Jupiter review by Atheist

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  • Released: Nov 8, 2010
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (22 votes)
Atheist: Jupiter
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Sound — 9
Yes, the kings of technical metal are back! 17 years after their supposed swan song, Atheist has come back to a world of metal which wouldn't have been the same without them. Much like the group of pioneering progressive/technical death metal acts of the early 90's (Death, Cynic, Sadist and of course Atheist) who released a few albums then totally disappeared (apart from Cynic, who could only manage one, the lazy-.. Anyway) and then came back with a roaring crash, Jupiter is perhaps one of the most anticipated albums of the new decade. After being faced with numerous member changes (and the parting of Jedi master Tony Choy) it almost looked like we wouldn't be hearing from Shaefer and the mob ever again. So... how is it? In short: It's like they never left us. Immediately from the off you can hear the disjointed and erratic rhythms which made Atheist such an underground hit. Along with the complex and refreshed riffing comes some of the best balancing between heaviness and melody within pure death metal and there are some moments which feel more uplifting than the short solo to 'Heartwork'. Along with the Atheist's original sound comes the use of Latin rhythms combined with the bass/guitar which still feel like they're sounding as original as they did in 1991. Shaefer also makes his own guitar contribution here and there despite being known to have carpal tunnel syndrome and hence only performing vocals. His contribution is some signature solo's that are featured throughout the album. Arg, so much to say. As well as being the material we were all expecting (and not something 'surprising' like Traced in Air) the modern production quality makes it sound up to date rather than like it was recorded in a basement in 1985. But really, Atheist sounded way ahead of their time in the 90's and bands today still miss the point entirely when it comes to 'technical death metal' hence still making Atheist ahead of the crowd. Is it flawless? Not quite... perhaps including one of their instrumental Latin jazz tracks such as on 'Elements' it would have been a complete Atheist album but who's to say, it has everything we could have wanted anyway.

Lyrics — 7
Who the hell listens to technical death metal for the lyrics? Even though they may seem relevant to the genre, seeing as Death and Cynic are/were known for good lyrical content, Kelly Shaefer's vocals and lyrical content are not really something that a person would listen to Atheist for. Even though Shaefer sounds as though he's losing his aggressiveness, his voice still as stinging and biting as it was on Piece of Time and in all honesty, having those vocals as they are is something that makes Atheist the band that it is. Besides, his 80's proto-death metal bark is at least recognisable and a change from mindless death growling.

Overall Impression — 10
As part of what I'd call the big 4 of 90's progressive death metal (Well, it's true, there's 4 of them) Atheist had and still have their own distinct sound which separated the influence they shared among the scene. Jupiter is definitely an Atheist album and definitely worthy of the praise it gets. For fans old and new of any extreme metal, this album is a must-have release because there might not be anything like it again. Songs to look out for: 'Second to Sun', 'Fictitious Glide', 'Fraudulent Cloth', 'Faux King Christ', 'When the Beast' and the entirely epic 'Third Person'.

