Janvs - Vega
Progressive/Post-Black Metal
7 songs (49:05)
Release year: 2008
Janvs, ATMF
Reviewed by Goat

Where 2007’s Fvlgvres was a slice of melancholic yet forward-looking Black Metal, Italy’s Janvs have stepped forward even more with its follow-up Vega, their third full-length in total. The melancholy is still there, yet in essence the band has gone beyond the limits of Black Metal and become more; more Progressive, more experimental, more melodic. The clean, almost alt-rock vocals in Saphire are a shock, as is the extended post-Metal clean guitars, the atmosphere here being more Post-Rock than Black Metal in form. In comparison, this is like recent Enslaved, but without the catchiness and with a weirder sense of songwriting. The psychedelic keyboards that open Tarab soon develop into an odd Middle-Eastern form of Australian Prog-Thrash legends Alchemist, complete with Tooly percussion and windswept snarls, and it’s a world away from the melodic yet very Black Metal found on Vega’s predecessor.

This doesn’t mean the kvlt language has been abandoned altogether, far from it. Meditterano is fairly vicious, but the following title track, complete with piano and Jesu-esque beautiful noise, would end up the new Bond theme song in a fair world. Fine, there’s the occasional snarl, but all in all this is more Katatonia than Krieg, and it packs just as incredible a musical punch as the heavier moments. Vocalist Vinctor can definitely hit the high notes, and there were times when I wondered why he bothered growling at all... Musicianship in general is excellent, and the mock-sloppy, almost Avant-Garde rise-and-fall of Torri Di Vetro works wonderfully. Closing track Vesper II goes into Jazz territory, and is rather like the Black Metal equivalent of British solar voyagers Mithras. Wonderful music, written by musicians that appreciate melody as much as brutality.

All in all, this is a masterful advancement for a band that remain disdainfully in the underground, where the members could easily have taken it in a more commercial and catchy direction. Everyone knows about the big names that experiment, but what of the unknowns? Janvs is a name worth remembering, from that underrated paragon of Black Metal, the Italian scene, and Vega is their best album yet.

Killing Songs :
Saphire, Tarab, Vega, Vesper II
Goat quoted 89 / 100
Other albums by Janvs that we have reviewed:
Janvs - Fvlgvres reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
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