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Atheist - Unquestionable Presence CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.20 | 337 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars And the pioneers of technical death metal once more rightfully appear among the 20 most important albums of tech/extreme progressive metal history on Prog Archives

Initial thoughts: Unquestionable Presence was, from the very fist time i listened it, mind blowing: the mix of death metal with completely crazy time signatures and time signature changes, broken rhythm, fast paced playing reminded me a lot the avant-garde prog bands and they also crazy playing (maybe they play like that because they have clear jazz and progressive rock influences on this album, making the music sounds very special and different from everything i ever saw; some even say that this is a death-jazz album). This band is also one of my favorites extreme prog metal bands (right after Death and Opeth) because they could not only make good releases, but also help trace the boundaries of this sub-genre with their revolutionary albums.

About the songs, musicianship and other features there are some thing i would like to state:

This album lyrics and themes are very broad. It talks about nature, aliens, social issues, personal issues, and some more, being a really large selection of subjects. About musicianship, there is no question about these guys ability and competence. The music they play is extremely hard to play, going from heavy riffing to odd time signature solos with broken rhythm and atonalism and to clear playing, always playing incredibly fast and furiously. Although they crazy playing, all instruments are clearly hearable and balanced, i mean, there is not an instrument that have all attention all the time, like in some other bands such as Death; no, all is perfectly measured for the instruments to play as having the same importance. The vocals are also great, i mean, sure this kind of screamed vocal is not beautiful, but it fits perfectly in this kind of music. The vocals also follow the broken rhythm of the music, what is very interesting and worth note, even to death metal.

Grade and final thoughts: Damn, this hurts me but i must say it: this album is not for everyone, there, i said it. Being so metal and having such complicated music stuff to digest, this is the kind of crazy avant-garde prog metal masterpiece that takes a lot to digest and fully comprehend its importance to the style. if you don't like this kind of thing PLEASE, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD stay away from this album or AT LEAST listen it enough times to be sure of your grade (like a year); i mean it guys, seriously! Even though i was blown away and impressed by this album it took me a long time to fully appreciate this entirely.

Anyway, because Atheist helped to redefined what is extreme prog metal with their jazz beat, experimentalism and inovation and to push the boundaries as further as Death did and helped to trace a line to the new born genre with this test of musicianship, balance and hard work, Atheist deserves the masterpiece grade for sure!

CCVP | 5/5 |


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