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Atheist Jupiter album cover
3.36 | 124 ratings | 10 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Second To Sun (4:02)
2. Fictitious Glide (4:51)
3. Fraudulent Cloth (3:22)
4. Live And Live Again (3:37)
5. Faux King Christ (4:00)
6. Tortoise The Titan (3:38)
7. When The Beast (4:55)
8. Third Person (4:08)

Total Time: 32:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Kelly Shaefer / vocals
- Jonathan Thompson / guitar, bass
- Chris Baker / guitar
- Steve Flynn / drums

- Jason Suecof / lead guitar (2,5,7), mixing
- Timmy St. John / cello (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Eliran Kantor

LP Season Of Mist ‎- SOM 208LPP (2010, US/Europe)

CD Season Of Mist ‎- SOM 208 (2010, US/Europe)

Recorded at LedBelly studios in Atlanta, Georgia with engineer Matt Washburn

Thanks to Conor Fynes for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ATHEIST Jupiter ratings distribution

(124 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

ATHEIST Jupiter reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by J-Man
4 stars Live and Live Again

Seventeen years is a long time to wait between albums. Since 1993, the progressive death metal scene that Atheist helped form has changed drastically. Thus, a reunion after such a long hiatus is usually a risky move. The band has aged, but so have their fans and the music scene around them. Being able to adapt with these new surroundings is something that shows the true worth of any band - and Atheist has proved that they are worth their weight in gold. Jupiter is surely a comeback album if I've ever heard one. Atheist not only proves that they can still make great music, but they also show us why they are considered one of the best and most innovative bands in metal.

Jupiter still has that trademarked Atheist sound, but they have added a more modern touch into their sound. There's plenty of heavy riffs, technical compositions, and jazzy touches to impress any fan of Atheist's earlier albums. Jupiter mostly reminds me of their Elements album, but this is still a very unique release in Atheist's discography.

One of my only complaints about Jupiter is the playing time - which is rather short, at only 32:47. Thankfully, Jupiter is "all killer, no filler", which makes up for this setback in the long run. Still, if this album had another 10-15 minutes of music it really would've helped. All of the songs on Jupiter are among the best Atheist has ever done. There isn't a single weak track here, though my three favorites are Third Person, Live and Live Again, and Second to Sun.

The production is a bit of an acquired taste. It's a high-quality sound, but a bit too "over-produced" for my personal preference. Still, I'm sure most people won't have any problem with it.

As we're used to from Atheist, the musicianship is some of the best in the metal scene. They're a tight, highly-technical, and eclectic group of musicians who always manage to impress me. I was initially a bit skeptic after the departure of bassist Tony Choy, but guitarist Johnathan Thompson proves that he's very capable of the bass parts.


The technical/jazz metal genre isn't often explored in 2010 with much success. Jupiter proves two things - first of all, that making a great jazz metal album in this day and age is still possible. Secondly, Jupiter proves that the only people that can create such an album is Atheist. These guys are the masters of technical/jazz death metal, and don't let anyone say any differently. If the first three Atheist albums didn't prove how great they were, Jupiter certainly will. Atheist is back, and just as awesome as they were almost 20 years ago. This is one of the best comeback albums I've heard in a while, and 4 (almost 4.5) stars are well deserved here. Atheist fans will be VERY pleased with this release.

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Jupiter' - Atheist (6/10)

Undeniably one of the year's most anticipated releases, death metal legends Atheist are coming back for another album. After a wait thats amounted to being almost twenty long years for the band's fanbase, tensions are understandably high for the release of 'Jupiter.' Being a band that essentially pioneered the concept that the otherwise disparate genres of metal and jazz could be merged as one, Atheist have already solidified their spot as legends of the scene, regardless of this record's impact. While I have never been a hardcore fan of the band's work, I have acknowledged the band's immense talent in the past, as well as their ability to make some greatly complex and intelligent 'extreme' metal. 'Jupiter' does indeed affirm the concept of their great talent and skill, but beyond it's polished technicality and performance, the album doesn't greatly distinguish itself from the legions of other technical metal acts now around.

A difference from the masterpieces that defined Atheist as an act, and this modern adaptation of their sound is the fact there is very little actual 'jazz' here, for a proclaimed jazz metal act. While nuances of the style pop up in the instrumental composition, 'Jupiter' is by and large, a solely metal effort. Over the course of half an hour (it is a particularly short release) there is an unrelenting barrage of heaviness upon the listener, whose only respite is through the brief pauses in between tracks. In terms of being purely technical metal however, Atheist gives a solid display. There is a very thrashy element here in 'Jupiter,' and while the album may lack the jazzier dimension of their previous work, it's still evident that this is an Atheist work.

