SIN KILLER webzine – Reviews: Believer - Transhuman (Metal Blade) 2011

domingo, junho 05, 2011

Believer - Transhuman (Metal Blade) 2011

Believer were one of the late 80's/early 90's bands that really dominated my CD player. "Extraction from Mortality" and "Sanity Obscure" are technical-thrash masterpieces, in my opinion. After that the band decided to go into more experimental directions. With "Dimensions" Believer stretched themselves musically, but still retained their identity, sound and in some cases, their speed. Still, with these three albums the band became known for their complex and technical metal. With their reunion and the subsequent 2009 release "Gabriel", the band pretty much still retained their sound, though they were obviously still stretching musically and going off into metal tangents, not wishing to be placed into any sort of genre box. With "Transhuman" I think Believer have stretch their sound to the point that they barely sound like Believer.

The album opens with a song that seriously sounds like something on mainstream radio, both vocally and musically. Thankfully, the song isn't an indication of what the entire album sounds like. There are some small traces of that old Believer sound in songs like "Transfection", "Entanglement" and especially "Ego Machine". However, it's an understatement to say that Believer 2011 is a very different animal than they were before they reformed. After giving the album a few spins, I started being reminded of Voivod. It's not that Believer sound like Voivod, but much like the Canuck thrashers did on albums like "Angel Rat" and "Outer Limits", Believer have experimented and completely changed their sound, abonding thrash metal and adding in psychedelic, goth and industrial elements. While the band have always been described as "technical", I'd say that "Transhuman" is more progressive in nature than anything the band has attempted in the past.

Even Kurt Bachman's vocals are very different from anything the band has done in the past. His style is a bit off-kilter and often very heavily processed, adding to the industrial tone. Keyboardist Jeff King really adds a lot of the band's sound. Wimpy flower metal keyboards this is not. Rather, it's King's keys that push the industrial and goth influences even further. As a matter of fact, the keyboard-led, goth/industrial instrumental "Currents" sounds more like somthing I would have expected from Fountain of Tears than Believer.

Another big change in the band is their lyrics direction. "Transhuman" leaves the door wide open for interpretation and certainly cannot be pigeonholed into being a "Christian" album.

Metal purists may be put off by this album, though make no mistake, this is a heavy record. However, the words "traditional" and "thrash" cannot be used to describe this album whatsoever. Being that I like this band so much in the past, I really gave "Transhuman" quite a few spins to allow it to sink in. I wonder if this had been an album released by a new band if I would have given it the same courtesy or if I would have just put it off to the side? Regardless, it did grow on me and I found "Transhuman" to be an enjoyable, challenging and creative album even if I am a bit disappointed that one of my favorite thrash bands is not longer playing thrash.

1. Lie Awake (5:03)
2. G.U.T. (3:39)
3. Multiverse (4:44)
4. End Of Infinity (4:12)
5. Transfection (3:55)
6. Clean Room (4:50)
7. Currents [instrumental] (2:50)
8. Traveler (4:23)
9. Ego Machine (4:29)
10. Being No One (4:47)
11. Entanglement (4:15)
12. Mindsteps (6:52)

[7.0] [10]

reviewed by Scott Waters

Pesquisar este blog