Elements (Atheist album)

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Elements
Studio album by Atheist
Released August 30, 1993
Recorded Pro Media Studios, Gainesville, Florida in May, 1993
Genre Technical death metal, progressive metal, jazz fusion
Length 41:43 (1993 release)
65:30 (2005 release)
Label Music for Nations (original European issue)
Metal Blade (original US issue)
Relapse (2005 re-issue)
Producer Atheist
Mark Pinske
Atheist chronology
Unquestionable Presence
(1991)
Elements
(1993)
Jupiter
(2010)

Elements is the third album released by the progressive / technical death metal band Atheist. It was released on August 30, 1993 by Music for Nations in Europe and by Metal Blade Records in the US. Elements was reissued by Relapse Records in 2005 and was digitally remastered with the addition of six bonus tracks.

The album has more of a jazz influenced style than their two previous albums[citation needed], but it remains highly technically complex. Eduardo Rivadavia described it for Allmusic as remaining "admirably true to the band's famously complicated arrangements, syncopated rhythms, and ultra-precise attack, but also boast[ing] a cleaner musicality never before attempted by the group". Elements was written, recorded and mixed in forty days in Pro Media Studios.[1] The band wanted to dissolve but they were required to finish their third album in order to fulfill a contract to their record label. Elements features the addition of a third guitarist, Frank Emmi. Initially, Rand Burkey was not going to appear on the album, and as Kelly Shaefer had developed carpal tunnel syndrome, (preventing him from playing anything but rhythm guitar) a new lead guitar player was needed. Before recording, Burkey rejoined the band, and thus the band ended up with three guitarists. Shaefer plays rhythm guitar, while Emmi and Burkey share responsibilities for leads and solos.

Elements was Atheist's last studio album for 17 years, until the 2010 release of Jupiter.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[2]
Terrorizer 9/10[3]

Elements was described by James Hinchcliffe in Terrorizer as "less frantic and jazz-leaning than Unquestionable Presence, and packed with unexpectedly Latin rhythms" that caused the album to "hurtle...to the edge of metal".[3] Eduardo Rivadavia praised the band for "delivering another highly accomplished set that illustrated both a natural evolution of their sound and served as a worthy final chapter to their all-too-brief and very troubled trajectory".[2]

Track listing[edit]

All Songs Written By Kelly Shaefer, Randy Burkey, Frank Emmi & Tony Choy, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "Green"   3:21
2. "Water"   4:27
3. "Samba Briza" (Shaefer, Choy) 1:57
4. "Air"   5:32
5. "Displacement" (Shaefer, Burkey) 1:23
6. "Animal"   4:10
7. "Mineral"   4:32
8. "Fire"   4:36
9. "Fractal Point" (Shaefer, Burkey) 0:43
10. "Earth"   3:41
11. "See You Again" (Shaefer, Emmi) 1:16
12. "Elements"   5:35
Total length:
41:43

2005 Re-release[edit]

In 2005, Relapse Records re-released Elements. This edition was digitally remastered, and features six bonus tracks.

Live BBC Radio Broadcast (1992)

No. Title Length
13. "Unquestionable Presence"    
14. "On They Slay"    
15. "Enthralled in Essence"    
16. "The Formative Years"    
17. "Mother Man"    
18. "Retribution"    
Total length:
65:30

Credits[edit]

Line-up[edit]

Guest:
Piano by David Smadbeck

Production[edit]

  • Producer: Mark Pinske and Atheist
  • Engineer: Mark Pinske, Shawn Camner
  • Mixing: Mark Pinske and Kelly Shaefer

References[edit]

  1. ^ Elements at Encyclopaedia Metallum
  2. ^ a b Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Atheist Elements". Allmusic. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Hinchcliffe, James (November 2005). "Atheist: Piece of Time/Unquestionable Presence/Elements". Terrorizer (137): 72.