While the instrumentation is complex, frenetic and impressive, one thing that greatly deters from 'Jupiter' is the very weak vocal presentation that growler Kelly Shaefer gives. While Atheist has never been a band that built their fanbase on the foundation of lyrical brilliance and vocal beauty, Shaefer finds a distinct and annoying style that lingers between conventional death metal growling, and some degree of nasal shouting that really detracts from the effect of the music.

Atheist's 'Jupiter' is an impressive comeback for the legendary death metal act, but as might be expected, it doesn't amount to the grandeur of their early days. There are some great riffs here, but a lack of variety, short length, and poor vocal work deters from the otherwise great, technical playing of these guys. 'Jupiter' is nowhere near exceptional, but it's essential listening for any of the group's more devout followers.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Jupiter" is the 4th full-length studio album by technical/progressive extreme metal act Atheist. The album was released through Season of Mist in November 2010. "Jupiter" is what you would call a comeback album as itīs the first studio album release by Atheist since "Elements (1993)". The band split-up shortly after the tour supporting that album. In 2006 lead vocalist Kelly Shaefer and drummer Steve Flynn (who had already left Atheist in 1991 and doesnīt appear on "Elements (1993)") decided to reunite and reform Atheist. They played a reunion gig on Wachen in 2006 with the help of bassist Tony Choy and guitarists Jonathan Thompson and Chris Baker (both guitarists also play with Steve Flynn in Gnostic). That gig (which is immortalized on the first disc on the "Unquestionable Presence: Live At Wacken (2009)" live/compilation album) apparently made their blood boil for more Atheist action and here we have "Jupiter" a couple of years down the line. Tony Choy bailed out shortly before the recording of the album so guitarist Jonathan Thompson also handles the bass parts on "Jupiter".

The music on the album is technical/progressive death/thrash or maybe a tag like technical/progressive extreme metal is actually better. Genre tagging was always hard when it came to Atheist and still is. Thatīs of course one of the reasons why they are such a unique sounding act. They almost completely defy catagorization. In that respect theyīve always reminded me of an act like Voivod. The music on the album is a melting pot of death, thrash and fusion elements and while that cocktail can at times sound pretty chaotic, the tracks are tightly structured and very well composed. Just as the case were on earlier releases each track is composed of many sections and even though all 8 tracks on the album are between 3 and 4 minutes long (which is pretty regular mainstream song lengths), you shouldnīt expect regular vers/chorus structures here. And then again, "Jupiter" is actually a lot more accessible than earlier releases by the band and dare I say semi-melodic at times. There are actual chorus lines and hooks in each track in the midst of the ultra fast played riffs, fusion influenced drumming and relentless energetic music. The album is over in 32:47 minutes and if you ask me thatīs just what the doctor ordered. Music this demanding and action packed wouldnīt necessarily work well on an album with 14 tracks and a playing time of 50 minutes. Iīm of the firm conviction that quality is always more important than quantity and "Jupiter" is a shining example of that.

The musicianship on the album are nothing short of amazing. Fast precision playing and a plethora of progressive ideas are what youīll be treated to. The well certainly hasnīt run dry in the 17 years since the last album release. While "Jupiter" has itīs own sound, which is in part due to the more contemporary sound production, there are also several nods toward all three preceeding releases. Itīs like they plucked the best elements from those three albums and then theyīve added something new to them. So "Jupiter" is the kind of comeback album that honors the bandīs original sound, but in no way tries to copy it. I think Atheist made just about all the right choices with this one.

17 years between album releases is a long time, and I wouldnīt hold it against anyone if they doubted if "Jupiter" could live up to the high expectations. However Atheist have once again proven that they are one of the most unique forces on the metal scene. Pushing boundaries, defying conventions and kicking ass in the process. I just realised I forgot to mention how aggressive the album actually is. No matter how progressive or experimental the music gets, Atheist always succeed in not losing their caustic aggressive edge and itīs not always an easy task maintaining aggression and not sounding forced while experimenting. Itīs probably the bandīs greatest asset that their music sounds so natural even though itīs extremely technical.

So what do you give a fan who already has it all? The answer? You give him more. You move his world again and make him crave more. Thatīs how "Jupiter" has affected me. I have a burning craving for more and thatīs how every album should affect you (in a world called utopia), but few in reality do. "Jupiter" is a welcome return to one of the most unique and innovative metal acts on the scene and a 5 star (100%) rating is fully deserved.

