Atheist
Elements


4.5
superb

Review

by blueyxd USER (15 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 57 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist


Atheist - Elements (1993)

First off, I'm not too sure about the band history and members etc, I know now this is their third album, but for me this review is more about the music.
Ok, it's death metal mixed with somewhat jazzy styles. The guitarists, bassist, and drummer very proficient and technical with their instruments, and they don't hold back in showing what they can do. Lots of solos, tricky riffs, a fair few time sig changes, but they never go "over the top".

There are 8 "real" songs, the other 4 (Samba Briza, Displacement, Fractal Point, and See You Again) are short, non-heavy, instrumental pieces, which are nice little breaks.
Samba Briza is a rather energetic samba (no, really) piece with piano and some bongos added in for maximum flavour.
Displacement.. its still quite jazzy, but on the relaxing side of things, just really nice.
Fractal Point kind of goes nowhere.
See You Again - same as Displacement.

Heaviness and jazziness are about 40% and 60% respectively, for every low and chunky chord or riff there is a high pitched run or two. The vocalist almost always growls, but he is fairly easy to understand compared to other vocalists that use this style.

Each song has its own theme (obviously in the titles), the lyrics take different viewpoints or styles in each song, eg. in Water and Mineral, the element is personified, Earth and Animal take a different approach. Another common theme in here is human kinds lack of care and respect for the natural environment.

The music is so well written and appropriate (maybe a little cliche?) that you could probably match a song with its title without even knowing it beforehand. So the songs all have their turn, giving a bit of insight, then each one is brought in together in the last track, Elements, which does drag on a bit, but at least its consistent and ties everything together well.

Production isn't great, the drums distort often, and sometimes the guitar too (as in being recorded too loud). But maybe that was planned... environmental theme and all. Maybe not. At least its nowhere near as bad/distorted as some black metal recordings.

My Favourites: Water, Displacement, Animal, Fire, and Earth.
I Recommend: Air and Earth, both are fairly easy to listen to, and represent the overall sound of the album well enough.
Listen if you like technical metal bands such as Cynic and Spiral Architect, though if you listen to them you probably already know Athiest.

I rate it 4.5/5
It's not 5/5 because of Fractal Point, some bits in the Elements song, and the production.
It's not 0-4/5 becuase the music is so awesomely written, arranged, set out, and played. It's heavy without being too heavy, and the jazz stuff is a really good balance to make up the other side of the songs where the heaviness isn't. The lyrics are good, the subject is something I can relate to (as an environmental science student), and I have similar views as the band expressed, which makes it a good motivator for me.

once again, that's 4.5/5 party whistles



Recent reviews by this author
Marcy Playground Marcy PlaygroundKarnivool Themata
Substitute Inc. Who Knows?Miocene Cellular Memory
Eluveitie VenCustard Loverama
user ratings (553)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Neoteric (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Bartender
Emeritus
April 19th 2004


826 Comments


Good review..I didn't expect anyone to review an Atheist CD, are you going to do any others, or Cynic, Watchtower, etc?

blueyxd
April 19th 2004


77 Comments


thanks, I might do Cynic - Focus when I find some more time and can have a good listen to it.
but theres other music styles I could do... it depends on what I'm listening to or feel like writing about

manuscriptreplica
April 19th 2004


431 Comments


atheist are cool. only heard a few songs though... which ones are the best ones on the CD (preferably the most technical, because I love technical metal) good review.

blueyxd
April 19th 2004


77 Comments


they're all pretty technical really, with that in mind I'd say you can't go wrong whichever song you get next, though I might stress Water... it doesnt really matter

Bartender
Emeritus
April 19th 2004


826 Comments


Yeah, Water's a good one to start with. I'm also a fan of Green.

blue, do you actually have a copy of this album?

sensitiveorgan00
April 19th 2004


41 Comments


Nice review. :thumb:
Is it true that Atheist cds are out of print?

