Jenarium – Rise of the New Sun

Jenarium – Rise of the New Sun - 1/5

I'd been eagerly anticipating this release for a while now, advertised on a few budget sites but largely remaining unheard of, it's the very concept that lies behind it all that had me on my toes, eagerly anticipating the time it would fall into my hands. Assuming you've never seen the site, it contains an entire history of this concept that looks set to rival Kalisia in the 'epic' department; the noble Jenarium, the master race who gave life to their creations, the Sinturians who take the centre stage in this epic battle across the planet. But lurking deep beneath the oceans are the malicious Rifers, subterranean savages existing in the caverns deep under the ocean floor created by those Jenarium who had fallen from their pedestal, the Notari. Despite the intricacies, it is essentially a battle between good and evil; a concept spanning both books and this debut album complete with a full complement of musicians, choral work and a symphony orchestra; this could have been the work of Magni Animi Viri, Frank Klepacki and Kalisia in one epic wrapping.

The problem here is a little tricky to pinpoint beyond 'its fucking awful.' Take a bit of Rammstein's or Rob Zombie's industrial bombast and mix it with some autotuned pop atrocity by Britney Spears or Lady Gaga (the B-sides that were removed for being too instantly forgettable for filler material) and you have the meat of the project. Interspersed with poor taste are the spoken passages akin to a book on CD, which are irrelevant as with music this bad you'll probably soon lose interest in the concept regardless of whether it was worth it or not. And when the orchestra kicks in to try and create something epic, all it really does is allow you to become disheartened all over again as what sounded like it might become promising goes to shit. It's not enough that they have to kill all your hopes for the project but they have the infuriating desire to resuscitate you so they can do it all over again.

In fact, for an album at 35 minutes in length its rather impressive just how much audial excrement they've managed to pack into this; there sounds like what seems to be a good 10-20 minutes of dialogue, though much of it is difficult to actually hear without straining. Fortunately it never feels like you're missing much based on the grounds of the rest of the music, and quite frankly listening to generic orchestral work in the background is preferable to the minimal actual music being offered, usually filled with one or two nonsensical sentences yelled with a noisy auto-tune. In fact, calling it Industrial as I did before seems a little offensive to Industrial music as the edgy or 'rough and ready' atmosphere the genre promotes never presents itself. Instead it often feels closer to an awful dance track with some mentally challenged man screaming a nursery rhyme over the top; the chorus for “Danger Rising” for example being sung in the same manner as the opening line from “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” and then repeated endlessly.

Well thank you Jenarium, you've removed all difficulty in picking this years biggest disappointment. Robert Dominic Gennari, For the love of all that is good in this world please stop. Stop trying to promote it by using the name of Craig Parker; calling him a 'Star from Lord of the Rings' because let's be honest here, there were trees with more lines than him; claiming he's a gifted actor when his biggest film role to date was a bit part in Underworld 3 (and hence probably not something he should be particularly proud of); and when his only role here was in speaking a few lines of this atrocity. Just...just stop. You filled me with hope and have succeeded in doing little more than pissing on the work of Vangelis, shitting on pop princesses, and hurling huge chunks of vomit over the already questionable appeal of the genre of industrial rock. In trying to make an 'accessible classical film score' you have made an abomination seeming to involve as many participants as you possibly could to maximise the potential ripples of pain and suffering. This is awful on a level I barely knew could exist and will haunt its participants for years to come. Bravo.


Anonymous said…
T Bawden,

How many albums have you written? How many international actors have you worked along side? Did Tom Baker master any of your albums with compliments...?

Before you shit all over somebodies work, take a moment to fathom how much effort has gone into such an accomplishment.

If you don't appreciate the genre, don't review it!

Kind regards: Rubi
T. Bawden said…
I have nothing against Industrial Music. I appreciate the work of a number of classical musicians, both from the past and present ones still releasing new material, and there's no shortage of reviews for pop music here either. Couple all this with the fact I generally enjoy seeking out artists trying new things and the genre certainly isn't the issue.

The old "how many albums have YOU written" is an old argument that holds no weight. You're excluding everyone without an album to their name from having their opinion? And this review is of course MY opinion, and no, my opinion of an album isn't always going to be good. I don't fall in love with every piece of music I hear, and even if I did that would make the lousiest critic in the world as there would be no context to them.

