Believer : Transhuman

They Say :- Progressive metallers BELIEVER are back with their 5th full length album titled Transhuman, which will be released via Metal Blade Records on April 12, 2011. Mixed by Kevin Gutierrez at Assembly Line Studios, mastered by Maor Appelbaum and produced by Trauma Team Productions, Transhuman focuses on Transhumanist thought. The World Transhumanist Association (WTA) provides two definitions for Transhumanism:

1. The intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally improving the human condition through applied reason, especially by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.

2. The study of the ramifications, promises, and potential dangers of technologies that will enable us to overcome fundamental human limitations, and the related study of the ethical matters involved in developing and using such technologies.

In terms of the album’s concept and lyrical content, the overall theme of the album was inspired by these Transhumanist philosophies. “In general, we explored lyrical themes relating to what it means to be human — especially what it means to be human in the age of technology. We also received inspiration from Dr. Ginger Campbell’s Brain Science Podcast (, which explores recent discoveries in neuroscience. Several songs were inspired by Dr. Thomas Metzinger’s scientific research and philosophical study of consciousness and the self” comments the band

We say :- A couple of years ago it was the trend for bands to reunite in their classic line-ups and do a lot of touring due to popular demand. The subsequent albums usually failed to meet modern standards and thus many bands simply vanished again. There were also bands who maintained a certain level of relevance and returned to the scene with some excellent new material, like Pestilence, Atheist and Cynic. Another great example is Believer and their Gabriel album. These guys are back with a brand new record, entitled Transhuman. Let’s see what it has to offer.

At first I had a hard time getting into the album. Yes, there were some good moments here and there, but as a whole is sounded rather incohesive to me. As time progressed Transhuman started to make sense to me. It grew on me like there’s no tomorrow. Suddenly subtle little details revealed the sophisticated essence of  Lie Awake, G.U.T, Multiverse, Clean Room and Traveler. My initial skepticism turned into blind admiration.

The guys in Believer are highly skilled musicians and they’re not afraid to show it. Their signature brand of technical progressive thrash metal is full of odd time changes, weird rhythms and other, often jazz inspired, musical trickery. Luckily it never gets to Dream Theater levels of self indulgence and it’s only there to enhance the song material. Another key element of Transhuman are the ominously present layers of keyboards and assorted electronic effects. This gives the record a futuristic edge. The often layered vocals by singer/guitarist Kurt Bachman is somewhat reminiscent of Cynic.

The album is produced by the band themselves. The dry and balanced sound enhances the listening experience of Transhuman.

Believer delivered one of the early musical gems with Transhuman. It’s by no means an easy record to digest, but it’s really worth investing some time. If you’re into intelligent, progressive and forward-thinking metal, this album will satisfy even your most ardent needs.

Written by Raymond Westland/Alternative Matter.