The Martyrdom of a Catastrophist



by Lucian USER (2 Reviews)
June 12th, 2010 | 19 replies

Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Junius brings melodies that are subtle yet powerful and enrich the ears with an unearthly bestowment of tremulous concord.

Junius have written an oral poem that possesses such vigor and power that it can melt even the most callous of minds. The sound streams endlessly without digressing once throughout the entirety of the album, letting each note burst upon every second of its duration. The album plays itself out to be very calm and tranquil. There’s absolutely no screaming, and the few “heavy” parts are conveyed purely through the instrumentals. From the very dawn of The Martyrdom of a Catastrophist you’re submerged into a world of staggering vocals and rhythmic instrumentals that toil with each other as if they’re one entity trying to worm back together. Unlike other bands who try to separate the sound of their instrumentals and vocals to give individual sounds to each other, Junius attempts to combine both to create one continuous and flawless stream, and they succeed. What’s brought to the listener’s attention is an oral painting of various colors weaved together impeccably to form what could be called a heir to the pioneer’s artistry. The guitarist riffs are very smooth, and adds tone to the bands harmonic sound. The drum player almost appears to be the background of the band, but you notice him all the same, and you can tell without his subtle beats that the band would be nothing. The bass player on the other hand appears to be merging with the guitarist. The guitarist, the bassist, and even the drummer converge their sounds together to accumulate a superior and more striking melody than ever. Sounds, such as muffled lyrics being spoken by an older man of Einstein, and intermissions where instrumental booms occur are just the tip of what’s offered besides the general song of the album. The Martyrdom of a Catastrophist siphons the world’s calm and suggestive side, introducing a plateau of extraordinary musicality and sound.

The album begins with Birth Rites with Torchlight. Various melodies clash about each other as they introduce a muffled voice from a man speaking of how assuming the Universe as an ordinary being and that nothing new has occurred since its birth is simply “wishful thinking”. This particular song’s vocals stay relatively the same. You’ll notice at first that it appears as if the vocalist is almost just speaking in tune rather than singing. If this irks you, then don’t give up just yet, as the vocalist doesn’t stay like this throughout the entirety album. Personally, I believe the introduction of the vocalist, excluding the muffled voice of the old man, is a wonderful medium for the instrumentals. The second song, The Antediluvian Fire, begins in an odd formation. The guitarists have obviously been experimenting in this song, as you’ll notice. This song appears to be mixing a variety of different cultural sounds to complete itself. The song is very much like its previous song, and not in style or technique, but in enjoyability and tranquility. Coming up ahead is an intermission and quite an immaculate one at that. Junius’s intermissions are amongst the best I’ve ever heard. The instrumentals are incredibly unique as even the muffled voice comes back to greet you once more. Treading along, the sequel to the album so far is A Dramatist plays Catastrophist, which is my favorite song off the album. A piano heavy song, everything created amongst this masterpiece is haunting and moving. Vocals and instrumentals create almost a stair way for each melody to trip ahead of itself. Imagine a melody, and then elevate it higher and lower, you’ll create music. Now imagine these melodies squirming about these stairs in a form as dazzling and beautiful as you can imagine. You’ve just created Junius, but better yet, you’ve just created A Dramatist plays Catastrophist. Various instruments pool amongst each other to manifest concord as soft and tremendous as your mind can fathom. To succeed that wonderful song is Ten Year Librarian. At first, you’re led to believe that this is yet another intermission, however, it isn’t. The beginning of this song appears to be almost digressed from the rest. Instead though, it’s an introduction to the feverous chant that lies ahead. It’s all very calm and mellow, and to me, this is perfect for what’s lying ahead. What’s lying ahead though are the best songs on this album. Stargazers and Gravediggers is the follow up. It’s the second shortest full length song, and it’s much like the second song. New vocalization appears, and more instrumental variety is implemented. Along next is the intermission preceding Elisheva, I Love You. A grandeur of rhythmic melodies come and strike up now once Elisheva is now into play. The vocalization has begun to melt into the song like a coat of acid debuting its arrival on a human's skin. The melodies here are what really impress me as they fluctuate so often and so impeccably. Letters From Saint Angelica is the 9th song. The words spoken soften and sport a tasteful sound. Certain parts of this song can give you goose bumps if the time is set right. On my first listen, I was crawling with goose bumps. But this review is running long, so I’ll wrap it up with the last song, The Mourning Eulogy. Like a eulogy, sadness envelopes the air around you. The eerie feeling you may experience is completely natural, but I’m afraid that this song is trying to reveal a salvation. If you listened to the song without paying attention to the lyrics you’d most likely get the understanding that this song is a tragedy. But pay attention to the lyrics, they’re actually of an illumination broken through the sky.

The lyrics are really something. They speak about the cruel dereliction the world presents and the abandonment that’s given to people to cast about “god”. The fact that this entire album revolved around god was quirky. If you don’t believe in god, and you’re very firm with this, you may find it a bit challenging to accept the lyrics off this album. It doesn’t pertain to any particular bible, but it does pertain to something up “there”. These lyrics are as well very gruesome and even almost depressing. There’s war and blood in nearly every song, and the intermissions where the old man spoke carry along theories by Einstein. They’re actually quotes by and about Einstein himself. Each song carries a certain piece relating to the next song. The Einstein piece pertains to the science of space and its emptiness, which follows along with the belief of a salvation in the sky. This album, like I’ve mentioned above, tries to act as one. The songs all link up to each other to accumulate a story of revealing “god”.

