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Believer - Gabriel - 20%

ThrashManiacAYD, August 28th, 2009

AaAahhahhh make it stop!! The name Believer has appeared here and there in publications for some time now, usually under the dubious 'Christian Metal' section tagged along at the bottom, but believing (no pun intended...yet) they were a semi-competent Thrash band left over from the late 80s I sensed no harm in signing up for review of "Gabriel", their first album since 1993 and fourth album overall. But my God (no Christian pun intended...yet) why oh why did I bother? "Gabriel" is so goddamn (sorry) awful I've had to press stop already this far into the review and during only its 3rd listen because it was making me feel ill.

Where to start? The album cover is some 90's EBM monstrosity, belying a long-lost relic of an era when digital samples were 'cool' and featuring a faux-darkness that wouldn't even scare a spring chicken. The music...urgh Jesus Christ and all that is holy, if all 'Christian metal' is like this there's no hope in hell I'm ever going to see the light. Believer prove during very select moments they can pen a riff, like the first riff in "Stoned" for instance, but this matters not when said needle-in-a-haystack of a riff is squished on all sides by assortments of hideous badly played, badly produced nu-metal inspired stringwork and a bemusing fondness for a mixture of samples that do nothing but confuse and rear their unwanted faces like an embedded video player on a webpage blasting out over the song you were previously already listening to.

Vocalist Kurt Bachman is a Schmier (Destruction) clone - the kind of Schmier vocals in the 21st Century rather than in Destruction's seminally brilliant 80's heyday. If last track proper "Nonsense Mediated Decay" (I'm sure some irony is intended there) isn't the worst song of the year then call me Jehovah and pass that Bible, it's time for me to join the cult. There is no redeeming song on "Gabriel" to make up for the bad, bad moments on display everywhere. "Stoned", the possessor of said 'good' riff is actually the biggest culprit overall of what has made this the worst album I've had to review for Rockfreaks yet. If I don't end this quickly I might stop believing in metal altogether...

Originally written for Rockfreaks.net