Believer - Extraction From Mortality
R.E.X. Records
Thrash Metal
9 songs (41:39)
Release year: 1989
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Call me a cynic, but it was my firm belief up until a week or so ago that Christians really should not play Metal. Whatever the advances made under the names of Blind Guardian or so, there was a firm line drawn in the Metallic sand, and the religious crossed it at their peril. After all, which of us haven’t criticised the Black Metal aspirations or Hardcore values of the Christ-worshipping masses, especially when they try and impose their ridiculous beliefs upon the rest of us? I quite frequently listen to Gospel or Classical music that is clearly under the influence, and love it for the various qualities it has, uplifting, spiritual hymns that resonate even with a heretic like myself. Christianity was never intended to be a warlike religion, and so bands that try and use it as fuel for their warlike fire are more often than not producing something as twisted as the minds of people that use religion to fight wars.

Yet recently I have discovered a band that deserves to be placed above the normal Christian no-hopers, that deserves better treatment from Metalheads in general. Why? Simply because they provide an excellent Metal experience, and whilst Extraction From Mortality may not be the best album to come from this strange little group, the fact remains that in Thrash terms this simply kills many modern Slayer clones.

Hailing from Pennsylvania, Believer were fronted by Kurt Bachman, the band also featured Howe Kraft on guitars, Dave Baddorf on bass and Joey Daub on drums, only the latter of which still plays with Bachman’s band. For what they were, however, the band did an excellent job, easily hinting at the technicalities which would soon arise from the name of Believer. From the melodic leads of Vile Hypocrisy to the catchiness of D.O.S. (Desolation Of Sodom), the band are playing for their lives, and only the lyrics stop the entire experience from being perfect. Really, the opening words are ‘Rise up, so you can take a stand against the schemes of evil/Courage, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power’ and it doesn’t get much better from then on.

Fortunately, the music is good enough to make it easy to ignore the lyrics. Unite opens with sampled newsreaders and discordant piano before a church organ makes its weighty presence known, the heaviness of the actual Thrash when it comes is surprising. Killer riff is piled upon killer riff, building up until Kurt’s manic scream kicks things off properly. His vocals are high-pitched yells, somewhere between Tom G Warrior and Meshuggah’s Jens Kidman – the music also quite like early, Thrashy works from the technical Swedes. A deep guitar tone, audible bass, talented drummer... it’s quite easy to see where their later, much more progressive sound would come from, and Extraction From Mortality as a debut is a great album. It’s more straightforward than it first seems, the likes of Vile Hypocrisy mining the Slayer back catalogue and the band taking few actual risks other than the odd short bass solo. Yet whether they’re switching Doom for Speed Metal on Tormented or indulging in some weird solos indeed on Shadow Of Death, Believer are amazingly listenable despite at this stage not being the most original band out there. There’s even a nice little classical interlude at one point, starting the title track off well, and closing song Stress switches between a sort of reggae sound and the band’s usual Thrash.

Believer’s later albums (reviews forthcoming!) did much to weld together Thrash and Prog, and are fine examples of Technical Thrash to even rival Coroner’s reign over that genre. Although in comparison Extraction From Mortality is poor, in its own rights it’s more than worth the time of any Thrasher interested in the more cult bands of the scene. It was certainly the heaviest Christian Metal album out at the time.

Killing Songs :
Unite, Vile Hypocrisy, Tormented, Not Even One, Extraction From Mortality
Goat quoted 72 / 100
Other albums by Believer that we have reviewed:
Believer - Gabriel reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
Believer - Dimensions reviewed by Goat and quoted 89 / 100
Believer - Sanity Obscure reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
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