Brazilian Atmospheric Sludge/Doom Metal quartet Jupiterian return with their third studio offering ‘Protosapien’, building on the experience gained from their two previous full lengths; 2015’s ‘Aphotic’ and their ground breaking, ground shaking 2017 release ‘Terraforming’, creating an even more powerful listen with this latest offering.
Jupiterian – Protosapien (Transcending Obscurity Records)
Release Date: 11 September 2020
By Jools Green
‘Protosapien’ manifests as a harrowing, otherworldly, six track, thirty-five-minute chunk of crushing heaviness from the mysterious quartet, which lumbers through unrelentingly and erratically, but organically, carving a swathe with its sheer brutal weight and putting great emphasis on the atmospheric side of the sound.
Beginning with ‘Homecoming’, a haunting opener of poignantly evocative dark waves of synthesiser work punctuated with solitary beats, it builds towards the first track proper, ‘Mere Humans’, which for me is the best track of the album.
It is dark and delivered so low down the scale, it is stomach wrenchingly compelling, with utterly superb sparsely, but well placed and delivered, riffs, complementary bass work and drum beats alongside a ground shaking growl of a vocal delivery.
This delivery has a haunting, acerbic backing vocal echo and is enhanced by soundbites. If you need a good definition of less being more, then it is this track.
The atmospheric ‘Voidborn’ opens as a hypnotic drone and the track is developed further with a cavernous growling vocal delivery that is set to the back of the sound, yet still manages to forge its way to the forefront.
Alongside sparce but well considered riffing, the track builds with a subtle blackened intensity thanks to the drum work towards the close.
Also catching the attention of my ear is the next track ‘Capricorn’. Its haunting, brooding sound, builds to crushing and dark proportions, with a subtle bleak melody and hypnotic bass lines as the tempo elevates and the intensity builds.
Penultimate piece ‘Starless’ is a hypnotic builder, with swathes of dark haunting melody that ebbs and flows and is poignantly punctuated with sparse drum beats and deep cavernous vocals which echo through and a sound that, at times, plunges to the murkiest of depths.
Final offering ‘Earthling Bloodline’ opens on a tremor like growl, elevating and dying back with waves of riffing and the growl is accompanied by an acerbic echo of backing vocals. A hugely reflective track.
The eerie cover artwork is by Mariusz Lewandowski (Eremit, Bell Witch) and should be of interest to fans of; Eremit, Loss, Primitive Man, Gaerea, Bell Witch, Krypts, Deathspell Omega and My Dying Bride.
Protosapien is available from Transcending Obscurity Records.