Listen to Transcend the Ghost
The dark rock group Junius recently released their highly anticipated sophomore full-length, Reports from the Threshold of Death, on Prosthetic Records. With their last album, The Martyrdom of a Catastrophist, Junius explored the controversial theories of scholar Immanuel Velikovsky. The concept was centered around the trials and tribulations of Velikovsky’s life, providing a captivating narrative to the band’s expansive, dreamlike soundtrack, which Pitchfork called “a rich, immersive experience, a bleak jewel of a record that takes obsession as its theme and rewards it in equal measure.”
Conceptually picking up where The Martyrdom left off (with the death of Velikovsky), Reports from the Threshold of Death chronicles the journey of the soul after the body dies. In writing this album, vocalist/guitarist Joseph E. Martinez was inspired by reports and accounts of near-death experiences. “Millions of people have died and come back with experiences of an existence beyond bodily death,” said Martinez. “After finishing The Martyrdom, I wanted to tie in the next album with Velikovsky's passing, so it was only logical to explore these near-death reports. In doing so, I came up with a sort of guide for beyond the grave. The album is very personal to us (Junius), as we all have had too many friends and family pass away in recent years. I hope this album brings a little light to a seemingly dark subject.”
On the album’s ten beautifully cathartic tracks, the band takes listeners on a journey into the unknown, channeling basic human themes like love, regret, and longing. Massive walls of guitars drive with steadfast rhythm beneath soaring synth and vocal melodies throughout the album’s arc, providing a passionate soundtrack for the journey into the light. Reports from the Threshold of Death was the first album to be recorded at Will Benoit’s Radar Studios in Clinton, CT (the first fully solar-powered sustainable studio on the East Coast) with longtime friend/producer James Dunham of rock-noir band InAeona. The recording was in many ways a return to Junius’ roots, with engineering assistance from past collaborators Benoit (Constants) and Daryl Rabidoux (The Cancer Conspiracy, Drowningman), mastering by Nick Zampiello and Rob Gonnella (Isis, Converge, Torche, Doomriders), and art by former Junius bassist Ira Bronson (of Black Day Creative).
Described by Rolling Stone as “a perfect hybrid of Neurosis and The Smiths,” the members of Junius have crafted their own distinctive style of genre-bending rock that’s borne of experiments in isolation and asceticism. It’s this austere approach from one of America's hardest working bands that adds a weighty sense of purpose and intrigue to their output.