Words: Craig Hartranft
Days Of Jupiter hail from Sweden, but they sure sound a lot like an American band. They return this month with their second long-player, Only Ashes Remain, and this is my first experience with the band.
I'll admit it, upon listening to the opening momements of Ashes, I wanted to hate this band. Oh yeah, here we go, more post-grunge d-tuned hard rock like Nickelback et al. From the rhythm and tone of the guitars to Jan Hilli's vocals to the production, Days of Jupiter sounds like a hybrid of recent American bands. They admit going for a sound akin to Disturbed, Shinedown, and Alter Bridge, among many others. But, fundamentally, the have good sound, familiar, but overall quite catchy and interesting. Some of this comes from sticking to the important things like melody and harmony, whether by vocal arrangement or guitar riffs or some simply catchy lyrical hooks. When these things work together you get some quality tunes like Broken Halo, Show Me How To Live, and Remember My Name.
Other songs can come off as simply riff monsters. Shut Up, for instance, is mostly just sharp and heavy riffage, which sort of goes with the rudeness and vulgarity of the lyrics. Eyes Wide Open and Follow are also another riff bangers. Somewhat quick-paced, the two songs offers some of the most viable guitar solos within the album. Generally, guitar solos are trumped by chord structure and riffage. There's a couple of ballads here: Last One Alive and Life After You. The former is more heavy, but sweetened with some minor acoustic guitar; the latter, simple voice over piano and quiet. So, in the end, my opinion drifted between liking the album for the aforementioned merits and dismissing it with ambivalence. However, with the proper promotion, that might have a shot a making an impact here in the States. Good luck with that.
Taking page from recent American post-grunge bands, Sweden's Days Of Jupiter offer some generally catchy and melodic modern hard rock.
This experience deserves mention for one very good reason: Finland's One Desire is one of the best classic AOR melodic hard rock bands in the genre and, perhaps, the world, right now So, I also apologize, in ... [ Read More ]