Atheist are a technical death metal band from Florida, USA. The band is known for its highly complex playing and for incorporating jazz and latin elements into their sound. They were intially founded in 1984 under then name Oblivion, which was soon changed to R.A.V.A.G.E. (Raging Atheist Vowing A Gory End). The band issued several demos under this name before shortening their moniker to just Atheist. The band released their first album, "Piece Of Time" in 1989. The line-up was Kelly Shaefer (vocals, guitar), Rand Burkey (guitar), Roger Patterson (bass), and Steve Flynn (drums). In 1991, as the band was preparing their follow up, Patterson was killed in a car accident. He was replaced by Tony Choy (Pestilence). Atheist broke up the following year but in 1993, Kelly Shaefer put together a new line-up featuring Choy, Jason Greenbaum (drums), and Frank Emmi (guitar). Growing problems with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome forced Shaefer to limit his guitar playing to just rhythm guitar. Just prior to recording their new album, Rand Burkey rejoined the group. The album, "Elements" toned down the metal influences and increased the jazz and latin elements. Atheist split again after its release.
In 2005, Relapse Records reissued Atheist's 3 albums with bonus tracks that included demos and live tracks. In 2006, it was announced the Atheist was reuniting with Shaefer, Flynn, Choy, and Burkey along with guitarist Sonny Carson, as tendonitis and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome prevented Shaefer from playing guitar. However, personal legal problems forced Burkey to exit and he was replaced by Chris Baker. In 2010, it was announced the Choy had left the band for other projects. Later that year, Shaefer, Flynn, Baker and guitarist Jonathan Thompson recorded the album "Jupiter", with Thompson recording all the bass parts.
Randy Burkey, Scott Burns, Tony Choy, Marcel Dissantos, Frank Emmi, Kelly Shaefer, Roger Patterson, Mark Sczawtsberg, Steve Flynn