Believer has been a tough band for me over the years. I love what they do musically, but like many metal bands over the years, Kurt Bachman’s vocals have been tough to swallow. Sanity Obscure is a classic Christian thrash record but Bachman’s vocals really hurt that album for me. I didn’t even give Gabriel, Believer’s comeback record, a real listen.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I hit play on Transhuman. Would I be getting more classic thrash metal or something more experimental?
When Lie Awake kicked in all I could say was wow. I can’t even believe I’m listening to Believer. It’s more progressive then anything Believer has ever put out. And Bachman’s vocals are something completely different. The solo on the song still has that weird Beliver scale fans are used to (if you’ve listened to Believer before, you’ll know it when you hear it).
G.U.T. is more of a standard Believer song, with Bachman’s familar screech assaulting your ears. But all is quickly forgotten when Multiverse comes in and just like Lie Awake, I find myself just listening in awe and saying wow. The chorus has me blown away by how great Bachman’s vocals sound. It’s a catchy hook and while the song might not be the heaviest, most metal song in the universe, it’s such a good song that it doesn’t matter.
Transhuman is an epic prog-metal masterpiece and it might throw off some old school Believer fans but it’s also a good balance of that old school sound. I think it’s their best work to date. While songs have similarities, Transhuman manages to never get repetitive or boring. I wish Bachman’s vocals would have been more consistent but the back and forth between his new found vocal style and his classic thrash screech.
I wish there were more guitar solos on the album but that’s a personal love of mine. There’s some nice subtle keyboard work that compliments the songs. I’m a fan of the more prog-styled songs and most of the record follows that but the back and forth on Bachman’s vocals take me in and out of songs.
Transhuman is in my opinion the best Believer record to date and one of the best records I’ve heard this year.