An undeniable masterpiece, this album met with both praise and disdain from long-term fans upon release. Previously, on their godly Dillinger-esque calculus-core debut, Until Your Heart Stops, Cave In carried tormenting aggression and blended it with creative genius. Signs of avant-garde progression could be seen on tracks like "Juggernaut," but these ideas did not come to fruition until the Creative Eclipses EP. Drawing upon indie rock act Failure, the album shocked some, with its landslide progression toward a Radiohead-meets-hardcore sound. Off-kilter and half bloomed, they failed to reach full potential, until Jupiter, which should engulf the masses. Losing the hardcore vocals almost entirely, except for the emotionally astonishing rasps on "Big Riff," the band has begun to experiment with a gorgeous, emotive Thom Yorke styling. Conveying a patient vulnerability few veteran bands possess, emotional layering seems to form the nucleus of Jupiter. Steve Brodsky's haunting notes break like crashing waves against his lush soundscape of gentle noise, brilliantly exemplified in tracks like "Innuendo and Out the Other" or "In the Stream of Commerce." This last song begins by drowning the listener in meticulous, disharmonic beauty. Suddenly clean channel melodic guitar pours forth, bridging with the centerpiece chorus and cutting through the heart with a sharp emotional blade. This album is 100 percent pure blackened expressionism shrouded in silent shadows. "Requiem," an epic quiet climax, feels like a healthy dose of Brave Murder Day-era Katatonia, both musically and lyrically -- not vocally. Clean picking struggles to stay afloat in a sea of noise as Brodsky belts "Do you feel it's true that you're always this doomed?" This band puts a whole new spin on tormented emotion and broken spirits. Crushing Neurosis, with Dillinger sensibility meets Radiohead as a doom hardcore outfit? Jupiter is captivating and is something imperative for all metal and non-metal fans to behold. Best album of 2000? Maybe. Accessible to all? Probably not. Worth the experience? Definitely!
- Jason Hundey