Jupiterian - Protosapien

Naming a band is a crucial step in the formative process. Outside of certain rare cases -- Friendship, Party Cannon -- most bands attempt to select a name that accurately conveys some aspect of what potential listeners can expect. It’s a challenge to summarize everything about your band in a single word or phrase, but every so often, you stumble across a band that manages to perfectly stick the landing. Jupiterian is one such band -- every facet of this Brazilian group screams gravity.

Jupiter is a strange beast. It’s the most massive planet in the solar system by a considerable margin, containing as much mass as all the other planets combined two and a half times over. Its suffocating atmosphere exerts pressures strong enough to have crushed the Galileo probe in less than an hour -- the temperatures at its core exceed that of the sun’s surface. But it’s also the planet with the fastest rotation -- a single Jovian day lasts just under ten hours. The effects of this speed are channeled in the plant’s surface winds, routinely breaching 300 mph and culminating in the Great Red Spot, a perma-storm over 300 years old and approximately the size of two Earths side-by-side.

Jupiterian epitomize both facets of their namesake, both its incomprehensible mass and the conviction with which that mass whips around its axis. Plunge into their upcoming full-length record Protosapien with our exclusive premiere of its third track “Voidborn" below.



Jupiterian neatly divide “Voidborn” into discrete sections arranged in progressive intensity for a song structure akin to a slowly boiling pot of water. The death march of the song’s first half yields just over halfway through to a roiling blast beat–driven tempest, insect-swarm guitars buzzing in a swelling din. It’s here that the cauldron finally boils over, spilling its contents and dousing its own flames into a mire of sustained overtones.

But for all Jupiterian’s outward dourness -- the slog of the drums, the hypnotic repetition of the guitar and bass chugs, the monotone growled vocals -- the first segment of “Voidborn” has a curious lightness about it. Were the band to double the pace of the drumming into an upbeat rock bop and replace the subterranean vocals with a soft melody, the guitar chords used here could work well as a shoegazing indie verse. It’s an odd sensation, given how oppressive this record and Jupiterian's prior album Terraforming are, but one that I can’t quite shake.

In any case, all traces of salvation are extinguished in the song’s second half. On Protosapien, Jupiterian may tease here and there at airiness, but only in snatches, never with the intent to let it remain for long. In this regard, and in the same way as Jupiterian’s name conveys the essence of the band, Mariusz Lewandowski’s painted cover is an appropriate representation of the record’s contents. In his imagery, there’s zero chance whatsoever that the centerpiece skull will ever hope to sever itself from the grasping cobwebs, rendered in vibrant blues and oranges, that bind it fast to the formless dark.

Jupiterian’s canvas, more nuanced here than on Terraforming, is still resolutely bleak, an emotional siphon that spellbinds as it smothers.


Protosapien releases September 11th via Transcending Obscurity Records.

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