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Atheist - Piece of Time CD (album) cover

PIECE OF TIME

Atheist

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.64 | 98 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

FruMp
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A promising start from one of the most talented, interesting and underrated metal bands of all time.

ATHEIST are one of those rare metal bands full of insanely talented individuals with interesting influences (Kelly Shaefer the singer cites Rush and King Crimson amongst his influences) that form a musical machine that writes songs that people can't even hope to imitate. This is progressive music, not in the traditional sense the elements of technicality and unorthodox songwriting that atheist incorporate into their music are easily apparent, make no mistake this is a progressive death metal band.

The album begins with the eponymous track in a foreboding mysterious fashion before and it's not long before we get a glimpse of ATHEIST's trademark technicality, this song is one of the highlights of the album especially the fast paced double kick driven ending complete with bitchin' solo. next up on 'unholy war' we get a brutal demonstration of drummer Steve Flynn's amazing talent however after the intro the song dies down a bit. The third song Room with a view is easily one of the best on the album if not the best, there are some amazing riffs and the song writing in particular shines through here, at around the 3 minute mark I thought the song was going to end and it was good enough at that point but cleverly they incorporated a building riff with some well considered soloing leading into a climatic double kick driven breakneck ending much like the first song. The next song on they slay is my personal favourite, it is very well paced and has a lot of the best riffs on the album although it doesn't end as strongly as the other 2 highlight songs.

Unfortunately from the exemplary beginning the album dies down a bit, there are quite a few interesting parts and some fairly decent songs but nothing sticks like the first 4 songs do, 'no truth' does end the album well though.

The instrumentation on this album is fantastic. Steve Flynn is one of my favourite drummers, it's clear he is a jazz trained drummer who then got interested in metal (more apparent on their next album unquestionable presence though) his drumming is ever interesting and technical, very groovy and frenetic yet appropriately brutal and heavy, the perfect drummer for this music - more metal drummers need to look up to drummers like him and create some interesting beats instead resorting to boring old heavy metal standards. The two guitarists Kelly Shaefer and Rand Burkey have great chemistry delivering some precise technical harmonised riffs and shredding their axes to bits, their guitar work is a joy to listen to. Kelly Shaefer's vocals are interesting by metal standards, half way between a snarl and a shout - they fit the music perfectly as while their music is death metal a full on guttural death grunt would not suit the music at all as it is tuned in E (a lot of death metal is tuned down to D and B or lower) and quite upbeat by death metal standards. Roger Patterson the bassist was actually chiefly responsible for writing the music of atheist's first 2 albums (Roger sadly passed away after the recording of piece of time) although you wouldn't know it on piece of time as he doesn't come to the fore often which is a little disappointing.

Overall this is a fantastic album highly recommended to any fans of extreme, technical or progressive metal, fans of CYNIC, PESTILENCE, DEATH and GORGUTS are likely to enjoy, if you enjoy this album unquestionable presence is even better give it a shot.

FruMp | 4/5 |

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