Reactivated seminal technical metal pioneers ATHEIST and Atlanta, Georgia's GNOSTIC — the band featuring three members of ATHEIST — have both signed with France's Season Of Mist.
Commented ATHEIST/GNOSTIC drummer Steve Flynn: "We're absolutely thrilled that both GNOSTIC and ATHEIST are officially signed to Season of Mist! GNOSTIC's debut CD, 'Engineering the Rule', will be released before the summer and ATHEIST's yet-untitled CD will be released later in the year.
"Season really stepped up to the plate to get this done, for this is also a highly unique situation for technical death metal. Three members of GNOSTIC are also in ATHEIST. With me on drums for both bands, Chris Baker on lead guitar for both and Jonathan Thompson on bass for GNOSTIC and guitar for ATHEIST, these signings represent very significant personal milestones for everybody involved.
"For me, the GNOSTIC debut CD is the first, and ONLY, new project I've been involved with since ATHEIST's 'Unquestionable Presence' in 1992. For Kelly Shaefer and me it is the first time that we will collaborate on new ATHEIST material, also since 1992's 'Unquestionable Presence'. We'll be bringing in our old friend and ATHEIST bassist Tony Choy for writing and touring as well. Signing both bands is also a unique coup for Season of Mist and indicative of their cutting-edge attitude. Both bands will be touring together in 2009 in the U.S. and Europe, which means that we will be pulling double duty every night!!"
ATHEIST recently finished mixing a recording of the band's appearance at the 2006 installment of the Wacken Open Air festival in Germany at LedBelly Sound Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. According to Shaefer, "It's a very stripped-down, no-overdubs live recording from our appearance at Wacken Open Air in 2006 as part of the reunion dates we did. This was only the fourth show on what would become many. So why record the fourth show? Well, we did not actually ever intend on it, but we found out that Wacken had raw tracks that could be remixed, whereas most recordings we get are from soundboards, and you cannot turn up guitars, vocals etc on those type of recordings. So... we obtained the raw tracks and have now mixed eight tunes with Matt (MASTODON, GNOSTIC) at LedBelly studios here in the Atlanta. The results? A very, very live (mistakes and all) and raw set of tracks from the 'Piece of Time' and 'Unquestionable Presence' era of ATHEIST. It sounds suprisingly warm, and for those who were there in Germany that afternoon to see ATHEIST on what was probably one of the more 'magical' performances we have ever had as a band, it was really the first time we had played for people who had been around back in the early days of the band, and were now writers, or owned record companies, plus all of the new fans of this strange technical metal genre of music... this will encapsulate that experience for us, you and as well as those who were not there that day... It was a great day!"
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.
Professionally 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.