Review by Andy Webb
2 stars After 17 years, it hasn't gotten any better.

Jupiter is the product of Atheist's 17 year long hiatus from the music industry, similar to Cynic's triumphant return a few years ago. With Unquestionable Presence, they made a huge statement in the death metal/jazz-fusion scene, which at that time was not very big. Therefore, they really helped to form an entire genre. The band has aged quite a bit, and so has the music scene. With Jupiter they come back full force, but full force from what they were 17 years ago. The music is a mash of quickly played notes and intense instrumentation. The album barely tops 30 minutes, and the lack of true melody is a little harsh. I loved Unquestionable Presence, but this is just stale.

Second to Sun is the first of eight mediocre tracks. Fast, heavy, intense, metallic, this track has everything you would expect in a song of this genre. But why don't I like it? This kind of music is so common and overplayed that I can barely enjoy it anymore. At times the "riffing" just gets overly monotonous and the songs begin to blend into a mush of overly polished mush. Yes, the technical ability to play this is kind of music is insane, and I will give the band that every step of the way, especially because the band members are established 40- year olds-- not the age I would want to playing this kind of music.

Fictitious Glide is essentially the same track as Second to Sun, and when I listen to the album I really can't tell these songs apart. I think the one thing that allows people to remember songs is their melody... but none of these songs have melody. They are all just metalcore drab and intense guitar soloing. This song does feature an enjoyable, but very short, fusion-like solo with some interesting bass and guitar work.

Fraudulent Cloth is yet another stale intense track. More intense melody-lacking riffing with really fast guitar work and screaming vocals, what a surprise. Again, the only real good thing about any of these songs is that I can respect that these guys have a ton of technical ability with their instruments. Bravo on that, but the music that they write with their skill is a little disappointing.

Live and Live Again is certainly one of the best tracks on the album. Even though the intro lasts for but a few seconds, the mellow cello is such a relief after ten minutes of intense guitar and extreme vocals and instrumentation. From that, the intense guitar and extreme vocals and instrumentation that ensue afterwards are just a bit more enjoyable. There is even a slight trace of melody in the song! Overall, the track is a little (just a little, a very very small bit) less intense and is more enjoyable.

Faux King Christ continues the slightly less frenzied intensity that we saw on Live and Live Again, with a bit of a slower tempo and a more followable guitar line. However, once the soling begins, throw that out the window. The music reverts back to its crazy metalcore crap that populates the album. But then again, redemption happens again when the solo section ends. Overall, this track is also not that bad, but the crazy dynamics and part changes that make no sense really alienate this track.

Tortoise the Titan returns to what we heard on the first couple of songs. Intense, basically incoherent riffing with really fast guitar solos and riffs. The song does "slow down" (maybe to like 200 bmp) at times, making it a little more bearable, but the overall track is still weak. So no, Kelly Shaefer, Tortoise is not the Titan, stop screaming.

When the Beast is my favorite track on the album, even though I don't really like it that much. The riffing in the intro is actually somewhat enjoyable and creative, but it is sadly thrown out the window for the most part as the song opens up. Throughout the song, the riffing become more listenable and a bit more coherent and organized, rather than the sped up mush of the rest of the album. I would like the song so much more if the vocals weren't screamed at most parts, because that style of vocal just doesn't fit the mood of the song at all.

At last, we have come upon Third Person, the last track on the album. This track is another not so-so-bad track, but is still weak. The intro again shows promising signs, but is again thrown out the window when the song stars going. The lyrics don't really make any sense in a genre where lyrics don't tend to make sense. There is a small bass-guitar breakdown which is nice, especially because it is slower and slightly more coherent again. The more jazz based breakdown is also nice, which throws you back to the music found on Elements and Unquestionable Presence. It ends the album semi-nicely, even though my hair is still standing on end and burnt slightly at the end because of this overly intense album.

ALBUM OVERALL: I think one reason I don't like this album is because, 20 years after Atheist initiated this genre, so many other bands have flown from the fold with a similar to identical sound. They have copied copies of themselves to form a stale, dried out form of a once very creative and fresh sound. The band still has that crazy skill they had back in the 90s, which is really impressive, but the music that comes out of their ability to shred at 500 bps is just metalcore with little to no inspiration in their music. A few tracks show promise, but not very long. And, after 17 years, the band could only scrap together a barely 30 minute long album. 2- stars.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Atheist has been a highly influential band during my youth. I honestly can't remember the day when I heard Unquestionable Presence, one might almost say that it's presence was indeed unquestionable in my mind!

