About 7 years ago I managed to find all the original Atheist albums in my good old home country of South Africa for the amazingly low price of only R100 (about $15) each. They soon became my favourite band, and started me on a quest to find the most technical metal bands in the world.
All these years later, after sampling the best from bands such as Death, Dream Theater, Spiral Architect, Andromeda, Cryptopsy, and Necrophagist, Atheist still ranks at the top. The only two of those others that even come close are Necrophagist and Spiral Architect, though the line-up on Death: Individual Thought Patterns is a truly formidable one.
The sound of these new remastered editions is truly remarkable; the original albums weren’t perfect, but they had a rough element that I hold close to my heart, but now I possess the albums in the way that Atheist probably wanted us to hear them. Included are some great bonus tracks. I couldn’t believe it when I heard the demos from 1990 featuring Roger Patterson. I think he must be the most talented musician that the metal scene has ever produced. Tony Choy is amazing, and did a capable job of filling Patterson’s shoes, but I can only imagine what would have happened had Patterson not died and lived on to grace us with his musical ingenuity.
Thank you Atheist and Relapse for reissuing these albums so that more people can grow to appreciate just how influential this band really was. Here’s hoping that a reunion tour comes around soon.