Band: The Faceless
Album: Planetary Duality
Release: November 11, 2008
Genre: Technical Death Metal
Label: Sumerian Records
Hey guys, I figure I will kick off the inauguration of the web page with a review of my personal favorite group.
Check out my name, sound familiar? If you are into technical death metal, it sure should be familiar to you. The very influence for my user name here is from the band The Faceless. The Faceless are a Technical Death Metal band from right down the street in Encino, California.
Now for the fun stuff, Planetary Duality.
Now from glancing at the art work, amidst the clashing colors of blue and purple; one sees a specific extra-terrestrial ambiance with the cover. This is the general theme of the album itself–it focuses on aliens of a reptilian sort, aiming to control the world. It seems odd at first, but the composition of the album mingling with the theme creates an out of the world listening experience.
The tracks exhibit impeccable musicianship and unworldly precise drumming and haunting wails of the guitar. They also add in some robotic vocals intermittently to emphasize the entire constant alien theme. Overall a perfect track order to a fantastic album. From then on the music remains rather solid, precise drumming, strong vocals, and composition. The brutality and technicality are the highlight of the entire album, focusing on the over precise instrumentation to their benefit, as only true musicians such as them could muster.
Overall, this album is worth noting purely for the precision required by Lyle, the drummer and his seamless drumming abilities. All the musical aspects were fine-tuned and composed and blended rather nicely into a beautiful, if not haunting package that makes you gaze skyward with anticipation for these other-worldly beings. In contrast to Akeldama, their prior release in 2006, this album fares well, supporting the growth of the band and the continuation of the science fiction theme we as fans have grown to love.
However, as incredible as the album is, it isn’t without flaws. One major gripe I had with the album was the presence of the keyboard. Keep in mind my personal favorite track produced by The Faceless was “Leica”, off of Akeldama. The song seamlessly mixed brutal vocals, fast clean instrumentation, and incredible use of the keyboard, not only to accentuate certain portions, but to execute wonderful changes of pace and transition between segments between songs. Now, I do hear a good deal of the keyboard use in this very track, but it plays far more of a secondary role, then a primary one, which is great to back up the band. However, I found the front and center approach to using synthesizer sounds was the major selling point to Akeldama and put The Faceless in seldom treaded territory amongst Technical Death Metal bands which use the keyboard.
That is the only flaw I have found in the entire album, which is moreso personal preference to their style then it is a detriment to the concept and instrumentation, which are both outstanding. Overall, you will regret missing this album if you are a fan of Death Metal, precision artistry, and anything else of that sort.
- Kyle [Planetary Duality]
The Faceless have announced a new album set for a 2012 release. On their current tours they’ve been playing a new track, titled “The Eidolon Reality”, which is shaping up to be a masterpiece and another huge stepping stone for the band. I will surely review that album in its entirety once it has hit the shelves. Jaraad and I have an interview set up with them during their stop in Hollywood while on the Metal Alliance 2012 tour, so stay tuned!
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