Janus, formed back in 1971, are a prog rock, classical, and early punk band. They’ve recently released their brand new album, ‘Phoenix’, under their label, ‘JanusUK’.
Janus formed the label when their contract with EMI Records expired, and they wanted to release their newest album, while retaining the sound and style that they’ve forged during their nearly fifty years in the business.
Janus describe themselves as “a bizarre combination of prog rock, early punk, and classical, with a pinch of flamenco.” Although a British band, they were the first band to be signed to the EMI imprint Harvest, in Germany, which had the consequence of the majority of their fans coming from Holland and Germany. In fact, they have described as “The German version of Pink Floyd.”
Janus have now aligned themselves with another star, Paul Phoenix, one of the world’s most prominent classical tenors, in order to create this album, which was written by band member Colin Orr, with contributions from jazz sax legend, Dean Houston. ‘Phoenix’ is in effect a pleasing merger – East meets West, and rock meets classical.
‘My Sacrifice’, the lead track on the album, is as prog rock as it comes – and is in vocal stark contrast to the very punk stylings – yet combined with expert prog guitar – ‘The Night Train’, which follows on. The rest of the album darts back and forth between styles, with third track, ‘High Road’ sounding like something Yes could have recorded. ‘Libera Me Domine’ takes Paul Phoenix into more familiar territory as a pure rock opera track.
In short, ‘Phoenix’ is a beautiful album, and is available on iTunes with further information from Janus’ official website.