ATHEIST
Death Metal / Progressive Metal • United States

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Atheist is a death metal band from Sarasota, Florida, USA and regarded as one of the main developers of Floridian death metal. Their music is highly technical and sometimes reminiscent of jazz, combining brutal riffs with subtle latin music arrangements. They were founded in 1984 under the name Oblivion by guitarist (and later vocalist) Kelly Shaefer and drummer Mark. Mark was later replaced by drummer Steve Flynn because Kelly and Steve had similar musical tastes. Roger Patterson would later join as their bassist.

By early 1985, Oblivion changed their name to R.A.V.A.G.E. (Raging Atheists Vowing A Gory End). As R.A.V.A.G.E., they recruited a singer that is only known by the name of Scrappy. He did not participate on any of the R.A.V.A.G.E. recordings. The first demo was released in 1985 and it was called Kill or Be Killed (also known as the Rotting in Hell demo).
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Unquestionable PresenceUnquestionable Presence
Remastered · Extra tracks
Relapse 2005
Audio CD$4.18
$4.30 (used)
ElementsElements
Remastered · Extra tracks
Relapse 2005
Audio CD$3.31
$4.00 (used)
JupiterJupiter
Limited Edition
Season of Mist 2010
Audio CD$4.98
$5.09 (used)
Piece of TimePiece of Time
Remastered · Extra tracks
Relapse 2005
Audio CD$24.29
$9.28 (used)
Unquestionable Presence: Live at WackenUnquestionable Presence: Live at Wacken
Relapse 2009
Audio CD$3.99
$4.06 (used)
ElementsElements
Season of Mist 2013
Vinyl$15.70
$30.07 (used)
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ATHEIST Discography

ATHEIST albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.01 | 30 ratings
Piece of Time
Death Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 4.29 | 40 ratings
Unquestionable Presence
Death Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 4.15 | 35 ratings
Elements
Progressive Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 3.77 | 26 ratings
Jupiter
Death Metal 2010

ATHEIST EPs & splits

ATHEIST live albums

.. Album Cover 3.74 | 3 ratings
Unquestionable Presence: Live at Wacken
Death Metal 2009

ATHEIST demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Beyond
Death Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo '89
Death Metal 1989

ATHEIST boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
The Collection
Death Metal 2005

ATHEIST singles (1)

.. Album Cover
3.02 | 3 ratings
Second to Sun
Death Metal 2010

ATHEIST movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

ATHEIST Reviews

ATHEIST Piece of Time

Album · 1989 · Death Metal
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Vobiscum
Recorded in 1988, released in Europe in 1989 and the U.S. in 1990, "Piece of Time" joins the "death metal" elements with "progressive". The outcome is exquisite. The sound is surprising because until then I had only learned of bands of "death metal" that did not have great rhythmic variation. The band's name already exposes the ideological issue in their letters. With "Kelly Shaefer" on vocals and guitar, and primary lyricist, and also "Rand Burkey" on the other guitar, "Steve Flynn" in the sticks and finally bassist "Roger Patterson", the band showed quality work unquestionable and with a vision beyond his time. "Roger Patterson" stands taken by the sound of your bass, the guitar riffs are the bridge between "death metal" and "progressive", and rhythmic changes made ​​by the drummer. In fact the strong point of this album, the band itself is innovation. "Piece of Time" is an album of short tracks, but full of quality and musicianship. If at times the sound exposes his side "death metal" on the other side so complex exposes more "progressive".

ATHEIST Jupiter

Album · 2010 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Atheist's comeback album Jupiter finds the band injecting the death metal back into their sound to an extent not heard since Piece of Time, with the jazz motifs of Unquestionable Presence or Elements serving the metal rather than existing in their own space. On the whole, it's a good and enjoyable listen, even though the technical death metal world has moved on since the band's glory days; my major criticism of the album is that after the first few songs it begins to feel a bit samey, something which was never the case on their earlier albums; a few quieter spots or the inclusion of moments where the jazz outweighs the death metal, as on their previous two albums, might have gone a long way to keeping things varied here.

ATHEIST Elements

Album · 1993 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Atheist continued in their jazz-metal direction on Elements, which is a decent album which I would recommend to any fan of their earlier albums - though I would say I think it's a mite bit less good than Unquestionable Presence. Part of this is due to the fact that the album is a little bit unfocused, whereas its predecessor seemed to be a bit tighter - possibly due to the band's desire to pay tribute to the late Roger Patterson that time around - and part of this is down to the vocals, on those tracks where they crop up, just being a little half-hearted, as though the band really wanted to do an all-instrumental album. Still, these are quibbles: it's a decent jazz-tech-death hybrid, and if you liked the earlier Atheist albums you should give it a go.

ATHEIST Unquestionable Presence

Album · 1991 · Death Metal
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Warthur
Unquestionable Presence is not an album which will yield its secrets on a single listen - but one listen will be enough to convince anyone that it's a groundbreaking moment in death metal, taking the technicality of the genre to the next level by including far more jazz-inspired time signatures and motifs to the music than the preceding Piece of Time (which was hardly simple and straightforward itself). At points, the music resembles the work of the Minutemen, whose work in fusing avant-jazz in hardcore punk was another great example of shoving some jazz in a genre which didn't seem built for it and coming up with brilliant results.

ATHEIST Piece of Time

Album · 1989 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Atheist's debut album is an intriguing hint at what was to come. Though incorporating a wider range of influences and a tricker variety of time signatures than typical death metal groups of the era, the band's sound was at this point still rooted in the genre's typical sound (the more technical end of it, at any rate) and hadn't yet brought their avant-garde jazz influences to the fore as they would on Unquestionable Presence. What you get on Piece of Time, then, is a bizarre mixture of well-performed death metal with the occasional jazzy or proggy interjection inserted here or there.

Blink and you'll miss 'em, and might be left thinking "Wait, did Roger Patterson just play a Chris Squire bassline or am I just hearing things?", but pay attention and Piece of Time will unveil more and more signs that it's more than just another response to Possessed. Still, even more experimental territory was coming up.

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