Jupiter – CLASSICAL ELEMENT

Classical Element

Tracklist:

  1. Introduction
  2. Blessing of the Future (remix)
  3. Decadence
  4. RHYTHMOS
  5. Scarlet
  6. Nostalgie
  7. Heaven’s Atlas
  8. ALLEGORY CAVE
  9. Symmetry Breaking
  10. Forever With You
  11. Atmosphere
  12. Classical Element
  13. Conclusion

———————————

1. Introduction

Beginning the album is an introductory instrumental piece. It’s very symphonic styled, with orchestral instruments such as strings and harp, but metal influences invade at the halfway point. Also there’s some stilted narration in English. Nice, but nothing special.

2. Blessing of the Future (remix)

The first real song is a remix of Blessing of the Future, Jupiter’s debut A-side. Well, they say it’s a remix but I can’t figure out what they’ve changed. Enlightenment will be gladly welcomed. Anyway, I said on the single review that I didn’t mind Zin sliding sliding up to all his notes, but my opinion has changed. It’s annoying. So yeah, Blessing of the Future is just a fairly standard power metal track with little to distinguish it. Not really the best way to start off with.

3. Decadence

First new song! Decadence opens with a big strings presence, and an operatic vocalist who has, um, questionable tone. Then guitars come in with bursts of chords coinciding with chants from the choir.  It continues in a fast-paced manner, but I don’t mind as the guitar work is rhythm-based instead of lead-based. Zin uses a deeper tone than I’ve heard before, and with strings thrown in the result is an impressive verse. The chorus changes to 3/4 time which is pretty cool, and it ends with an extended vocal note from Zin. I very much like the build-up to the guitar solo, where both guitarists have lead parts. A good new piece from Jupiter!

4. RHYTHMOS

Strings? Check. Drums? Check. Metal guitars? Check. Harpsichord? Check. All right we’ve got the ingredients for some yummy gothic stew! RHYTHMOS begins with strings playing to deep, rolling drums and an uber-awesome bassline. As guitars enter, the gothness starts to take shape, but it becomes completely obvious by the edgy arrangement in the verse. The tempo isn’t that fast, but it slows down even more in the chorus, which equals epicness. I should also mention that there’s a sweeeeet bass guitar solo. Actually, the bass is really good throughout the whole song. One of the stars of this album.

5. Scarlet

Scarlet begins with heavy yet bright riffs, then introduces a power metal lead line. As typical for this genre, it’s fast with lots of drums, but to my surprise there is also a decent amount of medium-paced parts. Zin’s got more fierceness in his voice than before, especially at the beginning of his lines in the chorus. The instrumentation still retains the violins of other tracks, but they’re less noticeable now, often following the guitars. There are some good instrumental parts, the quieter bridge before the solo and the ascending guitar line at the end  were two that stood out to me. So overall, better than your standard power metal song.

6. Nostalgie

With the aptly name Nostalgie, we get the first ballad of the album. It uses strings and piano to start off, with subdued strums of an acoustic guitar. I wonder if they’re using string samples because they could sound a bit better. Then the band enters with a powerful and uplifting guitar line. The verse is relaxing and calm at first, but then electric guitars turn it into a power ballad. The vocals have a lovely dreamy quality to them. I think the faster drum part before the chorus was unnecessary, but a solid arrangement apart from that.The chorus is also strong – maybe Zin could be a little more delicate but really what he’s doing is fine. Nice track.

7. Heaven’s Atlas

Heaven’s Atlas begins slowly and grandly with strings and a drum roll leading up to slow chords with strong vocals. Aaaaand then it descends straight to the land of speed. What follows is classic power metal, with Hizaki and Teru playing dual lead guitar as Yuki’s drums smash away in the background. The verse is basically the same, although there’s a few slower sections, and the chorus is full speed ahead. Of course there’s the required guitar solo, would it be them without it? Zin sounds OK, although his head voice switches in the chorus are a bit odd. I can’t pick what though, maybe the words after he switches back sound rushed? It’s a decent song, but power metal so yeah.

8. ALLEGORY CAVE

ALLEGORY CAVE opens with blasting guitar riffs and mightily fast speed playing by the band. Good start, but the vocals in the verse are either deep growls or heavily filtered, and aren’t exactly my cup of tea. Which is sad because the arrangement there is pretty good. The chorus doesn’t stand out that much though, and some of the instrumentation sounds odd. The violins could have better tone, and there’s a funny instrument that seems off, possibly an overly bright harpsichord. Not a great song here…

9. Symmetry Breaking

Oooh this is cool, the introduction has a nylon string guitar playing a solo. Following this is a dramatic progression of power chords and violin melodies, one of the sickest openings I’ve heard to a song in a while. Zin’s vocals don’t live up to the arrangement though, they are pretty rough and don’t suit the general awesomeness pervading everywhere else. Growls in the chorus don’t help the cause either, I think this song would have benefited from clean and strong singing instead. Symmetry Breaking is unfortunately a song with lots of potential let down by average vocals.

10. Forever With You

Forever With You starts as strings, then guitars play chords very similar to Pachelbel’s Canon. As a ballad, the verse arrangement is slow, with piano and strings the main instruments. Luckily, Zin’s back to normal this time. In the chorus, guitars also feature, increasing the power, and the vocals follow in suit. There are a few head voice switches and they’re all right, but feel comparatively weak compared to his lower register’s power. It’s a very solid track up until the end, when for some reason they decided to throw in “la la la la las” and children singing, which ruined the ending.

11. Atmosphere

Atmosphere opens with violin flourishes, before drums and guitars are added, beginning a slow and chilled introduction. Nah kidding what am I talking about it’s fast power metal once more. But to my surprise, the verse is actually quite slow and it continues in this way until the chorus. With the mid-tempo pace, violins, and even some acoustic guitar in the second verse, this part is quite good. However the faster chorus doesn’t leave as much as an impression on me. This song does well in the guitar solo section though, another decent song.

12. Classical Element

Noooo Hizaki there’s always a monster on your albums whyyyyyy???? The title track of the album is a gargantuan 12 minute effort from the band. The beginning is slowish and rhythm guitar centred, which I like, and after the introduction there’s a clean guitar section. It continues fairly leisurely, Zin delivering a good performance apart from one head voice part. There’s an energy lift at the halfway point with a guitar solo and a speedy section following. Some gritty vocals are next, which don’t sound too bad this time. So pretty much the first half is slow, the second half is fast, and the ending is slow. Throw in a guitar solo or three and you’ve got Classical Element.  For a long song, it’s reasonably strong, but its length is its weakness.

13. Conclusion

I think the last track would have been a good place to finish but they decided to put this one on instead. It’s an orchestral-y piece with strings, brass, harp and some percussion, and has a victorious feeling to it. It’s OK, but doesn’t fit that well.

“Jupiter are a band that show potential,” I will say tactfully. They definitely can produce great tracks like RHYTHMOS but too many songs were just average. Zin has some good points like his excellent vibrato but his note sliding can get annoying. I’d also like to see him push his limits too, reach some higher notes maybe. And another thing – MAKE MASASHI WRITE SOMETHING, I WANT ANOTHER AYAKASHI!!!!

Top Tracks:

  • RHYTHMOS
  • Decadence
  • Nostalgie
  • Symmetry Breaking

Rating: 7/10

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