Believer - Transhuman

Published Monday 12th December 2011
Believer - Transhuman
Believer - Transhuman

STYLE: Hard Music
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 114601-18815
LABEL: Metal Blade
FORMAT: CD Album
RELEASE DATE: 2011-04-12

Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby

Believer were originally known for their brand of technical thrash metal and released 'Extraction From Mortality' (1989), 'Sanity Obscure' (1990) and 'Dimensions' (1993). The main styles included raw guitar, brutal distortion, time changes and virtuoso riffs with raspy, screeching vocals. The two main band members are Kurt Bachman (vocals, guitar) and Joey Daub (drums). They set themselves higher standards than many Christian hard music bands. Never content to stay in the niche Christian scene, they toured with Bolt Thrower. The band split up in 1994 by mutual agreement. However in 2008 they resurfaced with a deal on Metal Blade Records and the new album 'Gabriel' (2009) included appearances by Rocky Gray (Living Sacrifice, Evanescence), Joe Rico (Sacrifice) and Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage). On 'Gabriel' they used conventional thrash riffs and solos with progressive elements, whereas 'Transhuman' focuses on vocal melodies, layered guitars and add some keyboards. This is so far removed from their original sound that you would be forgiven for thinking that this is a different band. On this outing Bachman and Daub are joined by Elton Nestler (bass, programming), Jeff King (keyboards, programming) and Kevin Leaman (guitar). Bachman stated, "The concept is based on transhuman philosophies as we move towards technology surpassing the limits of human biology. This is happening now, and technology is advancing exponentially. There are many ethical and moral concerns surrounding these happenings and these are touched upon in the lyrical content on the album. Also, what it means to be human in general and how we perceive ourselves in this world." After an orchestral intro, it's straight into groove-laden metal with a majestic chorus "Lie Awake/I stand before you/Lie Awake/Wipe the tears and close your eyes". Notably it is the only track featuring a guest, Travis Turner, who played drums. Technically ambitious, "G.U.T." throws in off-kilter riffs that compliment the sound-bite lyrics. They also catch you out with the xylophone intro to "Transfection" before muscular guitar and swirling keyboard ensues "Welcome to my world/It's 3 o'clock AM/Welcome to my mind/I'm blacking out again". There are heavyweight intellectuals credited with inspiration, such as Dr Thomas Metzinger (and his book The Ego Tunnel) on "Ego Machine", so expect some mental stimulation alongside the discordant instrumentation. Ending with the progressive "Mindsteps" that melds menacing keys, harsh vocals and monumentally leaden riffage, this feels like it is part of a much bigger story.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Lie Awake [Listen]
2. G.U.T [Listen]
3. Multiverse [Listen]
4. End Of Infinity [Listen]
5. Transfection [Listen]
6. Clean Room [Listen]
7. Currents [Listen]
8. Traveler [Listen]
9. Ego Machine [Listen]
10. Being No One [Listen]
11. Entanglement [Listen]
12. Mindsteps [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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