Jupiter (Season of Mist)
by Mike Delano
Like an angry little wind-up toy wound just a little too tight and unleashed in the center of a circle of nervous gazes, so goes the latest from prog metal vets Atheist. Jupiter zips and crashes around the room, its sharp edges colliding with surfaces hard and soft, hurling itself constantly forward with impossible energy. The record sounds like the Mos Eisley Cantina scene from Star Wars recalled via fever dream – busy and foreign with the looming threat of violence. But the songs are endearingly earnest (“Tortoise the Titan” has a carpe diem theme that simultaneously rejects hate and addiction), never directionless and harbor not a single ounce of flab. They hit hard and fast and, in a heartbeat, come at you again from another angle. The craggy pleasures of Jupiter will likely be lost on those without a sense of adventure, but for those already inclined, it’ll be awhile before you have your breath back.