Believer have re-united, returning from the shadow of dearth, and inactivity. The brave hearted exposers of vanity obscured, narrow minded singularity, and vile hypocrisy resound the trumpet of Gabriel, announcing their restoration.
Believer began back in the late '80s signed to R.E.X. Records, a prominent Christian label. They soon signed with Roadrunner Records, and were promoted as being one of the "Breed Beyond" bands, being linked with other technical death wizards like Cynic and Pestilence (both of whom have also reformed, and released refined new material).
Metal Mind Records have re-released all their earlier efforts, and I recommend checking them out, while keeping the future for this band in mind. Believer were one of the first technical thrash artist to employ violins, cellos, and orchestration, as well as operatic female vocals. They had a groundbreaking sound, and thought provoking lyrical content, which transcended any limited religious belief. Like their brethren in Thresher or Tourniquet, Believer fought to stop the madness, by opening new doors to self reflection and personal examination.
Flash forward to the present, Believer deliver a multi-dimensional, hypnotic inquest on their new album - Gabriel. They have established a solid, newly revived line-up, inviting new members into the fold, like philosophical keyboardist - Jeff King, Bassist - Elton Nestler, and Guitarist - Kevin Leaman. Founding members Kurt Bachman and Joey Daub continue to express their tried and true talent, by expanding their horizons, and overcoming limitations.
The arch angular Gabriel remains brutal, technical, experimental, and beyond belief. Gone are the classical and operatic arrangements. There is no need to fret or feel stress. These previous adaptations are replaced with a more deravative, stripped down, back to basics, approach.
The lyrics are ambiguous, non-linear, and yet fascinating. They are sanely obscured, with a deep distraction from morality; all the while provoking a more solicitous inward gaze.
The CD begins with Medwton, a punishing, provocative opus. The resonating chant at the end, sets the pace for the quixotic cadence to follow. The innocuous primacy of - A Moment In Prime with it's jazzy nuances, and heavy riffing, recalls the pallet and passion of Sanity Obscure. Violinist - Scott Laird who has played with Believer previously, delivers an eerie discord; meanwhile, Joe Rico from Canada's Sacrifice, lends a searing solo to maintain the momentum.
With the sagacious songs - Redshift and History Of Decline, the redolent subject matter is redressed, beyond reproach. Here the brainstorm expands and contracts, shifting into gear, and chaotic overdrive, with an assault on the tormented senses, encouraging us to overcome idle ignorance, and open our eyes to the truth within.
I've often compared Believer to Sacrifice, and Gabriel is no exception. Kurts's oxidized, parched, and blemished vocals sound dead on Rob Urbinati's forward determinations. Believer's music and message is as conflicted as Apocalypse Inside or Soldiers Of Misfortune.
There are many other chosen guest contributions all throughout the album. Ex-guitarist - Jim Winters lends his theory and practice to cuts like Stoned and History Of Decline. The most surprisingly invited guest is found in the tepid voice of Howard Jones, singing on - The Brave. Believer are not musically like Killswitch Engage; however, Howard's viscous vocals, in contrast with Kurt's sedimentary stone delivery, allow for quite a focused lethality.
Musically, I would compare Believer to Anacrusis, with the sporadic guitar harmonies, and sonic major disarray of melodies. Albums like Testimony Of The Ancient by Pestilence, Elements By Atheist, or Focus by Cynic would serve as quality allusions.
There are many samples, and effects all throughout this album, which tend to be tedious, but engaging. Not every one of the songs will appeal to everyone. The bizarre speculation - Nonsense Mediated Decay - is a dialectical diatribe of the senses, involving an alien encounter narration, amidst dissonant melodious variance. There is some weird, ambient, and atmospheric causation ending the CD, which is just so superfluous.
Believer can come across as a cerebral fixation, or over indulgent antidote to non poignant, over-hyped acts. They make no apology, for their originality, and eccentric flair. Believe me, these noble men are highly educated, truly talented, and always ready to heed wisdom's call.