Vocalist Kelly Shaefer of the reactivated seminal technical metal pioneers ATHEIST has issued the following update:
"You asked for it, the first new ATHEIST material in 15 years has risen to the surface and it was truly amazing, much better than we could have expected! We ended up with a bit over three minutes of truly ATHEIST, brutal, fast-as-hell, technical metal madness!!!!
"My trip to Atlanta [where ATHEIST drummer Steve Flynn currently resides] began in true ATHEIST 'cursed' style. I enter Avatar rehearsal studios and with guitar and backpack in hand, I proceed to bust my fucking ass... like really bust ass and fucked up my knee; shit, I have not fallen like that in years. So I hobbled to the practice room, and plugged in my guitar… knee bleeding and all, and, of course...my guitar does not work!!! Most of you know I am left-handed so... I could not play anyone else's guitar SO..... Friday was a wash. I did, however, get to watch GNOSTIC [Flynn's other band] rehearse and that was incredible; you all are in for a treat when that record comes out. Fortunately for me, the GNOSTIC boys enlisted one of their buddies, Rick, to perform some guitar surgery, and I am very grateful to him for that 'cause we would not have been able to write anything had he not fixed that fucker up for the next day so everyone say... RIGHT ON, RICKY BOY!!!
"Saturday I get my guitar back and it's perfect, and from about the sixth minute of jamming (after smoking out), the new ATHEIST riffs started surfacing off my brain and Flynn's brain, and just like old times we were rolling, smiling ear to ear all the while.
"I have not written with Steve Flynn since 1991... so we did not know how it would be, but, people, it was fucking magical and inspiring. Me and Flynn used to always do most all of the arrangements for the ATHEIST music, and so once we started spitting riffs, we started sewing together what will be the first new ATHEIST material in many moons.
"We are thrilled to death (pun intended) to say that I will indeed be eating my words about not doing new material, but I want old fans to know how serious we are about this. We are not making a record again for any reasons but the right ones. Sure, we all need to take care of our families, but our intentions are to rip a brand new hole in the ass of technical metal and raise the bar of expectations on the fusion of death metal and progressive musical mind-blowing. We hope that people will understand that this is truly for all the right reasons. I do expect old-school metal people to be skeptical, and my words to you are DON'T WORRY! WE AIN'T ABOUT TO FUCK THIS UP!
"Steve Flynn is one of the most musically articulate, motherfucking monster drummers alive on this planet...if his performance level on 'Unquestionable Presence' was a 9 or a 10, then he is now gonna be on 20; he is faster, smarter and more creative than I have ever seen him be, and I have known him for over 25 years. I just stand in awe of his ability to manipulate rhythms; it's such a signature style that he makes it very easy for me to drop brutal riffs and NEVER lose sight on the heaviness that separates us from that sort of epic, finesse-orientated technical metal you hear from a lot of today's tech bands. We want to confuse you, then punch you in the back of the head at the same time before your brain has time to do anything about it!!
"What do I need to say about the skills of Tony Choy (bass)? He was masterful at piecing the 'Elements' bass and drum sections together so he will no doubt be laying down some dizzying shit, fo sho!
"We know more than any writers, or others, who think they know what's best for us, and we hope everyone will not choose to be negative about all of this; life is to short to worry about shit like that.... Ask our good friend, the late great Roger Patterson [former ATHEIST bassist who died in a road accident on tour in 1991], about borrowed time!! We will not sleep 'till we have created the Theory of Technical Evolution!
"Me and Flynn discussed this sort of 'Einstein scenario,' whereas Einstein was never the brightest or smartest amongst his peers, but he was extremely creative and clever, and I think that combining the technical knowledge of this metal we play, with cleverness and creativity will trump the equations of the many bands of today who may have more complicated scales and within their tunes, and maybe are more technical than ATHEIST, but lack the ability to put it together in a brutal and creative manner so that people can actually still count on us not losing sight of the latter half of the definition as it's written of our sound death metal!
"With that said we ALSO intend on celebrating the 20th anniversary of 'Piece of Time' [ATHEIST's debut album] release with a bunch of shows in 2009 in Europe and the U.S., A live DVD and now a brand new set of ATHEIST's metal puzzles for your confusing enjoyment, of course. We will keep you posted on all of the details as they happen. Hold on to your brains, fuckers!
"Promoters and labels, contact [email protected] to book shows or show interest in helping us take the record to the people who made us!
"We thank you all so much for making this happen for us; we totally could not do this without your endless urging to DO ANOTHER RECORD! No longer can we ignore the masses of young metal heads just getting into our music for the first time. We never could have imagined it would happen that way, but once it was realized after the Hellfest gig in France last summer.... we knew we had to consider it."
In January 2006, Kelly Shaefer reassembled much of what was widely considered ATHEIST's classic recording lineup (Shaefer, bassist Tony Choy, and drummer Steven Flynn) to perform a select number of one-off shows to celebrate the re-issue of their wildly-influential catalog (1988's "Piece of Time", 1993's "Elements", and the 1991's legendary "Unquestionable Presence"). Among those shows were performances at such legendary festivals such as Germany's Wacken Open Air, Norway's Hole In The Sky, Italy's Evolution, England's Bloodstock Open Air, and the Los Angeles' Murderfest.
Proressionally filmed video footage of ATHEIST performing the song "And the Psychic Saw" at the Wacken Open Air 2006 festival in Wacken, Germany can be viewed below.