Tuesday 8 January 2013

Emanel And The Fear Have Too Many Faces To Show

From Brooklyn are the relatively unkown band Emanuel And The Fear. The Janus Mirror however is already their third album. While reading up on their background, you get the feeling this is not your avarege indie band, before even hearing a single note. Once there were even eleven members in the band, a small orchestra. Now there's only six, but the line-up still is quite remarkable. Besides the usual instruments, some strings are added. And they play an important part on the record.

Emanuel And The Fear - The Janus Mirror (Ronald Says 7 out of 10)

This is clear right away in the theatrical title piece and opening song, that starts in a calm way and then is showing many faces. Strings and drumbeats shape the prelude to some kind of prog-rock explosion that really let's the song take off. Quite an impressive beginning of the record. This prog-rock sound continues in 'Samuel'. Striking about this song are the many variations and changes in it. It's all very clever, but it feels very crowded. Actually the "normal" parts of the song sound best.

This also the case in 'My Oh My' which simply a gorgeous song. Beautifully arranged and played. This is where the band sounds balanced, the music is breathing and it all comes together. This doesn't mean, that the band should just stick to simple songs. But when they can balance it a bit more, the complex songs will sound more consistent too. As a listener you're grasping for air a lot now. Maybe that's why the album is only just above 41 minutes.

It's clear that the members of Emanuel And The Fear are very good musicians. The Janus Mirros has plenty of examples of this. But they should put less effort into showing it. Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings, is often pictured as a man with two faces. This sextet is showing even many more, but never their real face. However when you like theatrical, crowded music and like many twists and turns, this record definitely is worth a listen.

This review has been published on ROAR E-Zine in Dutch over here.

Listen to The Janus Mirror on Spotify.

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