Visions of an Inner Mounting Apocalypse is a recent super-guitarists’ tribute to Mahavishnu and John McLaughlin, but the record doesn’t deliver on its flaming title. The re-creations run together, the name axemen elegant but without distinction. Elements, a reissue from the chopsy Florida death metal band Atheist, on the other hand, is a fusion vision. It was the last hurrah of a band that had already done everything it needed on two fair but stodgy genre pieces, gaining inspiration in the end from sambas and tangos used to propel tech-metal jass. The angry-demon-locked-in-the-shed vocal plays second fiddle to the volcanic instrumental passages—the guitars sprinting toward Al Di Meola, the bass doing its best Jaco Pastorius. Of course, it’s still metal, Return to Forever with thick flaming uranium armor but sans Chick Corea. The two CDs preceding Elements, Unquestionable Presence
and Piece of Time, sound like the slightly more semi-famous Coroner, Celtic Frost fans who took a similar path: precision thrash first, then Eurodisco art-metal fusion for their final stand.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 29, 2005