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.
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