Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Review: Janvs – 'Nigredo'



Italian progressive black metal outfit Janvs have been around for ten years now, and with two full length albums 'Fvlgvres' (2007) and 'Vega' (2008), the band have opted to revisit their original 2004 demo 'Nigredo' to rearrange and re-record. But don't let that fool you. This is a extremely solid album that still weighs in at over thirty minutes long, So you still get plenty for your money.

The band blend classic jangling black metal guitars and throat shredding vocals with ambient synths and doomy bass lines that combine to create a dark but richly layers sonic tapestry. Fans of <Code> and early Ulver will appreciate the ambient textures that come together on tracks like 'Abisso', 'Imperium' and 'Rovina'. While more traditional black metal fans will definitely enjoy the fast and heavy flourishes the band are occasionally prone to, especially on the excellent cover of Enslaved's '793' which rounds the album off.

The production isn't as great as it could be with the ambient electronics sounding a little cluttered and the guitars obscuring the raspier vocals. But on the whole it is a good effort that could only really have benefited from a little more tweaking.

Both fans of traditional black metal as well as more progressive takes on the genre should find some common ground here. 'Nigredo' is an atmospheric and visceral album that really engages the listener. It could be argued that the strongest track is the cover of '793', but there is no doubt that the band's performance does themselves justice as well as the song. It will be interesting to see just how far this band can push themselves in terms of their song writing in the future.

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