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Atheist - Elements CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.16 | 297 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Fantastic swan song for the Funkiest death metal band in existence.

ATHEIST were amongst a sparse group of highly influential and respected progressive death metal bands such as CYNIC and PESTILENCE who were brave enough to try and succeed in melding genres and musical ideas from progressive rock and jazz into a tehcnical death metal framework and arguably they were the most succesful in getting the right combinaiton ofthe two.

I'm not going to lie to you here, atheist are my favourite band and have been for several months now just so you know where I'm coming from on this band. That said on first impressions I wasn't terribly impressed with this album, it was at a time when I was really getting into thrash metal and had only just discovered technical metal and on comparison to unquestionable presence their earlier album I was somewhat underwhelmed with the lack of speed and technicality, it also has a lot more clarity and is signicantly less heavy (good things from a prog perspective really, this just allows for greater dynamics in the music which are well utilized on this album). As all good albums do though this one grew on me and to such a point where I love every single (proper) song on the album.

The album focuses obviously on elements and in a lot of cases ATHEIST do a remarkable job of conveying feelings and atmospheres assosciated with the elements for example the song animal has a very organic and natural feel as if you were a proud lion roaming in a jungle (sounds pretty lame doesn't it?).

Straight up probably my favourite song on the album is the opener 'green', it has this great cuban/latin feel along with the sweet riffs and pacing - just has fantastic direction and is remarkably musical which one will find is a trend throughout the entire album. The next song 'water' is another fantastic piece melding flamenco stylings with metal featuring some superb acoustic guitar parts. Then we come up upon one of the 'filler' songs on the album entitled 'samba briza', a nice little jazz interlude, there are about 4 of these filler songs on the album and they are quite suitable really I'd much rather have 8 great songs with 4 interludes than 8 great songs and 4 mediocre songs. Track number 6 animal is another favourite of mine, fantastic flowing song as I mentioned earlier with penetrating bass.

One of the things I love about ATHEIST is that they really know how to end an album as with on the previous album they have a slowish and more ominous song leading into the final (and fantastic) song top marks.

The musicianship on this album is top notch the drumming although not as frenetic as on previous albums is very funky and varied and there are some leviathan fills there isn't really any double kick aside from the odd triplet and fill here and there which is a pleasant change and fits the new style of the band. The bass well to fans of the genre tony choy needs on further introduction, he is a masterful bassist, extremely funky and interesting (he plays slap) veteran of many highly respected technical death metal bands. The guitars form more of a focal point on this album as opposed to the rythmn section and they don't disappoint, the riffs are always interesting, the harmonies are always calculated and never cheesy and the solos a freakin' bitchin'. The vocals I find are perfect for ATHEIST they aren't a growl or a guttoral vocal and they are often double and triple tracked to add an ethereal and meaty feeling to it (sounds conrtadictory but you'll understand if you hear it) more of an aggressive bark a growl would be too heavy and singing would be well not heavy enough to suit the music really.

This is a fantastic album for anyone into more extreme prog metal as well as andventurous and interesting metal. Every song is gold - very well written (written and recorded in only a month too), it's interesting, it's varied and it's unique and it's continually listenable after many listenings. 5 stars - Highly recommended.

FruMp | 5/5 |


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