Naturally, I got very existed when I heard that the band members began working on new material and that an actual new release was on the way, more than 15 years after Elements! Expectations were high on my part, even though it felt unimaginable that the quartet would be able compare themselves to all the great Technical Death Metal bands that have risen over the last decade.

I got the album pretty early on, around December 2010, but I actually didn't put it in my CD player until around Christmas time. I guess that I really felt like the album deserved my undivided attention and that it felt better to wait than get a so-so first experience in passive listening mode. I was positively surprised upon my first spin when I realized that the band were still capable to play in a higher league than I originally gave them credit for! The band was so good that they almost seemed unrecognizable in their approach the craft of technical playing. Unfortunately, this was also the reason why I felt a bit disconnected with the Atheist that I heard on this release. That's probably the main reason behind me abandoning Jupiter after only a few spins and I haven't really revisited the album until today while writing this review.

I honestly can't say that I find this album interesting enough. Yes, Atheist does exactly what they need to in order to fit into the new world of Tech Metal but I lack the that little extra effort which would take them a step into their own unique direction. At the same time, I can hardly consider the album a total failure and I'm sure that it will grow on me over time, but a new Unquestionable Presence it is not.

**** star songs: Second To Sun (4:02) Fraudulent Cloth (3:22) Faux King Christ (4:00) Tortoise The Titan (3:38) When The Beast (4:55)

*** star songs: Fictitious Glide (4:51) Live And Live Again (3:37) Third Person (4:08)

Review by Warthur
3 stars Atheist's comeback album Jupiter finds the band injecting the death metal back into their sound to an extent not heard since Piece of Time, with the jazz motifs of Unquestionable Presence or Elements serving the metal rather than existing in their own space. On the whole, it's a good and enjoyable listen, even though the technical death metal world has moved on since the band's glory days; my major criticism of the album is that after the first few songs it begins to feel a bit samey, something which was never the case on their earlier albums; a few quieter spots or the inclusion of moments where the jazz outweighs the death metal, as on their previous two albums, might have gone a long way to keeping things varied here.
Review by Sinusoid
1 stars If you listen to music long enough, chances are that eventually you're going to attempt to understand a style or genre several times without breaking the ice. Ultra-technical death metal hasn't exactly been my best friend lately, and Atheist's reunion album JUPITER only further distances me from the genre. To be fair, maybe this wasn't the right album to begin with Atheist.

Many of the problems that I ran into on Death's final album (SOUND OF PERSERVERANCE) are here as well. For most of the songs, the band settles into a riff for only about a minute before shifting gears completely into another riff without smoothly transitioning. The few attempts at a ''break'' feel like braking at 85 mph and immediately punching the gas pedal; the stop-start riffs end up being aural whiplash to the point where it hurts.

It practically goes without saying that the members of Atheist have quite the technical chops. That unfortunately leads to another problem. The playing is constantly on loud and hyper-complex to the point where there's no straight line anchoring the music. Other technical based bands such as Meshuggah seem to have an anchor in their complexity so that the technicality of the music doesn't run away from them. JUPITER seems to sound clogged with so many riffs and solos that I can't remember what happened after the album is over.

There are two double-edged swords here. First, the production does a great job at bringing out how destructively good the guitars can be, yet the bass is practically buried save for a slap line at the end of the album. Second, the songs are relatively short (nothing exceeds five minutes here), so there's nothing too long. At the same time, these are the longest 4 minute songs I've heard in my life.

I feel like I got started on the wrong album with this group, especially give the platitudes of their heyday albums. JUPITER is a nice present to the hardcore fans, but newcomers might be put off with this.

Latest members reviews

2 stars I love Atheist. They are one of my top groups of any genre. That said, I just do not think Atheist added to their legacy with this one. I do not mind a band developing, as long as they retain their identity. I think Atheist now sounds like standard mechanical tech-death, perhaps because they lost ta ... (read more)

Report this review (#392360) | Posted by mentaltraveller | Wednesday, February 2, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Atheist are back! And it's like they never were gone. Surely a candidate for metal album of the year, their fourth album "Jupiter" is jam packed with technical death metal, progressive metal, thrash metal and jazzy goodies (although this album is less jazzy than both "Elements" and "Unquestionabl ... (read more)

Report this review (#386166) | Posted by Time Signature | Tuesday, January 25, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Atheist has returned to the metal scene after 17 years with possibly the greatest album of their career. With this album the band has removed almost all traces of straight jazz that were most prevalent on Elements, instead reverting to the frenzied, technical style found on Piece of Time. The ... (read more)

Report this review (#308330) | Posted by estes | Friday, November 5, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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