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Atheist: Jupiter

Other than the reunion of Cynic a few years back, has there been any reformation of a classic extreme metal band that has drawn as much interest as Atheist? Now 17 years since their breakup, the band is back with a brand new album on Season of Mist called Jupiter.

As one of the bands that pioneered the whole technical death metal thing in the first place (alongside Cynic, Death, and Pestilence), Atheist show in the opening burst of "Second to Sun" that they are back, and back with a vengeance. Pulverizing drums blasts and blazing guitar work pummel the listener into submission while Kelley Shaefer's trademark screams just chill you to the core. Want to know where bands like Dillinger Escape Plan and the like got their style from? Just listen to this and find out. "Fictitious Glide" is a raging number led by Shaefer's delicious snarls and some relentless stick work courtesy of drummer Steve Flynn, and the dazzling guitar riffs from Chris Baker and Jonathan Thompson will just rip your brain to shreds on the crushingly complex "Fraudulent Cloth".

You just have to love the way this band mixes brutal death metal with intricate jazz bits, as they do on "Live and Live Again", and even marry galloping thrash with progressive metal on the grandiose "Faux King Christ", one of the most impressive tracks here. Want a shot of old school, Florida death metal? Look no further than "Tortoise the Titan", and the use of tasty harmony guitar lines with popping jazzy bass riffs and crushing chords on "Third Person" is just awe inspiring.

Hard to find fault with anything here, other than perhaps the slightly short running time of it all. Unlike many bands who come back and reunite after an extended absence, Atheist have proven here with Jupiter that they have not lost a step, and are ready to once again take back the technical death metal crown they helped created nearly 20 years ago.


Track Listing
1. Second to Sun
2. Fictitious Glide
3. Fraudulent Cloth
4. Live and Live Again
5. Faux King Christ
6. Tortoise the Titan
7. When the Beast
8. Third Person

Added: October 13th 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 2811
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Atheist: Jupiter
Posted by Jef B, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-10-13 06:17:12
My Score:

Live and Live Again

Seventeen years is a long time to wait between albums. Since 1993, the progressive death metal scene that Atheist helped form has changed drastically. Thus, a reunion after such a long hiatus is usually a risky move. The band has aged, but so have their fans and the music scene around them. Being able to adapt with these new surroundings is something that shows the true worth of any band - and Atheist has proved that they are worth their weight in gold. Jupiter is surely a comeback album if I've ever heard one. Atheist not only proves that they can still make great music, but they also show us why they are considered one of the best and most innovative bands in metal.

Jupiter still has that trademarked Atheist sound, but they have added a more modern touch into their sound. There's plenty of heavy riffs, technical compositions, and jazzy touches to impress any fan of Atheist's earlier albums. Jupiter mostly reminds me of their Elements album, but this is still a very unique release in Atheist's discography.

One of my only complaints about Jupiter is the playing time - which is rather short, at only 32:47. Thankfully, Jupiter is "all killer, no filler", which makes up for this setback in the long run. Still, if this album had another 10-15 minutes of music it really would've helped. All of the songs on Jupiter are among the best Atheist has ever done. There isn't a single weak track here, though my three favorites are "Third Person", "Live and Live Again", and "Second to Sun".

The production is a bit of an acquired taste. It's a high-quality sound, but a bit too "over-produced" for my personal preference. Still, I'm sure most people won't have any problem with it.

As we're used to from Atheist, the musicianship is some of the best in the metal scene. They're a tight, highly-technical, and eclectic group of musicians who always manage to impress me. I was initially a bit skeptic after the departure of bassist Tony Choy, but guitarist Johnathan Thompson proves that he's very capable of the bass parts.

Conclusion:

The technical/jazz metal genre isn't often explored in 2010 with much success. Jupiter proves two things - first of all, that making a great jazz metal album in this day and age is still possible. Secondly, Jupiter proves that the only people that can create such an album is Atheist. These guys are the masters of technical/jazz death metal, and don't let anyone say any differently. If the first three Atheist albums didn't prove how great they were, Jupiter certainly will. Atheist is back, and just as awesome as they were almost 20 years ago. This is one of the best comeback albums I've heard in a while, and 4 (almost 4.5) stars are well deserved here. Atheist fans will be VERY pleased with this release.



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