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Atheist - Piece Of Time CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.77 | 136 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Now here is an interesting band. When I first looked into Atheist the idea of a "jazzy death metal" band had me intrigued, if not confused. That is what I love about prog, nothing seems to out of the realm of possibility. Atheist was born out of the Florida Death Metal scene, (thanks to Death, and it grew along other tech/jazz death metal band Cynic) and is one of my favorite albums. However, before I continue let me say this album is not for a regular progger, and even some prog-metal fans. It is a lot closer to true death metal then Opeth.

This album, as I just mentioned, is very influenced by death metal. It features death metal riffs, drumming, and vocals. However, "Piece of Time" does show a lot of technicality. The whole album is very stop and go, features many short guitar or bass breakdowns, technical riffs, progressing riffs throughout the song, and technical drumming, (influenced by Jazz it sounds).

Personally, I like Kelly Shaefer's vocals. I think they are distinct and different from most metal bands I have heard. His guitar work is great and technical and he plays some blazing solos. However, on this album they are very straightforward metal/shred solos. I love the way the guitars sound on this album, gives it a different feel from most metal. Roger Patterson plays some great bass, the only problem is you do not hear much of it, (due to just the music or low quality).

Steve Flynn is a great drummer, but is better showcased on their next album. However, he does display some seriously technical, and fast, drumming on "Piece of Time".

My Favorite songs on this album are "On They Slay" and "I Deny". However, some notable ones are "Unholy War" with its unique intro and a great chance to hear some bass and "No Truth" which has a mellow minute and a half long intro before plunged into the madness.

This is a great album, but perfect by no means. The production quality is fairly low. While this does give it a brutal, gritty sound it can be annoying at times. I have to turn the volume up fairly loud to hear this album well, and the guitar quality is still sketchy. Also, not every song is a winner. "Room With a View" and "Why Bother?" just do not do it for me and I usually can not make it through them.

Overall, a great album and I think it is a must for any fan of metal (thrash, death, technical) however this is NOT for the average progger... Also, if you are a casual fan of prog metal or into bands like Opeth, Tool, Dream Theater this is also not for you. Musically, and especially vocally, this is a brutal album and personally I do not think of it as progressive metal, but technical metal. However, if you like/can listen to most metal, including some harder prog bands, this is a great album for.

3 stars (again NOT for lighter prog-metal fans)

JJLehto | 3/5 |


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