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Take Me To Janus Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth
EP, Released date : 03 August 2012 - Self-Released
Style: Hardcore

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RATING : 17/20
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Tracklist
1. Signals from Yuggoth
2. Beneath the Black Wooded Crest of a Haunted Mountain
3. Under the Monolith Lies a Veiled Passage
4. The Stench of Modern Day
5. Massacre (ft. Tim Edwards of Burn Down the Sky)

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1 ratings 1 17/20
Review
17 / 20
    miniradman, Monday 10 December 2012 Talk to your friends  
This is the way to experiment without the need to play with fire!

Take me to Janus, one of underground gems which make up part of the world renowned treasure trove which is one the best scenes for metalcore/hardcore/deathcore, yes I’m talking about Australia. Back in 2011, Take me to Janus released a debut single titled “Voyager” and this track already showcased how creative and ambitious the Take me to Janus project was (and still is). It had (well, technically still has) a complex song structure, elements which can be derived from numerous forms of hardcore music and most importantly atmosphere and emotion. When bands release a single or rough-mix for something, I tend to view it as more of a preview (or a “sneak peak” if you will) for an upcoming major release (such as an EP or album). However, Take me to Janus have exceeded all my expectations with Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth (good grief, that’s a mouthful) and here is why…

On first glance, Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth showed all the signs of the clichéd “just-another-band” traits; the overly generic intro, the simple song structure and vocal style just emitted a boring feel. However, as I delved deeper into the EP and allowed myself to be immersed by the sounds, I only then realised the sheer depth of the music within. I thought the track Voyager was deep. My god, this is possibly the deepest hardcore I’ve ever heard in my life. The complexity yet elegance, the atmosphere, the musicianship, the lyrical themes, the creativity… everything about this EP is deep. There is not a second wasted, everything has a purpose and all those purposes have been served perfectly (makes me want to come back for a second serving).

Not only is Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth a very deep EP, but the contents of the music is rich with various styles and textures of hardcore and it’s subgenres. Although the primary power in Take me to Janus’s sound is straight up Aussie hardcore, I can detect a number of other influential genres which make up the rest of their sound which include: deathcore, metalcore, 2-step hardcore and even some mathcore. However, I’m going to go out on a limb here and tell you guys that I hear black metal elements in Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth, that’s right! black metal. Although it may not be what Take me to Janus have intended, but some of the sections and passages reek of black metal (well, maybe not reek because it’s awesome!); the tremolo picking, the distortion of the guitars, the black metal style shrieks and growls and even the atmosphere at times all point to a black metal influence (maybe not a full on “black metal ist krieg” attack, but more of a folkish and un-elitist approach which fits in with their sound perfectly). Intended or not, it’s a nice addition to an already vast array of musical influences in Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth.

Although it’s obvious that they’ve taken influence from an assortment of music styles and genres, I’ve never heard amalgamated music delivered in such a way, it’s very unorthodox. I mean, I’m going to go out on another limb here and even consider it slightly experimental because some of the parts to Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth are unique and unlike anything I’ve heard in my life. Don’t get me wrong, the music is still coherent, it’s not just some retardation of a generic genre which is thrown around to be “experimental” (djent and black metal bands are the main suspects here). There are a few things about Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth that I would like to point out which have led me to this conclusion. First off is the softness of the production quality and musical techniques (including guitar tone and vocal style). Usually for hardcore bands, the recording and production quality is extremely abrasive (in comparison to rock that is); the guitars have a sharp edge to them, you can feel the potency of the drumming and they all have that “typical” hardcore atmosphere (you know what I’m talking about). I’m not saying that Take me to Janus have “none” of that, it’s just that they have “more” than just that. Second, like I’ve mentioned before, the black metal elements in their music. Third, the song writing and time signatures are very foreign to this style of hardcore which gives the music an awkward feel. The list can go on, but I don’t want to bore you with the whole “evidence No.23745” thing of why I think Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth shows signs of experimental influence. I’ll just say it is, and leave it at that.

I’ve touched on this before, but my favourite aspect of Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth is the atmosphere. The way the mood of the music can change from euphoria to darkness in a second, and it happens seamlessly which makes it even more awesome. It really gives the listener an adventurous feeling to the music and not like we’re listening to the same recycled breakdowns and passages over and over again. It’s this that makes Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth and ultimately, Take me to Janus awesome, the ability to convey something worth listening to. Not only this, but there is a clear signature that Take me to Janus have, that only an Australian band can have. Everything from the musical structure, to the unmistakeable Aussie accent in the track “Under The Monolith Lies A Veiled Passage” points to Australia.

For an extremely underground, two man band release, Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth is of incredible quality. I’ve heard some bands with absolutely atrocious recording quality of their music and I thought that this EP would be of the same quality as Voyager (it wasn’t incredibly bad, just not particularly good) and I’m glad I’m wrong. It just goes to show how much effort and passion Take me to Janus have to make such good music.

Although, I did think that there was one thing missing from Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth which was evident in Voyager, and that was a brutal barrage of 2step hardcore. Sure, there are some parts in this EP which are 2stepish and of moderate tempo, but I couldn’t find anything which was over exuberant in that department. All the higher paced material in Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth was not really of the 2step genre. If it was in Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth, now that would just be the icing on the cake.

Overall, Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth is a very good EP. Take me to Janus have definitely showed their creativity and ambitions to move their music forward with this release. It’s a massive jump from what we saw in Voyager. I’ve been following Take me to Janus since they only first released Voyager and seen the growth to this EP makes me so glad I’ve followed them. Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth is unlike anything I’ve heard before and is perfect in it’s balance between all the elements which make up the music including; hardcore, secondary –core influences, extremely foreign influences (such as black metal) and downright experimental musical techniques. This is great because it appeals to a wide audience, and can even be an alternative to those who aren’t too keen on the hardcore genre to begin with. I recommend Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth to everyone who is remotely into hardcore, black metal, avantgardiste music or to people who just want something new to listen to. I’d also like to recommend the tracks; “Under The Monolith Lies A Veiled Passage” and “Beneath The Black Wooded Crest Of A Haunted Mountain” to anyone who would like a taste of what Take me to Janus is all about. Although this EP could have been a lot harder in terms of brutality, it excels in all other regards, I give Take me to Janus’s Ripping the Heart from the Chest of the Earth a 17/20.




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