September 27, 2011 - Translation Loss
Two of the most high-concept bands in post-rock come together for an engaging split release, each managing to retain unique identities in the process. Boston's Junius based their 2009 full-length, The Martyrdom Of A Catastrophist, on the astronomical catastrophe theories of controversial scholar Immanuel Velikovsky. In terms of music and mood, they pick up where they left off with "A Dark Day With Night." It's eight minutes of sweeping, majestic post-rock with spacey flourishes, dark-wave anguish and a seriously dramatic melancholy. Vocalist/guitarist Joseph E. Martinez still carries hints of Tears For Fears' Roland Orzabal in his pained quiver, but with extra reverb, echoing against the band's cinematic backdrop of sprawling pedals, building rhythm and a synth program that adds a haunting, choir-like hum to it all.
Philadelphia's Rosetta counter with "TMA-3." Where their 2010 album, A Determinism Of Morality, was a comparatively straightforward monster of post-metal rage and lurking calm, the band add some more complicated elements here. A multi-layered guitar loop rapidly bounces from speaker to speaker while frontman Michael Armine howls with his usual wooly mammoth growl and his band alternately plow and twinkle behind him for nearly 10 minutes, with a pummeling, filling-rattling finish.
Junius and Rosetta deliverone epic apiece to show why they're two of the more compelling and reliable acts around in their class. Both more or less nail it, and with their own touch at that.