Regardless of where you place the genre’s definitive starting point, metal has been mining material from the darker recesses of science fiction for decades. Voivod is without question one of the stalwart arbiters of music influenced by otherworldly content. Bolt Thrower based much of their early content on their adoration of Warhammer 40K. Cryptic Shift, Spaceslug, Blood Incantation, and Tomb Mold are just a handful of bands that have risen to recent acclaim utilizing science fiction themes in Europe and North America respectively. In the southern hemisphere, Brazil’s Jupiterian pulls from the bleak, inhospitable, and unearthly atmospheres that exist in a spaced out author’s mind. They also draw influence from the mysterious forested depths of the Amazon within their own country. Their forthcoming release, Protosapien, plays into this marriage of earthly and unearthly concepts to create a compellingly bleak journey.
Protosapien shows Jupiterian channeling a sonic ethos from the depths of psychological experience akin to Ennio Morricone’s score to John Carpenter’s 1981 classic, The Thing. The stunning starkness of the opening two tracks coupled with moments of drawn out primordial sludge exemplify the harrowing atmospheric quality the late great Italian composer channeled in The Thing. ‘Capricorn’ in particular exhibits qualities of a blistered sound space and a riff-laden journey through a macabre alien laboratory. The vocal quality that oozes out of the roar of the ensemble sits somewhere in the ballpark of the hair raising horror that Cpl Ferro experienced before being mutilated by a Xenomorph — chilling brutality. ‘Earthling Bloodline’, the closing track on the album,epitomizes the sonic crawl Jupiterian set into motion like a primitive, fiendish beast through a murky fen.
Protosapien is not just another stone of doom upon the Iommic mountain. Jupiterian have summoned forth a sonic behemoth from the depths of the unknown, and let it loose to ravage the Earth.
Protosapien is out on 11 September via Transcending Obscurity and can be ordered here.
Words: Garrett A. Tanner