Sound: I first heard Atheist through a link posted on one of the forums here on UG, Unholy Wars, and was, frankly, unimpressed by the bands musical prowess, albeit agreeing their technicality is noteworthy.
This changed after listening to this album, a masterpiece in my opinion, regardless of what the reviewers at Allmusic might think. This album provides the ultimate answer to both anti-Metal and Jazz elitists, being composed of Jazz, Metal, Classical music, and everything in between.
01. Green: truly a masterpiece. A heavy track interlaced with beautiful Jazzy interludes. This track alone makes the band worth worshipping. The beautiful Jazz parts open the album in a perfect fashion, while the heavy, powerful, riffs really get the point across. This track is the essence of the album in one track. 10/10
02. Water: though a great track, somewhat disappointing after the album's opening track, and even more so in retrospect, after listening to the album. A very powerful number, although in my opinion it doesn't really convey the spirit of water. 8/10
03. Samba Briza: easily my favourite track on the album. This Jazzy instrumental is proof of the band's musical abilities, being both a challenging technical number to play, and an amazing musical number. "A tad too off-kilter and oblique even for Atheist to pull off convincingly"? F--k you, Allmusic. 10/10 (even more if possible)
04. Air: first song I like by the band. Again, an extremely powerful track, yet without losing any of the beauty the band has proven it is capable of. 10/10
05. Displacement: although the name suggests otherwise, this track is placed perfectly in the album, providing a calm break between the raw emotion in "Air" and the concentrated power in "Animal". Simply beautiful. 10/10
06. Animal: as mentioned earlier, an extremely powerful track. Unlike "Air", however, this time they pull it off less successfully. Even with this in the way, this is still an amazing track, with an all but impressive solo. 8/10
07. Mineral: personally, this is my least favourite track on the album. This track seems to be heading in one direction, but is suddenly just lost. It is still a beautiful track, maybe even more so than some of the others on the album. The problem is, in my eyes, that they just can't hold all the parts that make the track together in one bundle, and all the power in it sort of leaks out. Pity. 7/10 and simultaneously 10/10.
08. Fire: although not a very 'beautiful' track, per se, it still conveys the essence of fire itself perfectly. 8/10
09. Fractal Point: after the last three extremely powerful tracks, here comes another break, though an extremely short one. A beautiful track, and placed in a crucial place in the album, helping the listener take in everything. 10/10
10. Earth: raw power on a leash. Extremely heavy riffs and a powerful structure make this track an extremely solid, standalone track, just like the element after which it is named. 9/10
11. See You Again: another beautiful, melodic instrumental. Nothing more to say. 10/10
12. Elements: Green's wannabe half-brother. This track completes the album, providing contra to the opening track Green, being almost in contrast to it within the album's wide musical spectrum. 10/10 // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics of the album themselves are not anything special, as I see it. They're simply there to help get the message of the music across. Nevertheless, the lyrics are well written, carrying with them the essence of whatever it is they portray.
The same goes, although slightly differently, for the vocals on the album. Kelly's voice is extremely powerful, and he knows when and how to use it, maximising the music and lyrics' effects. // 9
Overall Impression: This is easily Atheist's best album, by far. In this album the band reached a stage of musical enlightenment seldom seen in music, and even more so in Metal, these days, Opeth being one of the rare exceptions, at least in my opinion. I can't seem to find a single thing wrong in my overall impression of the album, except for the fact that this album is mostly unknown, and even less frequently seen in stores. Such a pity, and such a great band. // 10