Album Reviews

Jupiter Hollow – Odyssey EP

The year is about to end and the anticipation towards 2017 releases has surely started again. This new Ontario-based progrock duo consists of Kenny Parry (vocals, drums, synths and piano) and Grant MacKenzie (guitar, bass and synth). Between numerous of huge prog bands planning to release new material in the new year, here we find this young ambitious genre bending duo. Jupiter Hollow is the next best thing in progressive rock and metal, I am calling it.

Focusing on a very clean guitar sound with clear track divisions for the individual instruments, it makes for a very accessible listen despite its… experimental nature. Plenty of alternative rock-induced riffs give off a feeling of clarity, making it all the more satisfying when they finally do break those chains and go for the occasional heavy breakdown or odd time signature.

“Deep In Space“ starts off groovier than ever, with what I believe is some sort of innovative mix of bass, distorted and clean guitars, quite catchy. The bombastic outburst of the introduction on this song is sure to get listeners atop their seats, and when the vocals show, they are introduced to a slightly softer side of this band that is also very much present on the EP. Soaring vocals carry the chorus, while intriguing instrumental sections make sure everyone is aware of the musicianship shared between these guys.

Mostly serving as a transitional piece between the first and third track of the EP, “Ascending“ serves its purpose just fine. Unlike all the other songs on the record though, this would not do as well as a separate song, which I am sure it was not intended as. On the contrary, I would say the next track, “Hades Heart“, is a great single on its own, but is extremely well accentuated by Ascending in the full EP context.

“Over 50 Years“ best of all showcases the thin line between beautiful harmonies and out-right insanity that this duo generates. If you ever doubted Kenny Parry’s vocal abilities along the way, this will surely be the turning point. Fans of bands that like to play with very steep transitions between musical styles like The Mars Volta will most likely be particularly fond of this song.

Despite all the preceeding tracks ranging from good to excellent, the title-track,“Odyssey“, might just be my favourite of the bunch. The juxtaposition that is being created with this coming in after the most ‘out there‘ song on the EP, just makes it even cooler. One would expect them to go all out with an explosive conclusion, but instead they close things off with an interesting song that more often than not is on the softer side of things. This EP-closer gives off a celestial feeling, combining juicy guitarlines with touching vocal melodies.

Most of all, what makes me happy about hearing the Odyssey EP, is that this group does not sound like a one-time wonder at all. Seemingly, the sound they generate does not venture too far from their comfort zone but is interesting enough to lure in the listener. Despite some crazy twists and turns here and there, Jupiter Hollow seem to have taken a fairly safe yet solid route for this EP. They know what the fans (of modern prog in general) want and they deliver accordingly, which if you ask me, is the best way to go for two musicians in the initiative phase of their career.

Jupiter Hollow will be having a release party for this EP on January the 14th, at The Smiling Buddha in Toronto, Canada. The actual release of the EP will be on the 13th of January.  If you live in or near Toronto and are a fan of progressive rock/metal at all, do not let this chance slip by, experiencing a band of this caliber in their beginning stages is a very rare opportunity. Moreover, when you get to the pre-sale tickets, you will be eligible to win a copy of the EP upon attendance.

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