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Atheist - Unquestionable Presence: Live At Wacken CD (album) cover

UNQUESTIONABLE PRESENCE: LIVE AT WACKEN

Atheist

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.51 | 10 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Unquestionable Presence: Live At Wacken" is a combined live/compilation double CD album release by US technical/progressive extreme metal act Atheist. Itīs also a kind of comeback album as Atheist re-united in 2006 after thirteen years of absence from the scene. Disc 1 features the band's full live reunion performance at Wacken in 2006 while Disc 2 is a best of/compilation album which features select tracks from all of the three classic Atheist albums "Piece of Time (1990)", "Unquestionable Presence (1991)" and "Elements (1993)". The album was released through Relapse Records in July 2009.

Disc 1 which features the live concert is probably what will excite most people (at least the fans who already have the studio albums) and while the set only lasts 35:59 minutes and only features 8 tracks (all taken from "Piece of Time (1990)" and "Unquestionable Presence (1991)" and none from "Elements (1993)") itīs a great performance by an energetic band. Vocalist Kelly Shaefer and drummer Steve Flynn are the only original members left in the lineup while bassist Tony Choy (Cynic, Pestilence, C-187, Area 305) who played on both "Unquestionable Presence (1991)" and "Elements (1993)" return for another stint with Atheist. Guitarists Sonny Carson and Chris Baker (both members of Gnostic, which also features Steve Flynn in the lineup) are new in the Atheist lineup. The setlist is great although I miss "I Deny" and find it a bit strange that "Elements (1993)" is not represented. The reason might be that drummer Steve Flynn didnīt play on "Elements (1993)". The performance is pretty raw sounding yet enjoyable and Kelly Shaefer and Steve Flynn actually comment in the 24 page booklet that there are no overdubs. This is how it actually sounded on that day which they are rightfully proud of. The sound quality is not really great but this is not a bootleg production by any means either.

Disc 2 features 11 tracks personally compiled by Kelly Shaefer and Steve Flynn and they make comments about each of the tracks selected for the compilation in the 24 page booklet. Lots of little anekdotes for the fans. Track selections on compilation albums can always be discussed but personally I think theyīve chosen the right tracks for this release. This second disc might not be very interesting to an old time fan like myself as I have the three original albums, but for newcomers disc 2 is a great way of getting acquainted with Atheist.

As the live part of the album is enjoyable leaning towards the excellent and the tracks chosen for the compilation are great and gives a decent insight for newcomers to how Atheist sounds I think a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is warranted.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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