Credit: Bill Whitmire
JANUS – NOX AERIS
Sometimes the best mark of success isn’t the thing that skyrockets you into the spotlight, it’s the work with which you follow that thing. Janus, the heavy rock band from Chicago formed of singer David Scotney, guitarist Mike Tyranski, bassist Alan Quitman and drummer Johnny Salazar, got a taste of acclaim on their last album, but it’s really the band’s new record that reveals how far they’ve come.
The band’s last album, Red Right Return, came out in September 2009 on REALID Records, with their first single “Eyesore” reaching Top 10 at Active Rock radio. Janus spent over a year on the road supporting the record, touring with Chevelle, Sick Puppies, Pop Evil, Halestorm, Sevendust, Five Finger Death Punch and Alice In Chains. The group sold-out numerous headlining shows, appeared on Headbanger’s Ball and performed at Rock On The Range and RockFest.
Janus returned to Chicago in October of 2010, and by November began writing a new album. The core of the ideas for the disc, titled Nox Aeris, emerged quickly, culling together cohesively in early 2011. Much of the album was self-recorded by the band in their rehearsal space and own studios in Chicago throughout the year. Some collaboration did occur, though: Janus went into Johnny K’s Groovemaster Studios in July to lay down drums with Tadpole and later mixed the album with Chris Grainger. Ultimately, the album is a heavy, powerfully liberating album that evolves Janus’ hard rock sound. “Musically I think there’s so much growth on this record from the last record,” states Tyranski. “We’re building on everything we do and like about making music and what we want to get out of the music we make. So it was a challenge not to repeat what we’d done before.”
The album’s first single, “Stains,” explores what can happen when you don’t follow your heart, the marks left on your spirit when you become someone you’re not. “It embodies what I was trying to say on the record,” Scotney says. “It’s a dark point of view but represents a cathartic process of self-healing.” On the varying ends of the spectrum, standout track “In Flames” showcases a more upbeat sensibility while “A Promise to Know One” is “one of the heaviest songs we’ve done to date.”
The record’s title, which is Latin for “night air,” comes from the 14th Century; a period where a third of the European population was killed off by the plague. Back then, people believed going outdoors at night would cause them to succumb to the Black Death. While writing, Janus found this idea to be an apt metaphor for their own journey, preconceived notions of their own being flipped around as they became a bigger, more established band since the release of Red Right Return. Nox Aeris reveals who Janus is and what they’ve gone through.
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