blueyxd
April 19th 2004


77 Comments


I only have mp3s... but I would get if I found it and had enough money.. but if they are out of print.. ****

Per Ardua Ad Astra
April 19th 2004


106 Comments


Hey guys, would you recomend Atheist or Cynic to a metal head like me. I've heard some of Sean Malone's other projects (Gordian Knot mainly) and i like it. I've heard great things so which one...'
Atheist-Elements
or
Cynic-Focus

manuscriptreplica
April 20th 2004


431 Comments


atheist are better (from the few MP3's i have of each band). If you want some technical stuff, also check out Meshuggah. Cynic are still great though.

blueyxd
April 20th 2004


77 Comments


Out of those 2, Atheist is probably an easier listen.

Per Ardua Ad Astra, have you heard Aghora? They're a superb band which features Sean Malone, and sound more like GK than Atheist or Cynic.

SubtleDagger
April 20th 2004


737 Comments


I've really been getting into Cynic lately, as they are cited as a giant influence in today's math rock genre. Too bad Focus was their only album.

Bartender
Emeritus
April 20th 2004


826 Comments


Focus is their only album, but they have four self-titled demos, all well-worth downloading (or buying, if you can find the bastards). They also have four songs (2 original, one Metallica cover and one Mahavishnu Orchestra cover) not available on demo or album, but I haven't heard them. The members are also all over the place in various appearances on albums and things. See Cynical Sphere for more information.

Bartender
Emeritus
April 20th 2004


826 Comments


[QUOTE=Per Ardua Ad Astra]Hey guys, would you recomend Atheist or Cynic to a metal head like me. I've heard some of Sean Malone's other projects (Gordian Knot mainly) and i like it. I've heard great things so which one...'
Atheist-Elements
or
Cynic-Focus[/QUOTE]

If you're just going to get Focus or Elements, I'd go with Focus. If, for some reason, you're just going to check out one of the two bands, I'd go with Atheist. But you're probably going to have to download everything anyway, cos it's all so very rare ..so just get everything you can by both.

FillInTheBlankHere___
May 12th 2004


64 Comments


I heart this album. I downloaded the whole thing over dialup, which is a major feat. I wish I could find a real copy, it's one of my favourite CDs. For the record, there were two Atheist records before this: Unquestionable Presence (really technical metal, less jazzy than this), Piece of Time (the heaviest record, least technical and jazzy, but still awesome), and this one. Roger Patterson played bass on the first two albums, but died in a car crash, and was replaced by Tony Choy.

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

Bartender
Emeritus
May 12th 2004


826 Comments


I downloaded them all on 56k as well..I have too much time

I prefer Unquestionable Presence to the others, but only by a tiny margin.

SubtleDagger
May 12th 2004


737 Comments


Yeah, I thought Unquestionable Presence was better than this one.

YDload
May 12th 2004


1207 Comments


Which band had the bassist who was really good but died really young, Roger Patterson?

SubtleDagger
May 12th 2004


737 Comments


That's Atheist. They got a new one for Unquestionable Presence, and managed to keep trucking. Sucks that they lost him, though, he was awesome.

Per Ardua Ad Astra
May 13th 2004


106 Comments


[QUOTE=blueyxd]Per Ardua Ad Astra, have you heard Aghora? They're a superb band which features Sean Malone, and sound more like GK than Atheist or Cynic.[/QUOTE]

Cool, i'll be sure to check them out.

[QUOTE=Bartender]If you're just going to get Focus or Elements, I'd go with Focus. If, for some reason, you're just going to check out one of the two bands, I'd go with Atheist. But you're probably going to have to download everything anyway, cos it's all so very rare ..so just get everything you can by both.[/QUOTE]

Focus isn't really very rare, i've seen it on record sites and such but Atheist is mucho expensivo from what i've seen because it's so hard to find.

Toozey2
May 14th 2004


7 Comments


I'm pretty sure this was their last album as earlier stuff was more metal orientated.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy