BELIEVER

Technical Thrash Metal / Thrash Metal / Progressive Metal • United States
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BELIEVER is a technical/ progressive thrash metal act formed in Colebrook, Pennsylvania in 1986 by Joey Daub ( Drums) and Kurt Bachman ( vocals, guitar). They were joined by Howe Kraft ( Bass) and David Baddorf (guitar) and started playing melodic metal. They released the demo cassette The Return in 1987. BELIEVER started moving towards heavier territories after that and began playing technical thrash metal. An important ingredient in BELIEVER`s music that´s worthy of notice is Scott Laird´s orchestral string parts which became more and more integrated into their music with each album. Scott Laird was one of Bachman´s old high school friend. Many of the progressive elements in BELIEVER`s music come from his involvement.

Right from the start the band´s lyrics about philosophy and theology have put them on the forefront of the Christian metal movement and the aggressive sound on the debut album Extraction from Mortality (1989) gave them
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BELIEVER Discography

BELIEVER albums / top albums

BELIEVER Extraction From Mortality album cover 3.28 | 3 ratings
Extraction From Mortality
Technical Thrash Metal 1989
BELIEVER Sanity Obscure album cover 3.61 | 6 ratings
Sanity Obscure
Technical Thrash Metal 1990
BELIEVER Dimensions album cover 3.89 | 5 ratings
Dimensions
Technical Thrash Metal 1993
BELIEVER Gabriel album cover 4.29 | 3 ratings
Gabriel
Technical Thrash Metal 2009
BELIEVER Transhuman album cover 3.28 | 5 ratings
Transhuman
Progressive Metal 2011

BELIEVER EPs & splits

BELIEVER live albums

BELIEVER The Chosen Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Chosen Live
Technical Thrash Metal 2007

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

BELIEVER The Return album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Return
Thrash Metal 1987

BELIEVER re-issues & compilations

BELIEVER singles (1)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Stop the Madness
Technical Thrash Metal 1991

BELIEVER movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Ultimate Collectors Video:Home Video
Technical Thrash Metal 1991

BELIEVER Reviews

BELIEVER Gabriel

Album · 2009 · Technical Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Gabriel" is the 4th full-length studio album by US technical/progressive thrash metal act Believer. It´s been 16 years since the release of the predecessor "Dimensions (1993)" and I think most fans at this point thought Believer was history. Fortunately lead vocalist/guitarist Kurt Bachman and drummer Joey Daub, who were also the core members on the first three albums by the band, started rehearsing and writing new material in 2005. Believer then signed a three-album deal with Metal Blade Records and "Gabriel" is the first of those three to appear. The album was released in March 2009.

16 years is a long recording break but the music on "Gabriel" is unmistakably the sound of Believer. Their trademark aggressive and technical/progressive thrash metal style is very much intact on the album. "Dimensions (1993)" was their most progressive album out of the first three and while "Gabriel" features quite a few progressive moments I´d only call it semi-progressive compared to "Dimensions (1993)". Personally it´s of little importance to me and the quality of the music is so extremely high, with lots of intriguing moments and adventurous ideas, that the more direct and less progressive sound on the album is easily forgiven. Tracks like "Stoned", "Redshift" and the wonderful ending track "Nonsense Mediated Decay" do feature a lot of progressive moments though. The latter contains samples of someone talking about alien abductions and UFOs but with the twist that those might be actions of GOD. An interesting theory for sure and another take on the UFO myth. Believer´s lyrics are still written from a christian point of view, but they are not of the preachy kind. It´s a matter of how you communicate your point and I think Believer do a great job communicating their´s.

The tracks are generally more mid-paced than the case were on earlier releases by the band but there are still furiously fast-paced technical thrash metal tracks on the album like "The Need For Conflict" and "Focused Lethality". The album is actually pretty varied and there are also some melodic clean singing on the album which is a new thing in Believer´s universe. "Shut Out The Sun" features a semi-melodic chorus and "The Brave" features real clean and melodic singing. Kurt Bachman´s vocas are even more caustic and fiercely aggressive than on earlier releases though so the few clean vocals on the album shouldn´t be a cause for alarm, for those who don´t enjoy clean singing.

The level of musicianship is high on all posts. Tight rhythmic interplay, powerful vocals, and great guitar solos make this a raw yet sophisticated and intriguing listening experience. The sound production by The Trauma Team (Kurt Bachman and Joey Daub) is powerful and dark. Seldom have I heard a more heavy and brutal guitar sound. It´s very balanced though and you can hear everything that´s being played. A very successful production to these ears.

