Believer
Sanity Obscure


4.0
excellent

Review

by DePlazz USER (7 Reviews)
February 13th, 2019 | 18 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Death is certain for all. Until then, whether you want to be Atheist or Believer, or a bit of both, it's all good.

Let's just get right down to the core of this mother***er, shall we: the guitar distortion. I could listen to this album for days on end just for the gain, which is insane. And I'd probably give my right pinky to get the EQ parameters Believer used to dial in their guitar tone. It's mid-scooped era metal, obviously, but with just the right frequency filters and enhancements to make for an absolutely pulverizing sound. Applied to the palm-muted technical riffs, and in combination with the drums and the bass, the effect is simply devastating.

Apart from that, three things need to be said about this album. First, the riffing speed is uncanny at times. Apart from the dissonant hooks (which in some places involuntarily call to mind Voivod's Killing Technology and Dimension Hatröss, and anticipate thrash-era Extol), your brain will register the palm-muted triads in, say, Wisdom's Call's main riff, only your ears may not have picked them up immediately. As for Idols of Ignorance, to this day I can hardly grasp the stampede, head-over-heels tempo of the main riff together with the drums.

Second, orchestral thrash. They did it on Extraction From Mortality and they'll do it again on Dimensions, but Dies Irae must be Believer's most effective experiment in combining thrash metal with symphonic arrangements and female operatic vocals. Together with the other tracks, it makes Sanity Obscure into a uniquely deranged thrash album, manic precursor to the much more cerebral and jazzier opus Dimensions.

Third, the Christian thing. Imagine living in a totalitarian theocracy in which you're only allowed to listen to music by artists labeled as 'Christian'. Your worst nightmare, you 'd think - perhaps, but not entirely. Even in the niche of extreme metal, there would be a select handful of bands giving you an idea of what quality thrash, including its progressive and technical ramifications, is about. Believer's discography would be part of that canon, and this is one of their finest offerings. On the other hand, there's few cases in which labeling music as 'Christian' is more pointless than this one. Roadrunner Records seems to have shared this view when it took over the band and this album from Christian label R.E.X. Music, understanding its potential to reach a larger audience. There's Christian- and biblical-themed lyrical content here for sure, in acceptable measures, on roughly half of the tracks. But do we really care" (Hell, even Creeping Death had Hetfield doing a Yahweh impersonation.) By contrast, a track like Nonpoint is all about the environmental pollution theme, much like new label mates Annihilator did with Stonewall on Never, Neverland in the same year.

All things considered, this is a genuinely ferocious offering of death-tinged technical thrash metal that, for 1990 at least, deserves a rightful place among the likes of Atheist, Anacrusis and Death. Could have done without the U2 cover in the end, but there we are.



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user ratings (75)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
DePlazz
February 13th 2019


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Funny how the *fucks* get censored automatically, first time I notice this. Plus the ?>" thing still isn't sorted out.

Anyway, I'd like some comments on this one.

Digging: Corum - Riffhead

Space Jester
February 13th 2019


6274 Comments


Nice man, I agree these guys were up there with those other bands you mentioned. Hell, Dimensions and Cynic’s Focus were released a day apart iirc which is pretty wild.

DePlazz
February 13th 2019


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah man. And Dimensions is great of course, classic in its own right.

Source
February 13th 2019


10887 Comments


Nice job dude

Source
February 13th 2019


10887 Comments


You should also review extraction

DePlazz
February 13th 2019


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks Source. Maybe I will

Source
February 13th 2019


10887 Comments


My favorite thing about this album is how it starts with rudolph the red nosed reindeer

Friday13th
February 13th 2019


6785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah the guitar tone on this album is sick

DePlazz
February 13th 2019


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"My favorite thing about this album is how it starts with rudolph the red nosed reindeer"

Didn't even catch that, thanks for pointing out

Source
February 13th 2019


10887 Comments


It's hilarious

DePlazz
February 13th 2019


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"Yeah the guitar tone on this album is sick"

Yeah, Dimensions has it as well, but more polished. I could listen to this tone for days, wouldn't make much sense without the riffs of course

Friday13th
February 13th 2019


6785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"My favorite thing about this album is how it starts with rudolph the red nosed reindeer"



omigosh haha I can't believe I never caught that



TheSonomaDude
February 13th 2019


6829 Comments


this has never been reviewed before? damn. good album

DungeonBoy
February 14th 2019


5992 Comments


10/10 Summary

Digging: D'un Autre Temps - Nos Mmoires

DungeonBoy
February 14th 2019


5992 Comments


"My favorite thing about this album is how it starts with rudolph the red nosed reindeer"

lol, played through dying ice cream truck speakers.

DePlazz
February 14th 2019


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

m/

Rudolph to begin with & U2 to end - the circle is complete, a conceptual envelope! These guys are mad geniuses.

Source
February 14th 2019


10887 Comments


If this had an original song in place of the u2 cover, i'd 5 it

DePlazz
February 14th 2019


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, I'd 4.5 it without the u2 cover



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