If you have a rock radio station in your area, it’s likely you got a good dose of Janus’s “Eyesore” a couple of years ago. It was a catchy single that introduced a “10-year overnight success” rock band to the masses. While it didn’t make a HUGE impact, you likely have friends that say they have not heard of Janus, but then say, “Oh, I know that song.”
For band that’s been slogging at it since 1998, that kind of small victory is one on which you can start to build a really solid foundation, which Janus has done. They released another single that got some play (“If I Were You”) and toured the living crap out of Red Right Return.
And it has paid off in spades.
Okay, so enough burying the lede: Nox Aeris is the first must-have hard rock album of 2012.
The amount of growth from Red Right Return to Nox Aeris is remarkable. While I enjoyed the former and spun it quite a bit, it was fortunately just a hint of what Janus is capable of, much of which is revealed on Nox Aeris.
This time around, Janus makes not just a musical statement, but an artistic one by issuing an album that is full of rock-solid songs that, against the odds, is greater than the sum of its parts. Sounding at once like the perfect blend of Deftones, 10 Years and old-school Tool, Janus parlays those influences into a signature sound through subtle and smart infusion of electronic sounds and the vulnerability of David Scotney’s vocal delivery.
After repeated listens, however, you’ll find new things jumping out of the mix. This is where the maturity of Janus is on full display. The riffs and progressions are far from stock. Guitarist, Mike Tyranski shows a masterful touch in knowing when the riff should drive the track and when simple textural accents can add a haunting touch that is carried by the solid rhythm section of bassist, Alan Quitman, and drummer, Johnny Salazar.
The first single, “Stains,” is already getting spins on rock radio and, for a single, it’s a good a choice as any. Other songs that could really make an impact are the hypnotic “Lifeless,” the driving “A Promise to No One,” or the heart-twisting ballad, “Always Rains.” In short, Janus has stacked the deck for rock radio. It seems that every year, one rock band breaks out big and 2012 could very well be Janus’s year. In fact, in a just world, it should be Janus’s year.
If you are tired of the rock-radio predictability of bands like Shinedown, Pop Evil, Saving Abel and the like, then Nox Aeris will be a feast for your earholes, combining top-notch songwriting and soaring vocal melodies that you’ll want to sing along to at the top of your lungs.
It drops on March 27th. You should pick it up on that day. Seriously… albums this good need to be rewarded.