Upon conclusion "Gabriel" is a strong technical/progressive thrash metal album. I find it highly recommendable to those who enjoy technical/progressive thrash metal with 90s sensibilities (spiced up with some contemporary ideas). A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved. A welcome return to a band who deserve much more recognition than they´ve gotten so far in their career.

BELIEVER Dimensions

Album · 1993 · Technical Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Dimensions" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US technical/progressive thrash metal act Believer. It would also be their last album in 16 years as Believer disbanded in 1994 and wouldn´t release their next album "Gabriel" before 2009. The album was distributed by R.E.X. Records for the christian market (Believer write lyrics based on their christian beliefs) while Roadrunner Records distributed the album to the secular audience. "Dimensions" was re-released by Retroactive Records in December 2004 with 3 bonus tracks which were recorded live on the 31th of October 1989. The re-release is limited to 1000 copies. A few lineup changes have taken place since the release of their last album "Sanity Obscure (1990)" as guitarist Dave Baddorf and bassist Wyatt Robertson have left the band and Jim Winters has replaced them and handles both the bass and some of the guitars on "Dimensions". The core of the band, guitarist/lead vocalist Kurt Bachman and drummer Joey Daub are still present in the lineup.

The basis in the music on "Dimensions" is still aggressive technical thrash metal like Believer also played on their two previous albums but the music on "Dimensions" is far more sophisticated and varied than the case was on the predecessors. Believer venture into progressive territory more than once during the playing time and listeners who found their previous albums too simple should try this one out. There are lots of interesting time signature changes, samples, female soprano vocals and a far more integrated use of orchestral string arrangements on this one than what we´re used to from the band. The pace is generally a bit slower than the predominanly frantic pace of their earlier releases but there are still very fast paced sections on the album. The string arrangements are heard on "What is but cannot not be" but are fully integrated in the four chapter 20 minutes long suite (the songs are seperated. This is not one long track) "Trilogy of Knowledge". A powerful mix of technical thrash metal and classical string arrangements with both aggressive raspy vocals and female soprano vocal parts. This is the centerpiece, highlight, and the most progressive moment of the album. The other tracks on the album are quality material too.

The musicianship are on a high level throughout. Challenging compositional structures and tight playing make "Dimensions" an intriguing listening experience. The sound production by The Trauma Team (Kurt Bachman and Joey Daub) and Ted Hermanson is dark and powerful. An excellent sound that suits the music well. While Believer never received the attention they deserved I personally think "Dimensions" is a seminal technical/progressive thrash metal album from the 90s and mandatory listening if you´re a fan of the style. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

BELIEVER Sanity Obscure

Album · 1990 · Technical Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Sanity Obscure" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US thrash metal act Believer. The album was first released through R.E.X. Records in 1990 and then again in 1991 through Roadrunner Records. There´s been a change in the lineup since "Extraction from Mortality (1989)" as Howe Kraft has been replaced by new bassist Wyatt Robertson.

The technical and aggressive thrash metal style from the debut album is continued here and references to bands like Coroner and Kreator are still pretty obvious. The music is generally a bit more sophisticated than on the debut album though and there´s even a progressive tinged track on the album in "Dies Irae (Day of Wrath)". That song features orchestral string parts composed by Kurt Bachman´s high school friend Scott Laird as well as female soprano vocals courtesy of Laird´s sister Julianne Laird Hoge. A really innovative and quite interesting mix of thrash metal and classical music that was ahead of it´s time in 1990. The rest of the tracks on the album are in a more "regular" technical and aggressive thrash metal style with Kurt Bachman´s raw and fiercely aggressive vocals in front, spitting out lyrics which are still written from a christian point of view. "Stop the Madness" is an anti drug song though. Believer also play a U2 cover track in "Like a Song". It´s placed as the last song on "Sanity Obscure", which was probably a good idea as it does break the flow of the album.

