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Believer - Gabriel CD (album) cover

GABRIEL

Believer

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.26 | 11 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Gabriel" is the 4th full-length studio album by US technical/progressive thrash metal act Believer. Itīs been 16 years since the release of the predecessor "Dimensions (1993)" and I think most fans at this point thought Believer was history. Fortunately lead vocalist/guitarist Kurt Bachman and drummer Joey Daub, who were also the core members on the first three albums by the band, started rehearsing and writing new material in 2005. Believer then signed a three-album deal with Metal Blade Records and "Gabriel" is the first of those three to appear. The album was released in March 2009.

16 years is a long recording break but the music on "Gabriel" is unmistakably the sound of Believer. Their trademark aggressive and technical/progressive thrash metal style is very much intact on the album. "Dimensions (1993)" was their most progressive album out of the first three and while "Gabriel" features quite a few progressive moments Iīd only call it semi-progressive compared to "Dimensions (1993)". Personally itīs of little importance to me and the quality of the music is so extremely high, with lots of intriguing moments and adventurous ideas, that the more direct and less progressive sound on the album is easily forgiven. Tracks like "Stoned", "Redshift" and the wonderful ending track "Nonsense Mediated Decay" do feature a lot of progressive moments though. The latter contains samples of someone talking about alien abductions and UFOs but with the twist that those might be actions of GOD. An interesting theory for sure and another take on the UFO myth. Believerīs lyrics are still written from a christian point of view, but they are not of the preachy kind. Itīs a matter of how you communicate your point and I think Believer do a great job communicating theirīs.

The tracks are generally more mid-paced than the case were on earlier releases by the band but there are still furiously fast-paced technical thrash metal tracks on the album like "The Need For Conflict" and "Focused Lethality". The album is actually pretty varied and there are also some melodic clean singing on the album which is a new thing in Believerīs universe. "Shut Out The Sun" features a semi-melodic chorus and "The Brave" features real clean and melodic singing. Kurt Bachmanīs vocas are even more caustic and fiercely aggressive than on earlier releases though so the few clean vocals on the album shouldnīt be a cause for alarm, for those who donīt enjoy clean singing.

The level of musicianship is high on all posts. Tight rhythmic interplay, powerful vocals, and great guitar solos make this a raw yet sophisticated and intriguing listening experience. The sound production by The Trauma Team (Kurt Bachman and Joey Daub) is powerful and dark. Seldom have I heard a more heavy and brutal guitar sound. Itīs very balanced though and you can hear everything thatīs being played. A very successful production to these ears.

Upon conclusion "Gabriel" is a strong technical/progressive thrash metal album. I find it highly recommendable to those who enjoy technical/progressive thrash metal with 90s sensibilities (spiced up with some contemporary ideas). A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved. A welcome return to a band who deserve much more recognition than theyīve gotten so far in their career.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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