When I was much younger than today, my musical endeavors lead me to the trio that changed my life; the Canadians Rush and I tried to be a loyal follower since that very start. Now, forty something years later, for me, new gods have been knocking on the door to stardom. This time a Canadian duo has everything that makes music interesting for me. Jupiter Hollow already released a 5 track EP; Odyssey in 2017 (see review) and the full album AHDOMN (see review) in 2018, which saw tracks from the EP in an improved way, including new tracks. Now the magic duo; vocalist, drummer, synth and piano player Kenny Parry and guitarist, bass and synth player Grant MacKenzie are ready to conquer, convince the rest of the world with their second album; Bereavement.
A very strong point for the band is the variation of influences that are combined to an already recognizable style of the young duo. Take the quirky opener L'Eau Du Papineau, which incorporates a folky pop element including some minor Rush references, alongside a soundscape intro and even a smooth part with just birds whispering. I think the track is a daring composition to open an album with, but immediately sets the atmosphere. Bereavement continues with a fine piano driven track; Scarden Valley. A song that combines piano with strong emotional vocals in the first part, but halfway the track increases power and the vocals get even more emotional and followed by one of the most inspired guitar solos, I have heard lately. Next is The Rosedale, while writing, I am listening to this track,.. goosebumps all over. I guess this is a signature Jupiter Hollow composition, which has all the ingredients to make this band the next big thing. Powerful riffs, dedicated vocals that refer to both Geddy Lee as well as to Devin Townsend. Combined in a marvellous composition, this is freaking amazing. Even more power when we reach Kipling Forest; trashy riffs and nasty screams go hand in hand with smoother parts where fine drum patterns are played under the vocal parts. Stylistically, the aforementioned Townsend comes to mind; heavy, bombastic and loud. Taking a little step back and we find The Mill is an intriguing track, where guitar and vocals take the lead, but are followed by a semi chaotic part, slowly returning to the weird power of the first part. A sole moment of respite, when we listen to the piano driven soundscape Mandating Our Perception, a song leading to Sawbreaker. Another heavy powerful composition, where I sometimes hear references of the Dutch Textures, due to the heavy screaming vocals and nasty riffs. A fine technical track, that shows what both members are capable of. Drums as well as the guitar are brilliant on this track. Mark the unexpected end, space meets score. This ends leads to Extensive Knowledge. Perhaps the most accessible track of the album, cool bass lines, solid drums and a fine acoustic guitar accompany one of the best new vocalists I have heard, since a long time. The final track on the album is an over twelve minute clocking epic composition. Emotional vocal parts, great guitar riffs, Solar Gift has it all. A haunting mid-section, a very proggy keyboard solo, with a fine piano part underneath and ending with a majestic guitar part.
Wow, listening to Jupiter Hollow brings back the feeling I had when I started listening to my new discovery Rush as a fourteen year old. Bereavement is fresh, powerful and intriguing. Something I was looking for, since a long time. You have to listen to this album; this is the next level of progressive music. Thank you guys!
***** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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