Janus Bifrons is post-rock group Analecta's debut full-length album.
In a genre dominated by big names such as Explosions In The Sky, Mogwai, Sigur Ros and 65daysofstatic, this small group from South Bend, Indiana still manages to put out a record comparable to the giants dominating post-rock.
Janus Bifrons is a concept album and the group writes it is "the story of three people who leave the city in search of themselves, only to discover what they were looking for all along was inside them the whole time."
The cover of the album depicts Janus Bifrons, the Roman god of time. He has two faces because he can see into the present and the past.
Soaring instrumental rock tells the story as guest narrators read bits on tracks three, five and seven. The band claims to be post-rock for fans of hardcore, and they don't disappoint in regard to pleasing the more punk listeners of their fan base.
The first standout track of the record is the second, "Trying To Map The Horizon." A driving drum beat and ambient keyboard characterize the track along with soaring guitar and crunchy bass. This track is definitely most appealing to the fans who are also avid listeners of hardcore punk.
The most powerful song is "As The Light Bends And Shifts." Slow, ambient piano plays behind narration by Leanor Ortega, formerly of Five Iron Frenzy. She speaks of waking up in the desert and continuing her journey to find herself. She says "We are a living flame / we will set this world on fire," which is the most powerful lyric on the whole record.
This track foreshadows the next, "The Earth Shook And The Sky Turned Black," which was inspired by the great San Francisco fire in the 20th century. "The Sky Shook And The Sky Turned Black" opens with slow bass and guitar and then gradually climbs to soaring guitar that dominates the entire track.
The best song is the second to last track, "It Could Have Been The Greatest Escape." The longest song on the album by almost 13 minutes in length, it starts off with slow guitar and a slow drumbeat. The tone of this song is much more optimistic than the rest and is extremely easy to listen to all the way through, regardless of it's length.
Janus Bifrons is a must listen for avid fans of post-rock, those appreciative of independent and hard-working musicians and for anyone looking for a solid album to drive around with their windows down in the hot, early summer heat.