Brazilian sludge purveyors Jupiterian dwell in the dissonant, sludgy corner of doom metal. Their new LP, Terraforming, leans on a dense atmosphere to propel six songs across nearly 40 crushing minutes, letting melodies shine through before swallowing them up again with crawling, feedback-heavy riffs.
Decibel has obtained a full album stream for Terraforming, and spoke briefly with the band’s vocalist/guitarist, known only as V. Listen to the album now, and keep reading for his answers.
Terraforming is Jupiterian’s second album. How have things changed for the band since 2015’s Aphotic?
Things have changed a lot. First I could say there was a natural evolution within the band, technically and mentally. Aphotic was somehow successful, It opened a lot of doors for us cause we got great reviews that year and we were mentioned in some important end of the year lists. Then we were invited to do a mini tour in Chile and Europe and in the meantime, we recorded our covers EP named URN, so the following months after Aphotic‘s release were busy. It brought us much more confidence to do our thing. Second, after Aphotic, we started to wear our robes with the Jupiterian insignia and i think what i had envisioned as Jupiterian was born from that point on.
What is the significance of the name Terraforming as it relates to the content of the album or aesthetic of the band?
Terraforming is the process of shaping and modifying a celestial body to become like Earth. To build a new Earth on an uninhabitable other planet or moon. The album is about extinction, reconstruction and repopulation, very like the Earth cycles but metaphorically operated by Lovecraft-like deities. The same ones who built this new Earth where species could have a second chance without the great destroyer of all, homo-sapiens.
There is a lot of sludge/doom metal being released in recent years. Jupiterian is a band that formed in 2013- how do you keep your sound original among so many similar bands right now?
I couldn’t be precise on that one because that was never the intention. I like to think Terraforming wrote itself, we were just the host to build it. We learnt to let the music lead us where it wants to go. We never think “OK, now we should have a funeral part here, a sludge C part here and an Iron Maiden-esque guitar there”. Sometimes we look back and just can’t tell who did get there and that’s how we love writing our music. It makes the process much more challenging since you never know where it will lead.
What was the process like recording this album?
It was less stressful than Aphotic, that’s for sure. On Aphotic we knew what we wanted to do with all the tunes and timbres but we felt we didn’t have the experience to achieve it. So we were being too harsh with ourselves to get there. With Terraforming we were coming from all this experience of other recordings and touring, we had the right equipment, and most important, we felt much more comfortable with each other knowing how each of us work better in the studio. I had my time to do some experiments with percussion, synths and even guitar and this last one was how the title track was born. But of course we had problems. the bass guitar track was totally fucked because the bass guitar was fucked and we only realized that when we started to record the last song, so we had to re-record it all again and as a consequence, I had to do 80% of my guitar track again since this new bass guitar sounded completely different (for good). We lost 2 or 3 days in this process, but it was totally worth and everything sounded much better after all.
What lyrical or musical ideas/concepts did you explore on this album?
I like to say Jupiterian have been inspired by all the Lovecraft universe since day one but we never used a single Lovecraft theme in our lyrics. We use his mythos to give birth to ours along side with Arthur C. Clarke, Asimov, Robert E. Edward and I could go on. Terraforming was based in all of them. For me, the content on the album evolves from where a planet is being formed with subterranean forms of life (“Matriarch”), the there is the first glimpse of light (“Unearthly Glow”) and then the outer deities arrive to conquer and make it habitable (“Forefathers” and “Terraforming”), The new and sovereign gods against the former owner of the planet (“Us and Them”) and the sight of light on a horizon (Sol). The evolution is continual and it’s a metaphor for a lot of process like these we had in almost every human civilization throughout the history. On the vinyl version we’ll have the correlation with Asimov more directly since side A is named “Foundation” and side B is “Empire.”
Why does Jupiterian wear masks?
Well it’s not only the masks, but we wear a ritual robe based on Catholic bishops robes with the Jupiterian tridents and the masks. The idea behind it is to represent the Jupiterian deities as a human cult, like those in the Cthulhu mythos such as Dagon and Innsmouth.