AUSTRAL CRUSH-DEPTH: JUPITERIAN “Terraforming” Review + Stream
Are Brazilian sludge-doom heathens JUPITERIAN the Primitive Man of the southern hemisphere? May as well be – can’t really think of a band from down under that crushes your head more than this one (now that Meth Drinker is no more that is, RIP). After a staggering debut cassette on Caligari Records, these Brazilian destroyers have now teamed up with Transcending Obscurity Records to unleash the second chapter in their suffocating end times doom saga – titled Terraforming, it is a work of deeply traumatizing heaviness and of moving atmospheric prowess that has seemingly brought together the classic doom crush of bands like Yob, Unearthly Trance, and Neurosis and the discordant and atonal atmospherics of bands like Terra Tenrbrosa and Blut Aus Nord. Noteworthy is the fact that even Maurice de Jong AKA Mories of Gnaw Their Tongues fame makes an appearance on the title track – just confirming even further the fact that Jupiterian fuck with the darkest side of things, HARD.
Jupiterian are a bizarre band to say the least. Visually they already they stand out, appearing as they do cloaked in spectral-looking ritual garments of sorts, complete with hoods and robes littered with occult symbols. Their appearance seems more linked with black metal or occult rock than with doom metal, and indeed their sound has a bit of both. Their songs are slow-moving, repetitive (obsessive almost) dirges of black enveloping sonic magma that sizzle in dissonance and static. The atmospheric layer that shrouds their music is almost more massive than the riffs themselves, as it summons a thick haze of dissonant and angular drones. In a song like “Unearthly Glow,” for example, you can hear classic doom in vein of Ahab or Yob literally falling into a black hole of discordant riffing and of absurd dissonance, akin to the weirdness of 777-era Blut Aus Nord. The song soon turns into a shapeshifting and imploding blackened chasm toward the end, ending its own life in a climax of rare intensity. Similarly, following track “Forefathers” brings to mind the aforementioned Terra Tenebrosa, as it unfolds cold and ominous tentacles of bent and off kilter riffs on a tapestry of scattered and erratic drums, summoning a thick mist of nightmarish soundscapes.
The title track as mentioned features De Jong and is a scary fucking drone song ripped by harrowing screams and other shards of dark ambience and noise – the perfect “breathing hole” for an album like this which strives in murk, dissonance, and negativity. The following cut, “US And Them,” is probably the weirdest track on the record. A trudging, discordant funeral march that reminded me of something similar to Ulcerate playing Noothgrush songs. Something totally absurd, fucked, and scary that raised the hairs on the back of my neck. The final track, “Sol,” is probably he most intense and epic of the whole work. Some subtle “post-metal” leanings a-la Cult of Luna or Amenra are shown here as Jupiterian fully express their most emotional and majestic side, erecting massive and catchy chord progressions that slowly swell and build until the song faintly climaxes and then collapses upon itself to heart splitting intensity toward the end.
Transcending Obscurity Records release this massive experimental doom album on November 15, and you can still pre-order most formats here.