The musicianship are on a high level. Believer are a very tight playing unit. Sharp, edgy, and fast precision playing. The sound production is a bit darker than on the debut which provides the music a harder edge and slightly more atmosphere too. "Sanity Obscure" is in all departments a great second album by Believer and a step up from the otherwise promising debut album "Extraction from Mortality (1989)". As mentioned above this is also the album where Believer start toying with semi-progressive ideas which was something they would explore further on subsequent releases. "Sanity Obscure" is however still first and foremost a technically well played thrash metal album. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

BELIEVER Extraction From Mortality

Album · 1989 · Technical Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Extraction from Mortality" is the debut full-length studio album by US thrash metal act Believer. As the band name may suggest the band´s lyrics revolve around theological and philosophical questions from a Christian point of view. The album was released through R.E.X. Records in 1989 and mainly distributed through christian bookstores. Roadrunner Records would however pick up on the band and release their next two albums "Sanity Obscure (1990)" and "Dimensions (1993)" to a secular audience while R.E.X. Records would still concentrate on mainly reaching a christian audience. "Extraction from Mortality" was re-released in 2001 by Millenium Eight Records featuring two bonus tracks.

Stylistically the music on "Extraction from Mortality" is technically well played thrash metal and a band like Coroner comes to mind more than once as well as the "Extreme Aggression (1989)" and "Coma of Souls (1990)" albums by Kreator. Bands like Demolition Hammer, Invocator and Sadus could also be mentioned a references. I know some refered to Believer as death/thrash back in the 90s so that might be a valid description although I personally think this is more thrash than death.

The tracks are predominantly fast-paced but the band play mid-paced sections too. The vocals are aggressive, raw, and raspy. Note the use of riot gang backing vocals on tracks like "D.O.S. (Desolation of Sodom)" and "Not Even One". A feature that is very much of the 80s but rather charming if you ask me. "Not Even One" is actually one of the highlights on the album but I´d also mention the really fast-paced "Blemished Sacrifices", which at it´s most frantic reminds me of Sadus, as a standout track. The melodic guitar solos deserve a mention too. They are generally very skillfully played and often work as a melodic counterpoint to an otherwise predominantly fiercely aggressive soundscape. "Stress" which closes the album is a bit of an odd song out on "Extraction from Mortality" as it´s more of a crossover sounding track with ska sections. It doesn´t really fit in that well with the rest of the material but it´s not terrible either.

The musicianship are overall on a high level and the sound production is really strong for the time. It reminds me a bit of the sound on "Extreme Aggression (1989)" by Kreator. So all in all "Extraction from Mortality" is a strong debut album by Believer and fans of brutal and technically well played thrash metal are hereby recommended to check out the album. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

BELIEVER Transhuman

Album · 2011 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"Transhuman" is the 5th full-length studio album by US thrash/metalcore/ progressive metal act Believer. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in April 2011 as number two album out of a three album deal the band inked with the label upon their return to the scene (Believer were split-up from 1994 to 2005).

"Gabriel (2009)" Was a strong return to the scene. A mix of thrash metal, progressive metal and a slight metalcore element worked really well. "Transhuman" is a rather different beast though and upon first listen I´ll admit I was a bit shocked. The thrash metal elements which have always been the basis of the band´s sound are not very dominant on "Transhuman". Instead it´s the progressive metal and the melodic metalcore elements of the band´s sound that are now in focus. "Transhuman" is as a consequence less harsh than any of the previous releases by the band. Keyboards are now an integrated and rather dominant part of the sound. That was to some degree also the case with "Gabriel", but much more on "Transhuman". Lead vocalist Kurt Bachman´s usually caustic vocal delivery is now much more melodic. He has maintained a raw tone though so don´t expect angelic singing.

The tracks vary between melodic metalcore and melodic progressive metal, which means that most of the songs are vers/chorus based with a strong emphasis on hook laden chorus lines (not completely unlike an act like Killswitch Engage), while a few have more intricate progressive structures (examples are "Ego Machine" and "Mindsteps"). The focus is always on accessebility and memorability though.

The sound production is very professional and detailed. I think the album lacks the warmer more full sound that "Gabriel" had, but the sound production suits the new musical direction very well.

"Transhuman" doesn´t exactly go down well with my personal tastes, and I really do miss the thrashy riffs, but personal tastes aside, "Transhuman" is a very professional and at times quite intriguing progressive metalcore album that I´m sure will appeal to a great deal of listeners. Fortunately after my shock reaction had passed upon my initial listen, I´ve found that the album has grown on me considerably and I won´t rule out the possibility that "Transhuman" might even grow on me to a degree where I´ll end up being really fond of the album. For now a 3.5 star (70%) rating is warranted. I think Believer lost just a slight bit of their trademark sound on this album, but they are still a very unique sounding act and that always deserves praise.

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