Atheist Jupiter

Atheist Jupiter
By the onset of the '90s, Atheist had already lived a metal lifetime, having weathered the untimely death of founding bassist Roger Patterson, considered the Cliff Burton of death metal. The Florida technical death outfit had gone from an unknown label (Active) to a mega-influential one (Metal Blade). Internal conflicts led to the band's demise in 1993, but not before releasing the misunderstood death/jazz Elements, which would later become a blueprint (alongside Cynic's Focus) for future prog-metal bands. In 2006, the band reunited for a handful of performances and Relapse Records re-released their back catalogue. The long-awaited Jupiter is their first studio album in 17 years and bandleader Kelly Shaefer and crew have clearly made their most vicious album to give their storied career some long deserved attention. Long-time bassist Tony Choy bowed out before entering the studio, but guitarist Jonathan Thompson gives a worthy performance. Drummer Steve Flynn's upper tom work rivals that of Neil Peart in "Faux King Christ" and surpasses his polyrhythms in "Tortoise the Titan," while guitarist Rand Burkey wails forthright on "Second to Sun" and "The Beast Within." "Fictitious Glide" sports a Morbid Angel chug and "Live and Live Again" mixes the riff gravity of Immolation with the spastic tempo changes of Dillinger Escape Plan. Atheist may have been before their time in the early '90s, but Shaefer smartly ensures that Jupiter keeps pace with their modern, and younger, competition. (Season of Mist)