Written by: EW on 22/01/2011 19:48:26

Atheist's triumphant return to the pinnacle of technical death metal has been a long and staggered one, but after reformation back in 2006 we finally have another of death metal's elder statesmen back and my have they come back to Earth with a bang. Three albums between 1989 and 1993, the first two in my opinion seminal classics, silence and then this. It's great to see them back.

The fully deserving respect and worth with which Atheist are held these days stands in contrast to that of their early days when in a scene headed by the likes of Deicide, Obituary and Death (before Death themselves headed into their own technical wonders) their OTT take on the thrash/death blueprint played into their own downfall while simultaneously injecting a new spark of life into the genre’s DNA that remains as restless and unwilling to compromise as ever even today. It takes approximately 0.1 seconds of opener "Second To Sun" to realise there are technical death metal bands…and then there is Atheist. Kelly Shaefer's strangled, yet instantly recognisable clean vocals, mixed with Steve Flynn's hyperactive drumming and some of the most fluid and tightest riffs to come from an any extreme album in recent times put to bed any suggestion a new Atheist LP was going to rest solely on the laurels of their past discography. "Live And Live Again" begins in sorrowful mood before the bands simmering self-control on the fretboard, recalling both Cephalic Carnage and Cryptopsy at their own lunatic bests, allows for constantly shifting dynamics, catchy vocal lines and the kind of insania that marks out such bands from the pack.

"Jupiter" is so chock full of damn heaving riffs that it will roll you over and beat you silly with the youthful energy still so evident in these Floridian veterans. "Fraudulent Cloth", "Fictitious Glide" and "Tortoise The Titan" rival anything of 1991's masterpiece "Unquestionable Presence" and "Faux King Christ" abounds with the flourishes of recent Megadeth (a compliment to each other I'm convinced) but really it is the all-out consistency across these 8 songs (or 32 minutes if you like) that earns "Jupiter" it's high mark. The production may be sharper and heavier, as would be expected against records released two decades ago, and guitarists and bassist may have changed in the meantime, but one thing remains the same: Atheist are technical death metal and they're back to show you just how it's done.

Download: Fraudulent Cloth, Fictitious Glide, Third Person
For The Fans Of: Obscura, Cephalic Carnage, Death
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 08.11.2010
Season of Mist Records

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