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Atheist - Unquestionable Presence CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.20 | 337 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars In the early progressive metal Metallica was successful in presenting its riffs with a certain breathing space and a good place to really make them stand out. Take for instance in the title piece of 'Justice For All'. In progressive death metal this idea of the hyper organised compositions was dropped. All good ideas are then to be thrown after one each other in a rapid succession, always catching the listener off guard. Highly energetic, fast in pace and raw in execution. An impressive mindset in its own right, but different. There are some basic song-structures, but on this Atheist album none of the songs sound very finished or refined. Which is by the way the main difference in quality with the slightly more organised progressive death metal releases of the band Death, who would release 'Human' in the same year (1991). At my first impression I was a bit influenced by another reviewer who called it 'muppets metal', probably because of the extremely fast and over the top performance of Atheist here. The insanely fast solo's, short-lived heavy riffs, complex jazz arrangements and heavy vocals are really quite something. After some more spins this type of extreme metal started to sound more natural to me and I began to get a feel of 'how it worked'. I can now safely say that I really like this album and raw musical creativity it transfers to the listener. Compared to my favorite progressive death metal album (Death's 'Symbolic') it lacks some hooks and effective song-writing, but it does excel in fusion-type bass-lines and that bizar mixture of brilliant musicianship and rather silly teenage anger. Fans of Pestilence should also take notice here.
friso | 4/5 |


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