomplishment alone, but to make it singable, catchy, worth so many adjectives to properly explain what I've heard… that's talent. Don't miss out on Days of the Fallen Sun.

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