Unquestionable Presence

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Unquestionable Presence
Studio album by Atheist
Released August 30, 1991
Recorded 1991
Studio Morrisound, Tampa, Florida
Length 32:25 (1991 release)
68:32 (2005 release)

Death Records, division of Metal Blade Records (1991 original release)

Active, Relapse (2005 re-issue)
Producer Scott Burns
Atheist chronology
Piece of Time
(1989)Piece of Time1989
Unquestionable Presence

Unquestionable Presence is the second album by the death metal band Atheist. It was released in 1991 and added a new sound by using jazz-like harmonies, subtle Latin rhythms and unusual time signatures.


It is considered a landmark album in the genre of technical death metal.[1]

Bassist Roger Patterson wrote the bass lines for Unquestionable Presence, but died in a touring van accident before the recording sessions took place. His work, however, can be heard on the pre-production demos included with the 2005 re-release. Tony Choy was brought in as a replacement to play bass on the album.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[2]

James Hinchcliffe described the album in Terrorizer as "the very pinnacle of scorching yet brain-twisting technical metal".[3] Phil Freeman in The Wire (issue 261, p.53) described Unquestionable Presence as a "more complex and progressive album, every song rocketing through multiple tricky time signatures and endless variations on already baffling riffs."[4] In October 2005, Unquestionable Presence was inducted into the Decibel Magazine Hall of Fame being the ninth album overall to be featured in the Decibel Hall of Fame.[5]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics by Kelly Shaefer. All music composed by Atheist.

1."Mother Man"4:34
2."Unquestionable Presence"4:07
3."Your Life's Retribution"3:17
4."Enthralled in Essence"3:38
5."An Incarnation's Dream"4:53
6."The Formative Years"3:30
8."And the Psychic Saw"4:45
Total length:32:25

2005 re-release[edit]

In 2005, Relapse Records re-released Unquestionable Presence. This edition has been digitally remastered, and features nine bonus tracks.

9."Enthralled in Essence" (Pre-production Demo 8/90)3:32
10."The Formative Years" (Pre-production Demo 8/90)3:29
11."Unquestionable Presence" (Pre-production Demo 8/90)3:55
12."An Incarnation's Dream" (Pre-production Demo 8/90)4:09
13."Retribution" (Pre-production Demo 8/90 (Instrumental)3:19
14."Brains" (Pre-production Demo 8/90 (Instrumental)3:40
15."Enthralled in Essence" (Demo 1990)3:44
16."Mother Man" (Demo 1990 (Drums & Bass Tracks)4:42
17."And the Psychic Saw" (Demo 1990 (Rhythm Tracks)4:27
Total length:68:32



  1. ^ Badin, O. (December 2006). Terrorizer #151, "Death Metal: The DM Top 40", page 53.
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ a b Hinchcliffe, James (November 2005). "Atheist: Piece of Time/Unquestionable Presence/Elements". Terrorizer (137): 72. 
  4. ^ "Atheist - Unquestionable Presence CD Album". Cduniverse.com. 2005-08-30. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  5. ^ Chase, Jesse. "Atheist – "Unquestionable Presence"". Decibel. Retrieved 2018-05-11.