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Atheist - Unquestionable Presence CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.20 | 337 ratings

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5 stars Atheist needs no introduction, seing as how they are one of the more exalted metal bands ever to form. Unquestionable Presence is the follow-up to their extremely polished and well executed first album, Piece of Time. It would be a very tough act to follow and even tough to expand upon. But here, we find them coming at us with songs that are more polished, better executed, but most interestingly, more mature. This is a band that had obviously done their homework before showing up in the studio. We find an interesting middle ground between their debut and their swansong, Elements. The former is perhaps a touch too uninhibited for the average prog, non-metalhead listener. Elements, while surely many prog fans' favourite Atheist record, is nowhere near being their best, some saying it's a comeplete joke. I wouldn't call it a joke, but it's clear that they were slightly outside their (bad pun alert) element! The riffing from the two lefty guitarists is impressive at first listen and even moreso when you learn that they built the guitar parts around the bass lines of the late, great Roger Patterson. This is not strickly jazz, but the tendencies are there and evident enough for anyone with a sweet tooth for jazz to pick out (the guy who gave this two stars should never be allowed to listen to metal again). There are NO weak tracks, but if I were to choose a few standouts, I would not hesitate to say that they are Mother Man, the title track and And Incarnation's Dream. These are three classic metal tracks that must be heard to believe the innovation that was going on between these musicians. I once thought that Cynic's Focus was really THE non-traditional metal album, but they're a tad too busy trying to make it sound extra-terrestrial. The gimmick wear a bit thin, even if the music is still spectacular. Not with these guys. They lose none of ferocity associated with Death Metal is their interpretation of the style. With this ferocity, there is a sheen and melodicism rarely, if ever found withing the genre, which makes this album an oddity. One that cannot be missed.
| 5/5 |


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