2017’s Terraforming was one of my favourite releases of 2017, so it’s great to have the band back. Protosapien gives us 36 minutes of characterful doom/sludge metal that sees Jupiterian once more producing the grimy sludge goods better than most. Jupiterian craft their music from familiar elements, but somehow end up with something that’s very much their own.
This is dark and ominous music, with more than a whiff of other worlds and dimensions about it. The atmospheres on this album reek of despair and rotten hope, but also feature a more aggressive edge in places than the songs on Terraforming, showcasing an interesting progression between releases. The band’s mastery of atmospheric depth and moody substance remains intact, so this occasional harsher aspect of the music is welcome and well-used.
Jupiterian are heavy, but mould this heaviness into great slabs of atmospheric sludge. The band show a keen grasp of how to use melody for this sort of music; it’s actually here in abundance, but sometimes buried beneath waves of crushing distortion or subtlety woven into the music’s richly immersive tapestry.
Jupiterian have produced a very solid record that shows that Terraforming was no one-off fluke. If anything, Protosapien is a more refined version of the band’s sound, with greater aggressive heights and more absorbing atmospheric depths.
Essential listening for any fan of doom or sludge metal.