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Atheist - Unquestionable Presence CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.20 | 352 ratings

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5 stars I strongly considered knocking this down to a 4.5 stars, but I can't see enough flaws in it to bring it down that far. Its relatively brief length is probably all it has going against it. ATHEIST's second album was almost all finished before Roger Patterson's untimely death, and represents a massive progressin in a short space of time. ATHEIST had fully embraced a technical, jazz oriented sytle to playing death metal and laid everything down here with not a moment wasted on anything. While the trueness of this crossover is debated, I feel perfectly comfortable with the way this album has been made and appreciate the crazy step up in outlandish structures and mind boggling musicianship from the debut.

It's a very harsh album still, and what it lacks in brutality compared to bands like SUFFOCATION it more than makes up for in originality and going such a long way to show what bands this extreme can actually perform. It feels confident that it can break down the stereotypes often associated with heavy music. It employs an even greater multitude of riffs carried along through many tempo and time signature shifts not present on "Piece of Time" making the songs require effort to get past the initially confusing nature of what is being played and notice the quality of it instead. The constant shifts and changes may not be to everyone's taste, but fit perfectly within the extreme metal style it is rooted in. It is safe to say that you will not enjoy this if you are not a fan of, or at least accustomed to ordinary death metal. Mother Man, Unquestionable Presence, Enthralled in Essence and And the Pshychic Saw most immediately represent the new style to its fullest. They also show new bassist Tony Choy's more fluid and jazz oriented style which is a contrast with Roger Patterson's manic playing.

Like "Piece of Time", the 2005 reissue includes old demos (chief among them a 1990 pre-producion demo with Roger Patterson on bass!) and the insightful liner notes by Kelly Shaefer. A must have album for death metal and prog metal fans!

Xanadu97 | 5/5 |


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