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"Backout by Athame"

Tenneseein' is Tennebelievin'. A friend once told me that the difference between a good band and a great one is the ability to take what you can from you influences and move on, without trying to emulate them. Knoxville based Athame has done just that, and written one damn fine track, Backout, from their EP Reductive Process.

The opening riff is like crack (or skittles): you just have to keep going back for more. Seriously, when I first listened to the song I must have hit the "back" button more times than i can count, and like me, you'll do the same. You'll lose you're house, your job, your car, your numbered Elvis Presley Franklin Mint Collectors Plates (or maybe that's just me).

If you manage to stop hitting the back button like i eventually did (thank you carpal tunnel), it will finally dawn on you that this song kicks ass. The musicianship of the band, something unheard of in the rubberstamp world of corporate rock, is impressive, as is the vocal stylings of Brian Ford. With influences ranging from Tool to Year of the Rabbit, Backout would be a great addition to anyones's MP3 collection. Kinda like that Jailhouse Rock plate (or that could just be me). -


Athame-reductive process is in rotation on 90.3 fm wutk radio in knoxville, tn. also is in the top ranks in the hard rock category in . is also ravely reviewed about at


Feeling a bit camera shy


(drawing lines you can cross)

Athame have no time for the either/ors that ask for straightforward pop or strange avant-garde, either hard or soft. They mix technical perfectionism with organic structures, finding it no surprise that geometric beauty of the music should naturally contribute to an organic structure and tone. Science and symbolism, art and math, merge and dissolve.

Athame sound like running through a forest.

Matt's drumming, asymmetries set in symmetry, snakes in and out of your consciousness, setting the pace for your footsteps and demanding that you always go faster. Nathan's bass, skips and breaths of a ladder that trips you underfoot, traces dark paths and roots within the song with an inhuman steadiness. Matt's guitar, intricate yet driving, as expressive as any speech, builds the scenery and calls for colors but inverts them the longer you listen. Brian's singing, comforting and alienating by turns, whispers one way to turn but yells another way, a beautifully discomforting voice you hope never stops.

Ëślooking for air, found water"

Any single moment in a song gains its individual power by its elegant and austere precision, by its sharp edges and corners, but as the song continues, each of these moments fits into the larger structure that turns them into the creeping leaves and stems of a vine sliding along a forest floor or of a gnarled oak snapping with electricity.