Live at Hole In The Sky, Bergen Metal Fest 2006
|Origin||Sarasota, Florida, United States|
|Genres||Technical death metal, progressive metal, jazz fusion, thrash metal|
|Years active||1984–1994, 2006–2012|
|Labels||Season of Mist|
|Associated acts||Neurotica, Gnostic, Cynic, Pestilence|
|Past members||Former members|
Atheist is a death metal band from Florida, founded in 1984 by drummer Steve Flynn and singer/guitarist Kelly Shaefer. Atheist are noted for their highly technical playing style, often reminiscent of jazz. Their seminal album Unquestionable Presence released in 1991 is widely regarded as a landmark of the genre. 
The band was founded in 1984 in Sarasota, Florida, USA, firstly under the name Oblivion and later R.A.V.A.G.E. (which stands for Raging Atheists Vowing A Gory End). They recorded their debut album, Piece of Time, in 1988, which was released in Europe in 1989, but not in the United States until 1990. In 1991, bassist Roger Patterson died in a car accident and Atheist recruited Tony Choy (previously a member of Cynic) to record their second album, Unquestionable Presence. Atheist disbanded for the first time in 1992, reuniting in 1993 and recording their third album Elements, fulfilling their contractual requirements, before disbanding for the second time.
Seven years after their second break up, Kelly Shaefer decided to re-release and remaster their three albums with different bonus tracks.
Shaefer played with Neurotica until 2002, whereas Tony Choy played in a number of other bands, including Area 305 and Pestilence. In 2001, Kelly Shaefer tried to regroup the band with all the original members with the addition of the acclaimed Kyle Sokol from the Tampa Bay area on bass guitar, replacing Tony Choy due to Choy's other band commitments according to a metal magazine interview. The band reunion at this time never came to fruition due to Neurotica going on OzzFest.
Relapse Records re-issued the band's three albums in late 2005, as well as a vinyl box set containing the three albums plus the R.A.V.A.G.E. demo On They Slay. Former drummer Steve Flynn has recently re-emerged in a new band called Gnostic.
In January 2006, Atheist announced they were regrouping to perform live during the summer and autumn of that year. The line-up was Shaefer, Burkey, Choy and Flynn. Shaefer only provided vocals due to long battles with tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Gnostic guitarist Sonny Carson handled all of Shaefer's guitar parts. Recently Chris Baker of Gnostic has been replacing Burkey because of legal troubles.
On July 12, 2008, Shaefer issued the following update: "[I'm] heading to Atlanta next Friday to jam with ATHEIST drummer and my best friend Mr. Steve Flynn, this will mark the first time we have written together since 1991's 'Unquestionable Presence'. So I am curious how it will sound. I know it will be sick, there is a formula that me and Flynn have that automatically sounds like ATHEIST...so it will be fun to hear what it will sound like. And who knows? If it goes well...?? We will see what happens."
On July 26, 2008, Kelly Shaefer announced through the Atheist Myspace page the recording of a new studio album, which would be their first in over 15 years. They also went on a tour in Europe and the USA in 2009 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the release of their album Piece of Time. Atheist also announced that a live DVD would also be released from the tour.
On July 11, 2010, Atheist revealed that their fourth studio album would be called Jupiter and was set for a November release. They inked a deal with Season of Mist, and their fourth studio album, Jupiter, was released on November 8, 2010.
On August 3, 2010, Kelly Shaefer and Steve Flynn announced on behalf of the band that Tony Choy would not be appearing on Jupiter but is still likely to appear in live performances with the band due to his own musical aspirations.
As of October 2012, Atheist has been writing new material for their fifth studio album. However, it is unclear when an expected release date will surface, considering as of 2013 Kelly Shaefer has been working with his new band, Stones of Madness.
- Kelly Shaefer – vocals (1984–1994, 2006–2012), guitars (1984–1994)
- Steve Flynn – drums (1984–1991, 2006–2010, 2011–2012)
- Tony Choy – bass (1991, 1993–1994, 2006–2010, 2012–2012)
- Chris Martin – guitars (2012–2012)
- Jason Holloway - guitars (2011–2012)
- Roger Patterson – bass (1985–1991)
- Rand Burkey - guitars (1988–1992, 1993–1994)
- Mike Callahan - guitars (1991)
- Frank Emmi – guitars (1993)
- Josh Greenbaum – drums (1993)
- Kyle Sokol - bass (2001)
- Chris Baker - guitars (2006-2012)
- Jonathan Thompson - guitars (2009–2011), bass (2010)
- Travis Morgan - bass (2011)
- Darren McFarland - bass (1991–1992)
- Rotting in Hell (1985)
- On They Slay (1987)
- Hell Hath No Mercy (1987)
- Beyond (1988)
- DaRonco, Mike; Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Biography of Atheist". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-11-06.
- "Atheist --- Official Relapse Records Band Page". Archived from the original on 4 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
- "ATHEIST Regroup, Announce Exclusive ON LIVE TV Festival Appearances". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 2006-01-13.
- "ATHEIST Members Collaborating On First New Material Since 1991". Blabbermouth.net. Archived from the original on 3 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
- "Atheist - Writing New Material: News @". Metalstorm.ee. Retrieved 2011-07-20.
- "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - ATHEIST: New Album Title Revealed". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
- "Legendary ATHEIST Signs With SEASON OF MIST". Blabbermouth.net. Archived from the original on 14 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
- "Atheist Part Ways With Tony Choy: News @". Season-of-mist.com. 2010-08-03. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-20.
- "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - ATHEIST: New Video Interview Posted Online". Roadrunnerrecords.com. 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2012-11-01.