JanusJanvs unwittingly encountered some form of infamy when an ex editor of a well-known printed publication caught them up in an act of Antifa cleansing as having NS sympathies. Although this was hotly disputed the ban hammer had struck and their then rather excellent album 2008 release Vega did not get covered in said publication and a veritable shit storm ensued. Said-ex editor is no working aptly in the realms of sci-fi publication and Janvs have been largely quiet until now. After a six year silence they are not exactly releasing brand new material here but have re-recorded several tracks from their debut demo ‘Nigredo’ released originally in 2004 with an added bonus which has also seen the light of day before.

Starting with the four re-workings of the demo tracks ‘Abisso’ immediately hits with a strong hypnotic glistening sound that owes much to shoe-gaze post black metal with its mesmerising rich riffs. Apparently originally comparisons were made to Filosofem which I can hear on the gloomy second number ‘Imperium’ quite strongly. Vocals from Matteo Barelli are quite varied going from lower growls to higher lamenting croons and this is an involving and enthralling sound that allows you to get completely enveloped in its heady scent. There is a very nature inspired feel to this and there is plenty of depth and emotion running through the numbers which are rife with atmosphere which at times is quite haunting in execution. Lyrics look to be pretty poetic when flung through a translator, the doomy weave of Imperium ending with the words “Never-ending Dance Of faceless Ghosts” being part of the evocative prose. Some noticeable bass tones meander within ‘Suicido’ a title which speaks for itself but the underlying feel is of a funeral shroud and the heavily depressive melody practically weeps away with dramatic growls fuelling the angst. I can easily see this lot going hand in hand with the works of countrymen Forgotten Tomb around time of original release. Lastly we have ‘Rovina’ which has an early Alcest sort of vibe about it with long elongated shard like guitars sparkling like cold frost and melody that is both sorrowful and beautiful shimmering through it. Again vocals play an important part and are quite varied even if I don’t understand what this is about they leave me intrigued wanting to know more.

The final song I do know plenty about being a cover of my favourite Enslaved number ‘793 (slaget om Lindisfarne)’ from their fantastic ‘Eld.’ You may well also have heard this before if you picked up the Ond A Tribute To Enslaved album via Pictonian. Janvs do a sterling job with this as it is a long and overtly complex number, it retains the spirit of the original and even gets Ivar giving it his stamp of approval apparently playing some guest guitar on it. Hopefully this will serve as a worthy reminder to those who had forgotten about the band after a long period of inactivity and will stem the way for the follow up to Vega.

(7.5 Pete Woods)