Unquestionable Presence

Unquestionable Presence is the second album by the death metal band Atheist. It was released in 1991 and added a new sound by using jazz-like harmonies, subtle Latin rhythms and unusual time signatures.

Unquestionable Presence
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 30, 1991
StudioMorrisound, Tampa, Florida
Length32:25 (1991 release)
68:32 (2005 release)
LabelDeath Records, division of Metal Blade Records (1991 original release)
Active, Relapse (2005 re-issue)
ProducerScott Burns
Atheist chronology
Piece of Time
Unquestionable Presence


It is considered a landmark album in the genre of technical death metal.[1]

Bassist Roger Patterson wrote the bass lines for Unquestionable Presence, but died in a touring van accident before the recording sessions took place. His work, however, can be heard on the pre-production demos included with the 2005 re-release. Tony Choy was brought in as a replacement to play bass on the album.

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic     [2]

James Hinchcliffe described the album in Terrorizer as "the very pinnacle of scorching yet brain-twisting technical metal".[3] Phil Freeman in The Wire (issue 261, p.53) described Unquestionable Presence as a "more complex and progressive album, every song rocketing through multiple tricky time signatures and endless variations on already baffling riffs."[4] In October 2005, Unquestionable Presence was inducted into the Decibel Magazine Hall of Fame being the ninth album overall to be featured in the Decibel Hall of Fame.[5]

Track listingEdit

All lyrics by Kelly Shaefer. All music composed by Atheist.

1."Mother Man"4:34
2."Unquestionable Presence"4:07
3."Your Life's Retribution"3:17
4."Enthralled in Essence"3:38
5."An Incarnation's Dream"4:53
6."The Formative Years"3:30
8."And the Psychic Saw"4:45
Total length:32:25

2005 re-releaseEdit

In 2005, Relapse Records re-released Unquestionable Presence. This edition has been digitally remastered, and features nine bonus tracks.

9."Enthralled in Essence" (Pre-production Demo 8/90)3:32
10."The Formative Years" (Pre-production Demo 8/90)3:29
11."Unquestionable Presence" (Pre-production Demo 8/90)3:55
12."An Incarnation's Dream" (Pre-production Demo 8/90)4:09
13."Retribution" (Pre-production Demo 8/90 (Instrumental)3:19
14."Brains" (Pre-production Demo 8/90 (Instrumental)3:40
15."Enthralled in Essence" (Demo 1990)3:44
16."Mother Man" (Demo 1990 (Drums & Bass Tracks)4:42
17."And the Psychic Saw" (Demo 1990 (Rhythm Tracks)4:27
Total length:68:32



  1. ^ Badin, O. (December 2006). Terrorizer #151, "Death Metal: The DM Top 40", page 53.
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ a b Hinchcliffe, James (November 2005). "Atheist: Piece of Time/Unquestionable Presence/Elements". Terrorizer (137): 72.
  4. ^ "Atheist - Unquestionable Presence CD Album". Cduniverse.com. 2005-08-30. Retrieved 2012-03-13.
  5. ^ Chase, Jesse. "Atheist – "Unquestionable Presence"". Decibel. Retrieved 2018-05-11.