I’ve been fairly lucky in my life when it comes to earthquakes. I’ve only been in a few of them so far, and none of them were devastating in the least, so I have no idea the trauma people who live in areas of great seismic waves have to deal with. I make references to them a lot when I write about particularly punishing music because I imagine these records making plates shift to rumble the earth.
Brazilian doom/sludge pounders Jupiterian more than live up to that billing on their crushing third record “Protosapien,” an album that feels like it pours on the trauma in such dangerous fashion, you want to start taking valuables down from the walls and lamps from their tables. Six tracks wrap over about 36 minutes, which is a nice-sized serving and just enough to leave bruising all over your body. The band—guitarist/vocalist/synth player V, guitarist A, bassist R, drummer G—has been creating forceful, clubbing art for the past seven years, but this record and this moment are where they are at their finest, and it also appears to hint that things are just getting started with this band.
“Homecoming” starts the record as an instrumental intro, feeling a little like a horror soundtrack as insects buzz and horns ache, trudging through the mud to “Mere Humans” that mashes open and powders bones. Guitars swirl into pockets of mucky doom while the growls collect, and the mind swims through psychosis. Noise wails as an ugly fury lands, then chants rattle while a humid pall drapes over everything, as the staggering heat burns away. “Voidborn” has guitars welling up and stomping before brighter tones emerge, and sludge brings on a hypnotic fog. Growls menace as the song weighs down as holes are torn into flesh, and then we’re back to sweltering temperatures when the sounds crumble, and everything turns to dust.
“Capricorn” has sounds spreading like a threatening storm as the riffs pile up, and things get strangely spacious before thick basslines coil, and vile growls bubble to the surface. Shrieks rain down as the playing swaggers, churning in place while the grinding gives off smoke like a mountain of tires on fire, and a hypnotic bend drives to the end. “Starless” punches open as guitars swirl, unleashing a gazey atmosphere that swallows you whole. Growls bubble as a cosmic vibe makes its way through, making everything go numb before the noise nest is struck again. Jolts of energy add to the power, while the leads spread, and the ending dissipates. “Earthling Bloodline” closes the record, starting with slow-driving doom as the pace lurches, and gargantuan growls penetrate worlds. The playing lumbers as the tempo hisses violently, cavernous hell erupts, and the track melts into the fog.
Jupiterian’s muddy, spacey doom feels like it’s intoxicating you with alien strains of DNA, making your brain go to liquid, your body spill into the ground. “Protosapien” is a massive collection that’s like a monster from whatever far-off planet they’re conjuring wrapping their tentacles and squeezing you to death. It’s muddy, violent, and warped, a great slab of doom that crushes the earth from within.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/jupiteriansect
To buy the album (North America), go here: https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/
Or here (Europe): https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.de/shop-en
For more on the label, go here: https://tometal.com/