Thursday, December 24, 2015

Jupiter - Blessing of the Future

There's Some Potential

I'll spare you the long history lesson, but in a nutshell this is the first release from Hizaki and company with new vocalist Zin after the split of Versailles. It might be a bit pointless to review it now, but looking back on older releases of bands before they released more mature material is an interesting affair. Jupiter would grow and develop greatly with their future releases, and you can see the first seeds they planed on this single.

Of course, Jupiter has the absolutely all-star, top-class instrumentalists from Versailles: Hizaki and Teru on guitars, Masashi on bass, and Yuki on drums. This potent combination of skill and talent is extremely hard to match, and they all have unbelievable chemistry with each other. The elephant in the room here is the new vocalist Zin. Kamijo from Versailles was (rightfully) much beloved for his ability to carry vocal melodies and his charismatically smooth voice. So does Zin match him? Well, honestly not quite. One thing I do highly respect the band for doing is not just finding some Kamijo clone and putting out the same music. Zin is a quite a different vocalist and while I find him a bit undeveloped here, he shows a lot of potential. In the context of power metal, Zin is a more traditional approach with the way he can hit those high notes and deliver that vibrato. He doesn't get to truly shine here, but his vocals are not bad at all. They did a really good job picking Zin.

As far as the actual songs go, Blessing of the Future is easily the highlight here. The opening guitar melody is stupidly catchy, but also quite a notable step up from what Versailles had been putting out at the time. I was never too hot on their self-titled album, and in many ways, I found it a bit watered down to what the band had been doing in the past. In a sense, Blessing of the Future is a return to form. While it's not on par with my favorite Versailles tracks (not by a long shot), it does fall in line with the high standard I hold Jupiter (and anything Hizaki is involved in really). It's quite an improvement. Shout Your Desire does feature a few heavier/chugging moments, but for the most part, the whole single is the usual style of highly melodic, neoclassical power metal. There's the flashy guitar leads, rhythmically varied riffing, catchy choruses, and pretty much everything anyone familiar with Hizaki would expect. Jupiter would greatly improve as time went on, but this is a pretty damn good start.

Rating: 80/100

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