Janvs - Fvlgvres
Black Metal
7 songs (41:35)
Release year: 2007
Janvs, ATMF
Reviewed by Goat

Despite having some excellent bands the Metal scene in Italy has never achieved its rightful status, even moreso than other non-American or Scandinavian countries. Ask the average Metalhead for the name of an Italian Metal band, and the odds are they’ll only be able to think of Lacuna Coil, Rhapsody Of Fire or Aborym, depending on their inclinations. Try it yourself; think of five more before the end of the review. Hard, isn’t it? Janvs, a relatively new band formed in 2003, prove that it’s worth digging into the scene with second album Fvlgvres, taking the melancholic strain of Black Metal and putting a distinct twist on it.

Despite the cold blues and whites of the cover artwork, there’s a great deal of warmth in the band’s sound. Frequent acoustic strumming gives the music a dreamy Neofolk atmosphere, which is almost psychedelic in its intricate repetition. The obvious band to compare Janvs to would be Drudkh, although there are differences - the Italians have more of a martial atmosphere, the drumming at the end of the title track a clear example, and the riffing is much less raw.

There’s also quite a Progressive feel throughout due to the seamless mix of gentle and (relatively) harsh moments and the technicality of the instrumentation. Malphas’ skilful drumming especially is noticeable, never pointlessly blasting whilst managing to include a great deal of variety. The production is clear, allowing the bass to be audible and an essential part of the sound. Unobtrusive and carefully placed keyboards round the mixture off perfectly.

Although generally bands that play the melancholic style of Black Metal can get dull over the course of an album, Janvs keep things interesting by varying the songs just enough to be noticeable. Perhaps only Ulver circa Bergtatt could’ve made the eight-minute instrumental Vesper more compelling; as it is it’s damn near flawless, moving through an epic recurring build-up, using ambient bird calls to paint an aural picture of nature that achieves the spiritual effect of the best Black Metal. The vocals of guest Argento (of Spite Extreme Wing) also give Vrsa Major a heavier feel, with some catchy riffs and a solo adding a more ‘Metal’ style to the song.

There are few bands worthy of attempting music this genuinely beautiful and atmospheric. Although there’s not really any new ground being broken, Fvlgvres is more than competent enough to warrant a great deal of attention. Janvs is another excellent addition that can be rated alongside the likes of DGM, Ephel Duath, Ufomammut, Schizo, and Novembre as a stellar example of Italian Metal.

Killing Songs :
Goat quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Janvs that we have reviewed:
Janvs - Vega reviewed by Goat and quoted 89 / 100
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