Brazil’s Jupiterian brings us a very tight sludge album in a neat little package. With only six songs spread across a thirty five minute time frame, you may think this one feels a bit sparse for the atmospheric sludge genre. In truth, it does feel a bit short, but I can assure you that nothing is missing from the final product. Jupiterian manages to fit more into these thirty five minutes than many bands can squeeze into a double album.
With a sound that beautifully combines ethereal atmosphere with riffs seemingly designed to crush bones into dust, Jupiterian makes it look easy on Protosapien. A sparing but perfectly efficient rhythm forms the backdrop of the album. Bass and guitar shine with equal space in the spotlight. Vocals offer up diversity, ranging from a ground shaking guttural growl to a haunting whisper, with some demonic shrieks thrown in for good measure. With seamlessly shifting tempos and a very conscious approach to a loud soft dynamic, Protosapien truly offers up a little bit of everything.
With a limited timespan, Jupiterian waste no space on this piece. The album does start off with an ambient intro (anyone familiar with my writing knows how I feel about those, though they have become such a norm that I just don’t think they’re really worth complaining about anymore), but wastes little time bringing us into the killer opening riffing of Mere Humans. This one is a perfect combination of the low and slow rhythms and the spacious guitar work that makes the genre whole. A varied vocal attack adds a lot to the creepy atmosphere of the track, with a spoken word sample in there to mix things up and create a very anxious mood. Mere Humans sets up the theme for an eclectic but thematically structured album.
While it is on the brief side of things, Protosapien leaves little to be desired. If grimey sludge coupled with the light and subtle atmospheres of the cosmos is your cup of tea, then I simply can’t recommend this one highly enough. Give it a listen, keep your mind open, and enjoy the sights that Jupiterian have to show you.
Release date: September 11th, 2020
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