posted on 2/2008 By:
Oh, the land of Janvs, where alchemy meets wood and water. For those who wield swords with a conscience. Striking down not human life, but the greenery and growth that stands tall in the way of their path. This imagery brought to you in part by time well spent with Fvlgvres.
I was drawn in by the cover art which exudes the kind of snobbish and elitist art gallery BM that I do love so, but instead I fell victim to their slightly paganish take where poetry meets punctuation. I like the speed at which this travels, but it does not break the speed limit. Coincidentally, I had thrown this disc on immediately after a pummeling encounter with a personal favorite self-infliction of mine that goes by the name From The Tumulus Depths by a band called Ravensblood. These two, Fvlgvres and the aforementioned, are night and day, and have absolutely nothing to do with each other except that maybe both parties live in a time where man and beast existed on a level playing field. There are warriors, and then there are the philosophers whose speculative decisions they sought. Janvs are those savants. This is purely for the sake of contrast, and not to odd-ramble you to death with confusion. What I can tell you in plainer terms is that these Italian-lyric-writing Italians (this is why I can't comment on their belief system, etc.) have created a 40-minute or so beautiful little brick house of an album. Paganist metal is not my forte, but I can draw a comparison musically to Drudkh when forced to, and I'm confident that through lashes you readers will school me a bit in the "this sounds like...." department, so the floor is yours soon enough, but it must say something that an album like this can leave a good impression with even one who prefers to circle pit rather than sway contemplatively. Well maybe that's a bit extreme, by no means are Janvs medicated. For one, compositions like "Terzo Volto" show a strength that's far from glacial or sedated with its one or so bpm's shy of what would qualify as an all out blast-beat, but for the majority, the pace is set somewhere between a crawl and power-walking, which shows an impressive amount of restraint since their riffing does at many times lend itself to a rash of blasting. As for the recording, the mix is crisp and has an overall synthetic feel to it in a welcome flipside to the more earthy warmed tones that I've heard chosen for furious folk/pagan projects. This gives an arctic temperature to the electricity, as well as the cinematic acoustic passages that live between the lines and allow breathing room. On the subject of vocals, the approach here is of the "been there done that" sort, as in "I have a throat full of gravel, it makes me mad and sad", but which doesn't imply "bad" and is completely listenable. In fact, nothing about this body of work is particularly technical or imaginative, but apparently neither of these two adjectives are needed to create something liquid and hypnotic. So hence, Fvlgvres.
P.S. Those 4.5s are 4.75s in disguise.
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