DB HOF NO. 9
The making of Atheist’s “Unquestionable Presence”
label: Metal Blade
Okay, everyone under the age of 25, hearken back to when you first slapped on Calculating Infinity. Recall how completely overwhelmed you were by the Dillinger Escape Plan’s virtuosity, originality, technicality and songs seemingly designed to induce vertigo. Fourteen years ago, us geezers felt the same thing when Tampa, Florida’s Atheist released Unquestionable Presence. An exacting masterpiece consisting of mathematical song writing, heady lyrical concepts and a rhythm section bordering on the inhuman, Unquestionable Presence set a technical metal benchmark and remains one of the most underrated albums in extreme music history due to the circumstances surrounding its creation. While driving home after a US tour in support of their debut album, Piece of Time, the band were involved in a tragic accident that took the life of 22 year-old bassists phenom Roger Patterson. The band soldiered on in tribute with then-Cynic bassist Tony Choy, who learned Patterson’s parts, allowing the album to see the light of day. In conjunction with Relapse’s re-release of the Atheist catalog and in celebration of this innovative and original classic, Decibel tracked down the individuals responsible for our latest Hall of Fame entry.
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