You can disagree with an opinion, but it's difficult to actually attack it. So by all means disagree, but bear in mind the reason I endured this torturous release was precisely because I had hopes for it.
Anonymous said…
Wow! - this isn't a review!
This is a rant!

I'm not big on metal music, but I got the CD from a friend of mine because he loved it! - and I love it too. Maybe its not you're style or maybe it's not anyones style? - but i LOVE it. I went to see them at the Evelyn too and they sounded awesome.
I hope you haven't put your readers off checking this album out...

I'm not gonna go on about it - but your review made it sound like Jenarium had boned your baby was just full of hate...

The Dog.
Anonymous said…
I was one o the first to purchase the J album and went to the launch, etc. I cannot say i was disappointed.
So, After reading your review, I was going to write something like: 'you're a cock head' or 'I could bet you have zero musical abilities, you fucking loser!'; but, at the last minute, I changed my mind.
I think calling your self-aggrandising troffle a "review" actually insults people who actually write them for a profession. I say 'self-aggrandizing, because I think your review was actually more effective at promoting yourself than the album. You may disagree, like you do in you're response to 'Rubi' above, but deep down you know that you have done no-one a service writing something like this.
I think, rather than defend yourself, because you are certainly entitled you your opinion, you should look at yourself in the mirror and, then, kick yourself really hard in he balls.
That's quite funny, but, all jokes aside, reviews like this are more indicative of those that write them than they are what they write about. I would recant this review, and rewrite with something constructive and not so vandalistic. At the very least, you will reduce the amount of kharma on its way to you.
T. Bawden said…
@The Dog: I try to convey my thoughts on the reviews I write in a manner that both conveys a portrayal of what the music - at least to me - sounds like whilst also making my opinion of it known. You are right that there is, perhaps not hate, but certainly immense disappointment in the end result. As I mentioned earlier, I was actually eager for this to be released; the concept sounded enticing. There aren't many severely negative reviews on this blog because I generally don't bother spending time on music I dislike after a cursory listen, so this fact alone sort of proves that I was actually looking for something to like here but sadly didn't turn up with much.

Note: I wouldn't call this metal in the slightest. I'm not sure if you were implying it was or if that my opinion is swayed by the fact it wasn't.

@Anon: There saying that used to go around the Lifer forums: Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. I've got nothing against a differing opinion, but treating it as a personal attack really does say something about the insecurity of the person offended; that somehow a different view is an affront to their own values. I won't retract the piece, I still think it conveys my opinion pretty well and my suggestion to stop was the crux of my constructive criticism. Combining generic dance music with classical interludes and spending most of the album simply talking just doesn't do it for me.

Writing this blog for myself gives me a little bit of freedom. I can write my thoughts before going in, and I can state my thoughts - good or bad - without worrying too much about stepping on peoples toes. I'm not running for a popularity contest here; I may trash one band you love and rave about a band you hate. Sadly that's just how criticism works. I know others have listened to their work because of my review to see just how bad it was, and whilsy many have agreed with me, others haven't. Perhaps it's like marmite - you either love it or hate it. Either way, even bad publicity is better than no publicity.
Anonymous said…
I could say, "So, what you're saying is, you're an arsehole? It all makes sense now." But, you would have really walked into that one.
Write a review. Don't publish an effort to belittle someone's attempt at self expression and call it a 'review'.
Check out 'At the Movies', or Rollong Stone or even Hit; they're good examples of reviews. Or not...I don't care and I probably won't know if you reply or not. But it is still good advice.
T. Bawden said…
That I'm not concerned with other peoples thoughts on my opinion, yes. If not bowing to public opinion and cherry coating my thoughts makes me an asshole, then I'm that too.
S. Monyette said…
This was a funny read. I think people just took it out on you for not liking an album which is kind of weird.
Anonymous said…
I at least respect that you have published all the feedback. There's nothing worse than not being able to have your say. So, I'm happy with that.

We'll agree to disagree on Jenarium.

The Dog
Anonymous said…
The amount of redundancy in this conversation. Bawds YOU DOG..XD