believerI have to admit that I was intrigued by these guys being on Metal Blade Records.

I remember listening a little over a decade ago to "Dimensions" and going meh. Maybe I wasn't ready for thinking man's thrash then, but a bullseye hit up my spine upon first hearing their latest. This is probably my twelfth time spinning this, whether car, headphones, or system speakers. With all musical immersion aside, "Transhuman" is a major heavyweight in progressive/thrash metal. After a 15-year hiatus, they reappeared with2009's critically acclaimed "Gabriel", continuing the orchestral undertones from "Dimensions", but no rehash in the mix. Their fifth release sounds even more determined of a sound, very dark, heavy, and slightly foreboding. A hodgepodge of elements exists, drawing in NIN, Tool, and possibly a bit of Dream Theatre. This is sublime for this writer.

Lighting the fuse on this disc, "Lie Awake" and "G.U.T." greet the listener with a heavy rhythm section, awesome melodic lines, and a DT-like grandiose vibe. "Multiverse" begins with a sweet low-end rhythm with crunchy guitar, before a warped vocal is introduced, leading to the strong chorus vocals. Killer song structure with the different elements intertwining! With only two of the original lineup in vocalist/guitarist Kurt Bachman and drummer Joey Daub, their musical vision appears to be tightly wound. "Transfection" starts with a marimba/xylophone-like synth sound. Experimentation within this genre is a welcome thing! Keep bringing this brand of metal on, boys! There is no weakling among the heavy hitters on this disc. Older and wiser, I now have in regular rotation "Dimensions" besides this current monster. I guess associating with Metal Blade adds some street credentials in my book. Now, I can't get enough. If you enjoy thinking man's thrash with a strong prog injection, discover Believer. I'm still stoked that I rediscovered them.

June 2011