There are few 2023 debuts I was as excited for as Porta Coeli from Shadow of Jupiter.
It seems like the band has been everywhere all the time over the last nine months—a feeling that’s only been helped along by guitarist and songwriter Colin Peterson also gaining additional visibility by writing for the excellent Clean And Sober Stoner.
To be perfectly honest, I’ve developed a bit of a soft spot for these guys.
And that’s why I was so relieved to finally hear their debut from start to finish. Porta Coeli is no hacked-together mashup of songs. It’s an intentional, deliberate collection of blistering Stoner Rock riffs and Doom-inspired atmospheres that will leave you waiting impatiently for a follow-up album.
About Shadow of Jupiter
Hailing from the Chicago/Northwest Indiana region, Shadow of Jupiter is a four-piece of friends that joined together over a love of powerful riffs and vocals.
Shadow of Jupiter is:
- John Piotrowski – Vocals
- Colin Peterson – Guitars
- Scott Brakebill – Bass
- Adam Kazragys – Drums
For Porta Coeli, Colin Peterson wrote the music and John Piotrowski wrote the lyrics.
Shadow of Jupiter’s Debut Album: ‘Porta Coeli’ Review
Release Date: September 7, 2023
Track 1: Shadow of Jupiter
The introductory (and instrumental) title track is an eerie, guitar-driven song that would work especially well as an opener in a live venue before the full band steps onto the stage. With its short-lived placement here, “Shadow of Jupiter” demonstrates just how unpredictable this band can be.
Track 2: Majesty
After that haunting introduction, “Majesty” gallops forward with a tight, intricate riff that bucks like a bronco and parties like a Kegerator. Running a mere 3:27, “Majesty” is the shortest track not named after the band, and it’s catchy enough that it feels like it’s over too soon.
Track 3: Raven
“Raven” opens with a quivering riff that may call to mind the approach of old Sasquatch. Piotrowski’s approach shifts slightly on “Raven,” and his belting sounds a great deal like Dave Wyndorf of Monster Magnet. “Raven” is a steady Stoner Rock track with a streak of Doom tones—and it’s perfectly content stretching out for six minutes.
Track 4: Daisy Cutter
“Daisy Cutter” first appeared in the Stop War In Ukraine charity compilation from Path of Doom Radio—a worldwide project involving hundreds of globally conscious bands.
Pulling inspiration from Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer” and taking its name from the devastating bombs dropped on Vietnam, “Daisy Cutter” is a war cry for the destruction of your enemies.
Track 5: Fate of Nations
Stretching for more than 10 minutes, “Fate of Nations” is a Doom-tinged, multi-sectional Stoner Rock track.
The second half of the song is, perhaps, one of the strongest sections of the album, marking a renewed sense of urgency and brutal lines like this one:
Napalm fields of screams and dreams…
Track 6: Bleeding Out
“Bleeding Out” is a trippy Psychedelic Doom track that thrives on being eerie and unsettling. A slower song with a Halloween-worth introduction, “Bleeding Out” spends nearly eight minutes gradually concluding the album. It’s not a Stoner Rock banger like “Majesty” (nor is it supposed to be), but it’s an interesting way to conclude the record.
Final Thoughts on Porta Coeli
Final Score: 8.5/10
Standout Tracks: “Majesty” and “Raven”
Pros: At their best, Shadow of Jupiter demonstrates just how fun and carefree Stoner Rock can be. Tracks like “Majesty” remind us just how exhilarating a riff can get—and while I won’t say Shadow of Jupiter sounds like Valley of the Sun (these are two very different bands, after all), the same energy is there.
Plus, Shadow of Jupiter also pulls off another underappreciated feat: They’ve shown they can write a lengthy, emotionally charged Stoner Rock song (“Fate of Nations”) that doesn’t become boring or repetitive.
Cons: Porta Coeli is an album of contrasts. While there are certainly fun high points on the record, the band also dips their toes in the unsettling Psychedelic end with their self-titled opener and “Bleeding Out.” In some ways, their placement here makes Porta Coeli sound like a collage of sounds instead of a truly cohesive album. Some additional transitioning between songs or even more Psychedelic songwriting throughout the record would have tied everything together a bit better.