Pennsylvania's legendary progressive thrash metallers Believer are back with their second release after a lengthy hiatus with a new CD for Metal Blade titled Transhuman. The band now consists of Kurt Bachman (Guitar, Bass, Vocals), Jeff King (Keyboards, Guitar), Kevin Leaman (Guitar), and Joey Daub (Drums). For those who've followed the band since their 90's releases Extraction from Mortality, Sanity Obscure, and Dimensions but maybe did not hear 2009's Gabriel, you might be a little shocked by what you hear on Transhuman, as it almost sounds like a different band, but the end results, though different, are no less enjoyable than the bands classic material.
If you've dug the recent material from Cynic on their comeback, the music being offered here from Believer is somewhat similar in spots, though heavier and more thrash influenced. Vocals are like a combination of Cynic, Rage Against the Machine and Cirith Ungol (yes, you heard that right!), and you can expect tons of ragged, jagged trash riff-o-rama throughout, as well as some well placed keyboard soundscapes in spots. There are quite a few progressive metal gems here, such as "Lie Awake", "Clean Room", "G.U.T.", "Multiverse", and "End of Infinity", long on inventive guitar patterns and tricky arrangements, and they are mixed in with some of the more atmospheric & trippy numbers like "Transfection" and "Currents". Bachman's vocals run the gamut from melodic clean tones to a raspy thrash style, and he, King, and Leaman contribute plenty of 6 string pyrotechnics throughout, though this album is by no means a shredfest. The guys even go for an odd gothic cyber metal feel on the lengthy closer "Mindsteps", a real departure for the band, and a style that works for them.
So, if you are expecting a return to Believers thrashy, progressive metal roots, you'll get some of that here, but this new incarnation of the band have adopted plenty of new influences and styles since we've seen them last, and I think overall they probably have more to offer a much wider audience at this stage of the game. Good stuff!
01. Lie Awake
04. End of Infinity
06. Clean Room
09. Ego Machine
10. Being No One