JUNO REACTOR -The Golden Sun Of The Great East

Album: The Golden Sun of the Great East

Artist: Juno Reactor

Label: Metropolis

Release Date: April 23, 2013

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www.metropolis-records.com

 

BY GIL MACIAS

 

Juno Reactor has done it again. The genre-bending band has returned in full force with their 8th studio album, The Golden Sun of the Great East. And this time, their journey comes full circle as Golden Sun seems to share more DNA with their earlier works Beyond the Infinite and Bible of Dreams than it does Labyrinth and Gods and Monsters. Yet, somehow, no matter how much of a throwback it is, they continue to break barriers and take their unique blend of trance, electronic, and world music beats to new heights.

Of course, every Juno Reactor album greets you with its big, signature opener andFinal Frontier” is the launch pad that instantly rockets you into space. It may very well be the contender for the band’s best album opener, ever, and it’s certainly worthy of being part of a soundtrack to some epic space-opera movie.Invisible” is as equal in grandeur as its opener, this time engulfing you in a wave of throbbing and hypnotic Middle Eastern sounds and vocals.

The album is definitely not lacking in the experimental department and it ventures into a vast spectrum of vibes and emotions. The exotic and somewhat erotic “Shine” sounds like it came straight out of some steamy, sci-fi Bollywood flick. Fans from the earlier days of Juno Reactor will also be pleased by the amount of dark atmospherics sprinkled throughout. Things get sinister with the vampy and operatic “Trans Siberian.”It’s is a spine-tingly number that evokes fond memories of “God is God” and “High Energy Protons (Orion Mix).” It’s destined to be a Goth club hit. And then there’s the eerie doom and gloom of the menacing “Zombie.” In the vein of classics like “Children of the Night” and “Mutant Message,” the three tracks sound like they could all be soul mates. This may very well be Juno Reactor’s first horror trilogy homage—Vampires, Mutants and Zombies—Oh My.

But the showstopper and reigning champion of Golden Sun is without a doubt the pulsating and rip-roaring “Guillotine.” Following in the footsteps of “Masters of the Universe,” “Hotaka” and “Zwara,” complete with hair-raising chants, rockin’ guitar, and high-octane percussions, it’s the relentless, unstoppable freight train of the album. This untamable beast is sure to be a crowd favorite at live shows.

If “Final Frontier” was the rocket that launched you into space, then “Playing With Fire” is the capsule returning to Earth, burning through the atmosphere and then gradually descending you to safety. Layered with synths and strings, it’s an ethereal, slow burn type of track that builds up to a chilling crescendo of haunting vocals before serenading you again as it fades to a finish.

Maestro Ben Watkins, creator of Juno Reactor, has put out one of the best albums of his career. In fact, this easily ranks up in the top three Juno Reactor albums so far. Even when paying homage to their roots, the band continues to remain an evolving experiment, always fresh, and they once again proved they can’t be slapped under one single genre label. The Golden Sun of the Great East is quite simply a powerhouse. It explores a wider and deeper range of emotions, moods, soundscapes, and cultures and takes you on a cerebral journey that other types of electronic or dance music rarely so often do. If you’re seeking an escape from traditional electronic music, this album is more than worthy of a listen. In a time when current electronic music charts are populated by cut and paste “feel good” dance anthems by the likes of Swedish House Mafia or Tiesto, the genre-defying Juno Reactor is a breath of fresh air and it’s nice to experience something that comes from outside the box. Imagination is a weapon, and they know how to use it.

 

DOWNLOAD:Guillotine,” “Trans Siberian,” “Invisible,” “Final Frontier,” “Zombie”