34 comments sorted by best / new / date

    krvolok
    this album is a must-have release because there might not be anything like it again.
    Inclined to agree but let's not be fatalists. Thanks for the heads up the other day.Great review BTW.
    TsarBomba
    In a world where Atheist writes their most wanky and disjointed album, virutally free of the amazing bass presence and the original technicality they're known for, I have no idea how anyone could be anything but disappointed by this album. Maybe it has something to do with it being the first Atheist album in a lot of their fanbase's lifetime (at least in terms of listening to metal), but listening to Jupiter over 10 times now is like having your doctor tell your wife's miscarried. Except it's worse; the baby is mangled and mutated, and complete incoherent.
    drunken ninja
    to me there were cool riffs here and there on all the songs but as a whole i didn't follow through. second to sun was probably the one i liked the most. overall mediocre release.
    Emenius Sleepus
    McNuttynz wrote: (apart from Cynic, who could only manage one, the lazy-.. Anyway) They have released two albums, Focus and Traced in Air both are great albums, so don't get the dis on bro.
    I'll assume you forgot to read the article, so to condense it: He meant they released one album before they split up for the first time, as opposed to Atheist who released three.
    corrda00
    illuminatiano wrote: shite boring album, very misleading review.
    ^+1 I didnt really like the album, the bass playin kinda sucks and the guitar is way to distorted. I cant even make out any notes.
    McNuttynz
    (apart from Cynic, who could only manage one, the lazy-.. Anyway)
    They have released two albums, Focus and Traced in Air both are great albums, so don't get the dis on bro.
    TsarBomba
    In fact, it reminds me a lot more of Gnostic (side project with all of the current Atheist lineup, sans Kelly) than Atheist, and that's not a good thing.
    TsarBomba
    EpiExplorer wrote: TsarBomba wrote: In a world where Atheist writes their most wanky and disjointed album, virutally free of the amazing bass presence and the original technicality they're known for, I have no idea how anyone could be anything but disappointed by this album. Maybe it has something to do with it being the first Atheist album in a lot of their fanbase's lifetime (at least in terms of listening to metal), but listening to Jupiter over 10 times now is like having your doctor tell your wife's miscarried. Except it's worse; the baby is mangled and mutated, and complete incoherent. Now thats just being picky.
    It's not being picky. Hyperbole, maybe. Ridiculous? Definitely. But am I honestly wrong in saying the album is disjointed, or that the technicality doesn't serve the song? Old Atheist had songs that actually evolved and went through movements. It also had catchy riffing, and was incredibly accessible for being a) an old school release, and b) very technical. There's nothing wrong with liking Jupiter if you do, but call a spade a spade, dude.
    theogonia777
    krvolok wrote: theogonia777 wrote: seriously, this guys probably has no clue what atheist even sounds like. i'll have to listen to this album, although i've never really cared for them too much. Me?
    oh no, not you krvolok, i know that you know your shit when it comes to death metal, i was agreeing with what you said to that guy above you
    Steve08
    No, he's not being picky at all. It's crap. Album barely would warrant a 50/100 if it was a new band that hadn't released anything.
    EpiExplorer
    TsarBomba wrote: In a world where Atheist writes their most wanky and disjointed album, virutally free of the amazing bass presence and the original technicality they're known for, I have no idea how anyone could be anything but disappointed by this album. Maybe it has something to do with it being the first Atheist album in a lot of their fanbase's lifetime (at least in terms of listening to metal), but listening to Jupiter over 10 times now is like having your doctor tell your wife's miscarried. Except it's worse; the baby is mangled and mutated, and complete incoherent.
    Now thats just being picky.
    Human371
    Don't diss Traced in Air, it's very solid. I just hope they keep moving in a more metal direction. Badass new Atheist disc though
    EpiExplorer
    krvolok wrote: this album is a must-have release because there might not be anything like it again. Inclined to agree but let's not be fatalists. Thanks for the heads up the other day.Great review BTW.
    Thanks man, I'm actually proud about this one.
    Raven_Flight
    So... how is it? IT'S short
    That is my only complain about the album, but yes, truly awesome record. Among the bests of the year
    Pingis_Or_Death
    This album is great, really awesome and complex like all the other Atheist albums. I'm sure it'll take a good while before I'm able to decipher everything that's going on. I just wish the bass was a tad higher in the mix.
    Pingis_Or_Death
    Sorry for the double post but I just gotta say that my favourite song is Faux King Christ, and my favourite part of the album is the second riff in that song, which has a samba sort of sound to it, totally awesome!
    Panasonic3
    Raven_Flight wrote: So... how is it? IT'S short That is my only complain about the album, but yes, truly awesome record. Among the bests of the year
    traced in air was short. enough said. good review. i would gives listens!!
    krvolok
    Raven_Flight wrote: So... how is it? IT'S short That is my only complain about the album, but yes, truly awesome record. Among the bests of the year
    Not every band does Nile-esque hour long albums.In this case it short and sweet.
    MetalUpYourRear
    Ah, great album! I heard it about 2 months ago when my buddy got a copy from Baker right after it was mastered.
    theogonia777
    krvolok wrote: iPLAYSguitar wrote: lol death metal Bite thy tongue.
    seriously, this guys probably has no clue what atheist even sounds like. i'll have to listen to this album, although i've never really cared for them too much.
    krvolok
    theogonia777 wrote: seriously, this guys probably has no clue what atheist even sounds like. i'll have to listen to this album, although i've never really cared for them too much.
    Me?
    Eigels
    YES, I need to listen to this, I completely forgot about it until i saw it here ^
    Raven_Flight
    Speaking about lyrics, I was listening to the album and track 5 had just ended. Then I wondered, "is this song called Fucking Christ by any chance?". And then I checked. Hilarious