on 1 September 2005
Let me start by saying, this is one of the greatest albums to have been recorded, by any band or artist, of any genre, or any time. This is nothing short of music at it's absolute finest; an artform of expression and experimentation. The themes, styles, musical textures and forms explored on this album are almost indescribable, swathing some of the most awe-inspiring Technical Metal with astounding Jazz Fusion influences. This albums owes as much to John McLaughlin as it does, lets say Iron Maiden, yet Atheist transcend their influences, creating something utterly unique, more of a journey through a soundscape than an amalgamation of styles.
This album is a singular vision, a true work of art and one of the most radical, challenging, not to under-rated pieces of music in history.
on 14 January 2006
I cannot believe I hadnt heard of this band until 2 weeks ago, this album is awesome. Released in 1991 at a time when metal was dipping out of fashion and grunge was taking over, Unquestionable Presence was unfairly overlooked it would seem. The music is very complex with nice heavy riffs, and loads of time changes in each song, the drummer is absolutely fantastic, and all 4 of them seem to be very skilled musicians. Technical metal at its most masterful.
on 17 September 2007
Since buying this album I've found it difficult to listen to anything else. This is not an album that you'll 'get' on your first listen but it comprises outstanding bass-work and guitar riffs with odd-metre time signatures, off-beat drumming and some of the most beautiful solos I've ever heard ('Enthralled in Essence' especially). The vocals are shrieked rather than grunted (and when one takes the trouble to read them are surprisingly intellectual) but are amazingly hard to follow when trying to take in the instrumental parts as well. I keep listening to the album and hearing new things on each play. This album won't appeal much to people who aren't used to non-sung vocals as the diction isn't always the best, but the musicianship and song-writing is second to none. This album can be appreciated by open-minded individuals with an interest in Death, Math or Hardcore metal, Jazz and possibly even Classical music (but think Bartok or Scriabin rather than Mozart!).
Atheist’s 2nd album follows up on their stunning debut with some even more complicated technical death metal, complete with bizarre time changes and jaw dropping musicianship. What keeps this from just being a dry exercise in musical proficiency however is the mass of catchy death metal riffs the band manage to insert in the songs. Great stuff, and the bonus demo material featuring original bassist Roger Patterson is arguably even more impressive. Recommended for all fans of technical death metal.