When I first listened to this album I payed no attention to the lyrics, except for the muffled old man’s voice, which is almost unavoidable. What I got from that experience was an artistic feel of classical romanticism, which is the complete opposite of what Junius portrayed themselves to be. The instrumentals can almost play along your imagination and make real of what you want the song’s to be. However, listen to the lyrics, or, if you cannot understand them, read them up from their site. They’re really quite shocking, and not in a bad way. I may not necessarily be a believer, but that hasn’t stopped me from admiring the words Junius has prepared for their audience. Should you listen to this? My recommendation would vary to what you listen to. If you’re into that crunkcore bullshit, or MCR kind of stuff, or anything mainstream to be exact, then DON’T LISTEN TO JUNIUS! If you don’t mind slow calm music, then give this a try. If you’re patient and attentive, you’ll be shocked and amazed with what Junius can actually do.

user ratings (121)

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 13th 2010


After reading the first two paragraphs i had to stop. Too much fan-boy-dom and an unnecessarily flowery review. This isnt a creative piece youre writing, its a review. Give me solid points about the album instead of: " The guitarist is very smooth with his riffs, and adds tone to the bands harmonic sound. The drum player almost appears to be the background of the band, but you notice him all the same, and you can tell without his subtle beats that the band would be nothing. "

I know you probably put some time in writing this but over complicated writing isnt always good writing. Read Orwell.

June 13th 2010


And also your genre elitism you slipped in to the last paragraph there makes you sound like a teeny-bopper. "Should you listen to this? My recommendation would vary to what you listen to. If you’re into that crunkcore bullshit, or MCR kind of stuff, or anything mainstream to be exact, then DON’T LISTEN TO JUNIUS!"

"anything mainstream" Youre cool because you dont listen to the main stream!

June 13th 2010


I am cool because I don't listen to mainstream :D
But you've obviously misread the point here. Mainstream music, such as Linkin Park and Shinedown, do
NOT correspond with spacey experimental rock like Junius.
And insulting me right after you made me a suggestion to "improve" this review doesn't prove that you
want to be helpful.

June 14th 2010


But what you were saying is limiting/isolating/classifying/and creating a narrow recommended audience. Describing what its not, is not effective at all in helping people associate with what their music is about. Its possible for people to enjoy many types of music and just because something has broken into the main stream does not automatically lump them with all the other garbage thats out there. I like linkin park, i like junius. My god, how is that possible? You're not cool. I hate the indie elitist mentality. Grow up a little.

Music is for all.

June 15th 2010


Album Rating: 4.5

I similarly almost gave up on this review after the first two paragraphs. It read like erotica more than a review. Raging, you like Linkin Park, and Junius, but which would you say is "mainstream", and would you say the two bands are similar? Probably not. I do understand the argument though that just because one likes a mainstream band doesn't mean they wouldn't also like Junius. I have a good friend who listens to a lot of well, crap in my opinion, but every time I introduce a more obscure band to him, he eats it up. Hell, he listens to Seether, but when I burned him a copy of Agalloch's latest, he listened to it repeatedly all day and loved it. I think a minor edit to the review to change the wording of the "not mainstream" but may prove helpful, but it's your review.

June 15th 2010


Album Rating: 4.5

Pos'd by the way, because honestly the review wasn't bad, just a lot to wade through at times. It might help to keep things factual without resorting to, as Raging calls it, flowery language.

June 18th 2010


My reviews are a bit odd, aren't they... I'll try to focus more on the topic rather than my imagination next time.

June 26th 2010


Album Rating: 3.5

I would have enjoyed that review had it not been for the elitist and fanboy-ish lines.

September 28th 2010


Album Rating: 4.5

Pretty good review until the last paragraph, where I would have to agree there is a lot of genre-elitism, where in my opinion the review should focus on the record itself, instead of what not to listen to. Also, though the album's quotes do mention Einstein, I'm pretty sure they are actually quotes from a man named Immanuel Velikovsky, whom the album is written about; it's a concept album.

October 25th 2010



March 24th 2011


Album Rating: 3.0

their self titled is really good as well

March 24th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

listen to The Time of Perfect Virtue on their myspace (off split w/ Juarez)

insane song

October 23rd 2011


Saw these guys open for Enslaved and was mad impressed...this album definitely does not disappoint! I like the combination of post-doomy atmosphere with an almost Smiths-y vibe with the vocals.

November 26th 2011


The second paragraph has to win the prize of longest paragraph ever!!! wtf?! I was going to check this out but review ruined it. ha!

November 26th 2011


Album Rating: 3.5

way better than their new album

December 14th 2011


Album Rating: 3.5

More people should listen to this.

January 15th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

this is some good stuff for sure

October 15th 2012


Album Rating: 5.0

wasn't a fan of the last album but damn this one hit me hard back in 2009.

April 28th 2016


Are this band unique in any way or are they just your average 'atmospheric' indie/post/prog/whatever rock?

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