When I told Mike Tyranski, the band’s guitarist, that I got my hands on a copy of 2004’s Armor he jokingly said, “Be kind”. Not too many people had heard the CD and Janus had been reinventing their sound, image and overall presence with their latest release Red Right Return, which is astounding and we at Melodic.net love.
In an interview I did with Mike earlier he also said, “I think a little hind-sight perspective on earlier albums could be very interesting for people hearing us for the first time after listening to the current release.” That couldn’t have been any more true!
Listening to Armor after Red Right Return makes you appreciate how far the band has come in those four years. I am not saying that Armor is a bad album, far from it. It sounds great and has some amazing aspects to it, but when comparing it to how they sound now, that just seems wrong, so I won’t be doing that. The easiest way for me to describe the feeling is to grab Tool’s Aenima CD and listen to it then put their Opiate Ep in and compare the two. Shoot, just do that with almost any bands earlier releases.
Armor has the same familiar Janus sound that captured my attention first of all. The music is great at creating an atmosphere and engaging the listener in their songs. My personal favorites are “Pick Your Prize” and “Nonvisceral”. I would love to hear those redone and see what the band could do to those songs now.
For fans of Janus, Armor is a must have of course, but the band has become so much more than this release offers. If you have not heard the disc I suggest you go check it out. It has plenty of good songs to listen to and will let year hear, first hand, how the band has progressed over those four years that it took for them to release Red Right Return.