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(55:53, ‘Fosfor Creation’)
TRACK LIST: 1. Enemy March 8:41 2. Invasion 5:31 3. Queen of Armageddon 9:39 4. No survivors 9:25 5. Fight Back 9:25 6. Defeat 13:12 LINEUP: Carl Westholm (ex-Candlemass, Carptree) – keyboards Mats Leven – vocals (of Candlemass) Ulf Edelonn – guitars Marcus Jidell – guitars Dirk Verbeuren - drums Sebastian Blyberg – bass Oivin Tronstad – vocals Cia Backman – vocals With: Leif Edling (of Candlemass) – vocals; bass Peter Soderstrom – guitars Fredrik Aakesson – guitars Stefan Fanden – bass
Prolusion. The Swedish project JUPITER SOCIETY is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Carl Westholm, a former member of Candlemass, also known as the creative force behind the Swedish project Carptree. Jupiter Society has been a going concern for a few years at this point. From what I understand this is a studio-based project only, and so far three albums have been released under this moniker. "From Endangered to Extinct" is the most recent of these, and was released through Carl’s own label Fosfor Creation in 2013.
Analysis. Jupiter Society is a venture that has always had a strong appeal for me. I'm fond of dark music in general, have a background as a metal fan from my formative years, and I've always been a fan of science fiction. Those elements combine beautifully in Jupiter Society, and while sci-fi based concept albums may not be the novelty feature they were a decade ago, the popularity of Ayreon, in particular, inspiring many others to explore similar landscapes, there's still a lot to be said about those who take on such projects in a high-quality manner. While Ayreon is a surefire reference for many such ventures, Jupiter Society is actually among the artists active in this field that can safely applaud themselves for a more original take on such productions. Their overall sound is a good starting point: Jupiter Society's take on progressive metal is a dark one. The music is majestic, Wagnerian in scope in that department, and the overall mood and atmosphere is a bleak and oppressive one. Dystopian is perhaps a key word to be used, as the landscapes explored musically, and lyrically too, from what I understand, are of the kind where despair and no hope pretty much summarize what's going on. If any band project where to take on Orwell's "1984", Huxley's "Brave New World" or Zamyatin's "We" to give these novels a musical expression, Jupiter Society would have been my primary choice, at least if progressive metal was to be the stylistic option of choice. Dark chugging, majestic guitar riffs underscore and sometimes dominate, in a manner closer in sound to Candlemass than to progressive metal pioneers, Black Sabbath, layered keyboards create oppressing, beautiful backdrops, and singular light-toned synthesizer sounds light up the darkness soaring into space. Complemented by a stellar cast of vocalists who, at least for me, elevate the total experience into a higher place. While only four vocalists are used, all of them appear to be a perfect fit for this particular project, adding a ton of emotional impact that, for me, at least transforms this album into a creation of just about perfect beauty. An impact level of seeing a singular red rose in the grey wastes of Mordor, if you like, the emotional aspect of the vocals contrasting the oppressive and bleak majesty of the instrumentation into a near perfect blend.
Conclusion. Jupiter Society's take on progressive metal of the space opera variety will probably not be a universally appealing one, as the instrumentation is rather dramatic and bombastic, and the vocals may well be too emotional for comfort for some. But those who love and appreciate a high-quality dystopian journey and tend to enjoy bands like Ayreon as well as metal bands such as Candlemass and Triptykon should try this band and this album out for size. For me personally this is a CD that is fairly high up on my desert island list of recordings. Top-10-2013
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