JUVALIANT - Inhuman Nature
The creativity displayed by the Austrian band JUVALIANT is suggested by the unusual band name. JUVALIANT is a word that they made up themselves and yet there is more behind it than just a bunch of letters. JUVALIANT is the combination of two words: The first part comes from the Latin name of Salzburg, Juvavum and the second part from the English word valiant. Which is very suitable for the Austrian lads' debut album, "Inhuman Nature": prepossessing, progressive, heavy, catchy and often bombastic. As far as style goes, the band is definitely in the elite class of their métier: in progressive and symphonic metal. They deserve a lot of respect and appreciation to be able to establish themselves here. And JUVALIANT have more than deserved it, for their debut album is a superb collection of excellent compositions, which will knock the socks off any discerning fan of the genre.
When guitarist Robert Schönleitner and drummer Sebastian Lanser founded the band in 2003, they had just one aim - to create progressive power metal and to write music of the kind that they themselves were enthusiastic about. As neither of them was a newbie in the Austrian scene, they used all the contacts they had to put together a competent line-up. Difficulties are regular occurrences in the young days of any band, so here too, musicians came and went until a stable constellation was established in 2006, with which the two band founders could realize their dream. But it was a stony path until that point. The Salzburgers called themselves FALLEN ANGEL at that time and they played as many live gigs as they could, even opening for The Gathering in Salzburg at one point. But because every change in their fraternity also brought new musical aspects with it, they came to the conclusion that the band name FALLEN ANGEL did not reflect their musical criteria and that they were only one band of many of the same name all over the world who were elbowing for a place on the ladder. However, at first they decided against a change of name and it wasn't until 2006 when the line-up appears to be a stable one and their musical direction became clearer, that the only possible next step was an album of their own. At the time the band comprised of guitarist Robert Schönleitner and drummer Sebastian Lanser, singer Thomas Strübler, Saso Gacnik from Slovania (keyboards) and Aleksandar Vesic (bass) from Croatia. They wrote new material and made definite plans for their first album, which came about in 2008. In the Dreamsound Studios in Munich they recorded their debut album, "Inhuman Nature" under the watchful eye of Jan Vacik (Lanfear, Visions Of Atlantis, Serenity) and decided that it was now time to change the band name. JUVALIANT was born! With the completed album in their hands, the lads from Salzburg set about finding a suitable label. In the meantime the first copies of the album were finding their way onto the desks of music journalists. In the "Up and Coming" section of the German magazine, "Heavy", the album was blessed by a fantastic review. At the same time, contact was made with Limb Music and they quickly agreed on a long-term deal with the Hamburg Label.
"Inhuman Nature" need not be ashamed of being compared with internationally known bands from the prog metal scene. With convincing artwork by the Columbian artist Felipe Machado Franco, who had already worked for Iced Earth, Rob Rock, Power Quest, Ayreon and Axel Rudi Pell, the optical aspect of the high class nature of the album has not been overlooked. On "Inhuman Nature" JUVALIANT present nine tracks of the highest quality in both composition and musicianship. The sheer variety of the tracks on which neither heaviness, melody or bombastic choruses are ignored, high recognizability has been programmed by default. Whether it is an ass-kicking track like "Doomsday Machine" with its staccato-like riffs or the eleven minute long, symphonic "Cold Distance Of The Universe", the band sparkles with an impressive dynamic. Despite the sometime involved song structures such as that of "Heroes (We Will Be)", recognizable melodies and choruses are constantly present. "On Wings Of Steel" combines classical bombastic elements with a straight riffing which does full justice to the word "Steel" in its title. JUVALIANT also clearly distance themselves from standardized mondane lyrics and do not indulge themselves in the fantasy themes common to the genre, instead facing the inhuman sides of human existence such as war, terror, discrimination, worries and pain, as well as the inhumane side of nature. Thus the title "Inhuman Nature" with its double meaning, and the cover artwork unite these two subjects. Whichever way you look at it, JUVALIANT and their debut album have come up with a very impressive statement of their musical visions.