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Atheist - Elements CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.22 | 256 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars An album made extremely fast by a splitting-up band became their biggest work of art. How can that be i don't know, but Elements is here to prove that it is possible

It is truly amazing that this album even exists, and even more, to be the incredible piece of art it is. Though, the one thing that continues to amaze me to this day is that Elements was written, recorded and produced in just FORTY DAYS! That leaves about 2-3 weeks to come up with entirely new material from scratch and 1-2 weeks to produce and mix it. Under such pressure, you would expect any band to cave and just throw a bunch of random crap together and hope for the best... But not in this particular case.

Everyone in Atheist pooled their creative intelligence together and really did their best to live up to the standards of quality that they showed in past efforts and they really outdid themselves beyond anything expected and even pushed the boundaries further and further away, mixing jazz, samba, death metal, some funk and other exotic sounds. This is the way experimentation with metal should be done and this album is one great measuring stick to be used to see if any band is going to the right or the wrong direction.

Because of those unique characteristics Elements (and Atheist music in general) is not meant for everybody (i may be bold to say that, but only few chosen ones can truly understand their music and the ones who like death metal with a very unique mix with progressive attitude in musical content and song writing style as well as a deep jazzy feeling to it). So if you did not liked Atheist previous works, there are two options here: you can try this more experimental album and fall in love with the band or just leave it behind.

About the songs, musicianship and other features there are some thing i would like to state:

Well, here on elements things become even more crazy, difficult and mind-blowing than before.The riffs have become more bizarre, with many odd time signature changes all the time, the songs present many different paths of construction, but at the same time, not varying so much that it sounds sloppily thrown together just for the sake of trying to blow your mind. There is catchiness to Atheist that is very hard to grasp, let alone replicate, yet they make it seem easy. So many technical bands have tried doing what Atheist do and most of them fall flat on their face and can't write memorable, good songs. Either that or they suffer from 'studio syndrome' and can't perform any of their material in a competent fashion in a live environment, but i can't say atheist suffered or suffer this 'syndrome', since i had never saw neither listened they play live, but anyway. . .

The drumming is also VERY different. Instead of being the aggressive and destructive kind of drumming present on the previous albums the drumming is much more concentrated and focused, resulting in very solid and interesting rhythms, specially when the drum lines are combined with the bass lines. As i said before, the members have pooled their efforts together in every song so, in every song, you can see a very brand amount of ideas appearing all the time, left and right.

All that means that the technicality present here in this album is enough to make the guys in Dream Theater look like a bunch of noobish instrumentalists making a poor cover version of The Shaggs (YEAH, YEAH, i exaggerate to make a point, so what?). But the worst part is not that. The worst part is that, when you listen Elements, you have the feeling that the guys on Atheist are just jamming!!!!!! Seriously man, this album still gives me the creeps!

Grade and final Thoughts:

Now its the time you all expected: the grade and conclusion.

Seriously guys, if i could i would give this album a 6 star grade. Here these guys, putting in a VERY simple way, got what they did before and made it better beyond any kind of expectation and because of that this album obviously deserves the masterpiece grade.

If you want your metal music with great depth, pure quality and real progressive nature, but most importantly you are willing to spend time listening to a record that will shake your world. well, then i guess this is your exactly what you want.

CCVP | 5/5 |


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