Believer
Transhuman


4.5
superb

Review

by keyserfunk USER (1 Reviews)
April 20th, 2011 | 12 replies | 4,310 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Believer births an outstanding modern metal album that expertly blends and simplifies their progressive, death, and thrash metal roots into a more accessible yet still super heavy sound that should please most avid metal fans.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Warning: Below you will read the words of a decades long fan of heavy metal, a metal layman if you will. I do not play nor study music and thus know not and therefore am unable to express the precise musical terminology and jargon put forth in most other reviews on this site. If Descartes was a fan of heavy metal, his philosophy would follow, "I listen, therefore I am."

I spent a day and a half playing this album repeatedly, to the tune of probably 15-20 spins. Not because I had nothing better to do nor had a dearth of other recently released albums to listen to, but because Believer's Transhuman is an extremely and surprisingly "listenable" album that flows well from start to finish. It is not an easy task for a band with the progressive death/thrash pedigree of Believer to effectively pull off this challenging and risky venture. Transhuman comes out of the sausage maker as a cleverly straight forward meshing of their past stylings into a more accessible, compact, modern metal sound, and they appear to do it so effortlessly.

Many Believer fans may mark this as the band's "sell out" moment. I view Transhuman as a clearly focused new direction that purposefully carves out an unpretentious, back-to-basics statement that great new metal does not require Cray computers and a physics degree to enjoy. They had me with the memorable lead track, "Lie Awake."

The quick and dirty: this is one of my favorite new metal albums of the year, and I also like it better than both Dimensions and Gabriel " Believer's previous two albums that were separated by years. I suspect that my intimate familiarity with their past work, which is pretty different from yet still influences this album, had an impact on my rating. Already knowing that the band is more than capable of going off in complex, technical metal tangents and thrashing it out with proficient lightning speed made their simpler approach on this album that much more credible for me. Believer gives off such an aura of confidence in their craft as they lay down some pretty thick riffs and urgent vocals from track to track -- it is hard to not just nod your head in understanding and amazement and give thanks. I just feel like I "get it," which is becoming rarer by the day with so many of the newer “mathcore-ish” metal albums out there. Even though Believer's most complicated wizardry isn't at work here, it is clear that each track was well thought out and developed with patience, and practiced thoroughly, before it was almost perfectly executed in the studio.

Believer's Transhuman showcases great song writing and production values that emphasize a heavy, grind-it-out, almost "classic metal" sound throughout. I love their bludgeoning main riffs and hooks with more-processed yet still haunting vocals, that are welded together by emotional choruses and solos that and fit each song perfectly. And the creative atmospherics in the background really complement the music's solid foundations well, not diverting focus away from the primary work at hand.


user ratings (68)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
JM (3)
"Creativity doesn't always mean progression"...

Trey Spencer STAFF (4)
Believer has never been a band that revisits the past, and that has never been more apparent than no...

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Dimensions

Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2011



5971 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well written, have a pos.

This is indeed a great record with good replay value.

Digging: Lisa Gerrard - Twilight Kingdom

Willie
Moderator
April 20th 2011



15897 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review. It's cool to read the perspective of someone that has followed these guys for a while. I only got into them on Gabriel.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2011



6986 Comments


Needs POS. That 'warning' bit at the start explains yourself perfectly, it doesn't show too much though.

Emim
April 20th 2011



26570 Comments


Many Believer fans may mark this as the band's "sell out" moment.


I hate it when people label more palatable music as a "sell out" or "mainstream".


Great review and great album.

Willie
Moderator
April 20th 2011



15897 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I hate when people describe something as a "sell out", but I think the mainstream designation is alright.

Emim
April 21st 2011



26570 Comments


I guess it's more that I hate that mainstream has such a stigma attached to it.

Willie
Moderator
April 21st 2011



15897 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh, that makes sense. I like a lot of the mainstream stuff.

Emim
April 21st 2011



26570 Comments


Same here.


In any case, dis is some good shite.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2011



7346 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review but I don't agree with everything you stated. The musicianship on this album is excellent,
but I don't think that the songwriting is nearly as strong.

Digging: Kimbra - The Golden Echo

keyserfunk
April 24th 2011



281 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hi greg84. I appreciate you elaborating on your response to me on my profile page. I screwed up -- it would have
been more valuable for anyone reading the limited discussion of my review to read your opinion in this comments
field. I hope you don't mind me posting them below for others to read.

As far as your views on the song writing goes, you wrote, "I think it's the general problem of the whole album. I just
don't find their songs captivating or memorable enough. However, I dig the production and their sound. So,
Transhuman is still quite an enjoyable listen for me."

I thought quite a bit about your comments before responding since this is my first review and wanted to be as
objective as possible. I guess I still have to respectfully disagree. Strange, but obviously not that uncommon, that we
have such polar opposite views of the "memorableness" or individuality, for lack of better terms, of the songs on
Transhuman.

Maybe it is because I have immersed myself so deeply into this album and have lost perspective, but I still believe
each song was carefully written and executed to both stand alone and flow together as part of a broader soundscape.


Although, I think they each have their own unique identity, I certainly won't argue each song has a completely
different approach from the rest. To be fair I think we all have to agree that there are only so many directions you
can go with song structures on a metal album of this type -- it is my view that each song is meant to be a "tale" of a
larger "story" that gradually builds to the end in both musical and lyrical content; regardless, the variances that are
present are far more than subtle, in my humble opinion.

Anyway, I am long winded yet again. I don't intend to come across as defensive. Yours and all feedback, positive
and negative, is greatly appreciated.

Surprised to see over 200 views but only 9 comments. I wish to write more reviews but fear my "layman's" style is
not exactly what people on sputnik are looking for.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 25th 2011



7346 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I know what you're getting at. I still prefer more progressive influenced song structure. Plus, more hook-laden approach to songcraft would be cool. After a couple of spins, I just don't remember a lot about the songs and that's the thing I can do nothing about.

200 views is not that much to be honest. I guess the so-so response to your review is connected with the fact that this album has already been covered twice. I suggest writing reviews about not covered albums in order to get more comments. Plus, the album must be potentially attractive to Sputnikers if you care that much about readability and stuff. Your review looks promising so keep on writing. Cheers.

keyserfunk
April 25th 2011



281 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Much appreciated. We shall see.



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