It’s quickly becoming doom week here at Nine Circles. And why not? With all this heat and humidity a little lethargy is much appreciated. And leave it to Brazilian doom quartet Jupiterian to drop some no frills, brass tacks doom that shakes the walls down with their new, debut full-length, Aphotic. With so many bands doing so much to get away from the cores of their respective genres, Jupiterian fully embrace doom on the album, and challenge themselves to create beautiful, arcing music that is both heavy and slow.
At their core, Jupiterian are a doom band. Sure, some of the music is sludgy at times, but anything played down-tuned and recorded with overdrive is going to sound that way. The second track, “Daylight,” reveals a band at complete comfort with their sound. Masterfully, and uncharacteristically, opening in the heart of the song, the guitars diverge — one holding the undercurrent and the other providing some harmonies and lead melody. The vocals are dark, curdlingly demonic in their delivery. The track is certainly a standout.
The drumming is sparse, often leaning towards a tribal take on rhythms rather than a straight forward approach. The down-tuned guitars produce an evil and thickly layered sound. Take the title track, which opens with a dissonant and sparse multi-guitar effort which slowly builds to add a touch of melody and some evil vocals. Jupiterian take their time pressing the mood and creating the right mindset for the listener before disbursing with the heart of the track.
It’s shocking to see a doom band hailing from São Paulo. Brazil’s normally associated with thrash and brutal acts. That’s not to say that Jupiterian doesn’t have their own form of brutality, though, and they certainly show on Aphotic that they have the ability to punish their listener. But the album is mostly a work of slowly developing concepts and straight-forward doom. Absolutely worth a few spins in your cassette deck.