Bandcamp of the Day: Jupiterian

It’s been a while since I checked out any new metal from Brazil. Sure, I listen to Sepultura just about every week, and Sarcófago less frequently, but still often, but I haven’t sat down with a Brazillian metal band who predates the malformed eruption of nu-metal in the late ’90s, since … well, it’s been a while.

Needless to say, I’m overdue. And, whether or not you, like me, are in desperate need of a fix of something brutal from Terra do Brasil as well, you should definitely check out the latest record, Protosapien, from doom-sludge slingers Jupiterian.

To get right to the point, Protosapien is the follow up to Jupiterian’s 2017 album Terraforming. While that album drifted into the territory of melodious post-rock a la Pelican, Protosapien is a reinterment of the band’s sound into crypts of ’80s extreme metal, leaving similar tracks in the grave dirt they disturbed in their passing to the ghoulish practitioners of OSDM who proliferated in ’18 and ’19, with belching death-growls that reek of stale tomb-air, plodding club-footed grooves, and saw-toothed tremolos that sound like they’ve been sharpened on tombstones.

Even though Jupiterian have dipped their pens in the same foul pools of sonic disturbance as Tomb Mold and Outer Heaven, they have yet to abandon the atmosphere of sacrosanct perversion and aberrant shamanistic sorcery that was manifestly conjured on their previous efforts. Despite sounding like they could slither in formation with Gatecreeper on Protosapien, Jupiterian have yet to crawl out of the Desert of Ghouls in which they share a hovel with throttle-thunder heads and fellow dark-arts medician men, Eremit.

Protosapien begins with “Mere Humans,” where a familiar, death metal intro clears the path for the acidic ooze of a sticky, deceptively momentous groove that transitions, after a sample reel of a man ranting about the horrors of nuclear war, into a boiling pot of gloom steeped tremolos and a baneful babble of hissing vocals that will make you swear a python had crawled on to your shoulders to whisper blasphemous gossip into your ear.

“Voidboom” slows down the tempo to an aching march so that you can really feel the weight of each chord as they are hammered out, the heat slowly gets turned up on this track until it explodes into a conflagration of nerve-wracking guitar and bone-rattling basslines.

Conversely, “Starless” wastes no time introducing its intentions. Beginning with a pelagic guitar melody, it moves at a malevolently methodical pace, displacing and suppressing objects in its path like the passing of the moon over the sea—a cold, celestial tyrant, motivated solely effrontery, and disgust for those who cannot match its eminence.

Protosapien is a thoughtful and tortured, beautiful album that definitely does not feel its length. Clocking in at only 35 minutes, you can probably listen to it twice this evening and still have time to watch a movie afterward. It’s a Friday night, though; do whatever you want.

You can stream the entirety of Jupiterian’s Protosapien via Bandcamp below:

Get a copy of Protosapien on vinyl here.

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