Atheist
Elements


4.0
excellent

Review

by Neoteric USER (86 Reviews)
February 21st, 2006 | 107 replies | 20,721 views


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist


1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Atheist are a jazz death metal band from the sunny state Florida. They started under the name R.A.V.A.G.E. which is an acronym for Raging Atheists Vowing a Gory End. There music is technical with a jazz influence in the mix. They have a lot of Latin music sample incorporated in the music as well as brutal riffs to go along with it. The debut album Piece of Time was recorded in 1988 yet had to wait till the start of the ‘90s to release it to the world. ’91, tragedy for the band grew as bass player Roger Patterson died in a car crash. They then recruited Tony Choy to play on Unquestionable Presence which is no doubt there strongest album. The band broke off in 1992 to reunite in 1993. They released Elements and sadly, broke up for a final time after that.

Have you ever heard the term Jazz Death Metal? Strange, because I hadn’t until I was shown this band by a guy that plays too much videogames. I thought I saw it all until I listened to these guys. They have jazz drum beats and jazzy classical guitar interludes; they even have Latin music in certain parts. The strange part though is that it works and they pull it off well. Not to say this isn’t heavy though as there still are those death metal grunts and sometimes there is a Dani Filth -kind of- high screeches but not as high as he would have done it. They still have heavy riffs and the drumbeats are hard to decipher for wacky time signatures. The bass is really high in the mix and adds to the brutality.

I had first heard this band when I was at my friend’s house; he talks to this guy on IM which he met on some online game. My friend showed me the music he sent him and one of those was Atheist’s Water, it was amazing. And suddenly I got a fright when Kelly starts singing…

"STORMLIT! AQUA!!!! STORMLIT! AQUA!!!"

…as you might have guessed I’m not too big on my death metal but the vocals and the riffs were breathtaking. I decided to get the album after wondering about the brutality.

The album opens up with “Air" which has a pretty laid-back intro. It has some tremolo picked solo to start us off and a simple drum-beat. This is off course till the vocals come in. The nightmare begins. The song is a bit repetitive but the guitars and the bass makes you ignore it. At the end, we have the same laid-back intro as the start and there is a jazz guitar solo. The song is so cool and I liked it first time but that doesn’t compare to anything on the album. Waiting to see when I get to “Water", it wasn’t that long when the track preceded “Air". I couldn’t get enough of the intro riff. The vocals come in not long after the intro. The Latin guitar interlude is cool to listen to and it’s pretty fun to learn if you have a classical guitar at home. My favourite part is when Kelly sings “Storm lit, aqua!" It is sung by the bottom of his throat. The guitar solo is also killer, since I’m speaking so much of the instruments I’ll expand.

First things first though, the musicians can play their instruments. Damn well I might add. Kelly is an awesome vocalist, a real death metal voice too. He has a deep grunt that can make you go “wow" and when he isn’t grunting, his voice is like a room with knifes sticking out the wall. Yes, his voice is rough. The guitars are a breath of fresh air, while dabbling in heavy riffs and solos; they also include Jazz guitars and Latin interludes which make the song more special and are quite a nice touch to what is a great album. The bass is awesome, it is loud and I can even hear it through the guitars. Tony serves up some great lines so I’d recommend bassists to check this album out definitely. Marcel seems a master of strange time signatures. I can’t follow the drums sometimes unless I know what time signature it is in. The band as a whole are strong and they play well. The bass is loud, the vocals are low, the guitars are brutal but also jazzy and Latin influenced and the drums are awkward and hard.

A great track is the acclaimed (by me) “Mineral" which starts on a gentle note until Kelly sings, “Leave us alone, we never harmed you. Leave us alone, we beg of you". The song doesn’t pick up until about 1:10 where we get the usual heaviness and tremolo-picked solo. The solo is tasty though. There are a few solos in the song and they are all brilliant and incredibly fast. I admit that I laughed when I first heard Samba Briza which I thought was a heavy song with its clear bass-line until I get what? I get some random Latin polka song that’s 2 minutes. It is just weird to hear this after the heaviness the before track had. Sadly there is 4 fillers on the album which leaves us with only eight songs. While the fillers are a nice treat in a weird kind of way, it distracts from the main songs. They shouldn’t have done that but hey, they only released the album to get out of a record contract so I can understand that but that kind of sucks.

††††
Recommended:
Water
Air



Recent reviews by this author
Pink Reason Cleaning the MirrorThinking Fellers Local 282 Lovelyville
Primal Scream Beautiful FutureCan Future Days
King Crimson DisciplineWilliam Basinski Melancholia
user ratings (542)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
blueyxd (4.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Neoteric
February 21st 2006



3243 Comments


it's nearly off the frontpage and it doesn't have any comments. Oh noez!!!11

Cravinov13
February 21st 2006



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

nothing Atheist deserves just a 4. :D

Good review, but the album opens up with Green, not Air.

circleofdeadchildren
February 21st 2006



119 Comments


Great Review/cd!

Shadows
Moderator
February 21st 2006



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Greatness! I just got this a little bit ago, it's only my second Atheist album after having Unquestional Presence for the longest time. Both are really good and I'm enjoying them. Unfortunately, I think I prefer Cynic. They seemed to be able to fuse jazz with death metal and make it flow into a kind of surreal sound, while Atheist sounds a little more psychotic.

Wizard
January 20th 2008



19208 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I picked this up today. Solid piece of prog-metal.

They have a lot of Latin music sample incorporated in the music

Where?

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

Wizard
January 23rd 2008



19208 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Retract my above comment. I can hear the odd Latin influence, but there's certainly not alot of it.

FR33L0RD
January 23rd 2008



1461 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not bad but i can listen to Atheist very occasionally, IMO it drags quickly.


HenchmanOfSanta
July 10th 2008



1852 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Air doesn't open this album.

moltenlava
July 10th 2008



312 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Super sweet sounds of the 70's, this is. Love it to pieces. The world should be split between those who get this recording and those who don't.



DeathThrashProg
August 25th 2008



500 Comments


i only have "air" and "mineral" but they slay. especially the intro and middle guitar section of "air"

Motiv3
August 14th 2010



8906 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

bit disappointed in this album, underwhelming compared to UP.

Digging: Opeth - Pale Communion

Terrifyer
August 14th 2010



3403 Comments


yeah Piece Of Time and Unquestionable Presence are much better

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
August 14th 2010



18005 Comments


This is my favorite Atheist album.

Digging: Autechre - Draft 7.30

vanderb0b
August 14th 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I prefer Unquestionable Presence, but only very slightly. Samba Briza is hilarious.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
August 14th 2010



18005 Comments


My favorite on here is Fire. I don't really know why, i just liked the really jazzy, latin sound this album had. I like the other two, but not as much as this.

vanderb0b
August 14th 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fire slays, but my favorite is definitely Water. The jazz influence is awesome, but I think the album drags a bit around the middle, hence my preference of Unquestionable Presence.

Jethro42
August 14th 2010



12365 Comments


sup vander, buddy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqJm5vJhRQY
this is hilarious. HE HAAaaa

vanderb0b
August 14th 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol, that was pretty awesome. I don't know a thing about drumming, but he's pretty good.

Jethro42
August 14th 2010



12365 Comments


haha...He's up there with the all time greatest, man.
edit: He was the guy for 'Chick Corea Electric Band', so yes.

vanderb0b
August 14th 2010



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never heard of them, I'll check them out.



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 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy