The Faceless – ‘Autotheism’

If there are two words in the musical lexicon that fill most reviewers – and especially this one, if must be admitted – with fear, then they are ‘progressive’ and ‘technical’. Especially when they are conjoined. I mean, I’m of a generation when both terms were applied to bands like Genesis and Yes – and, fuck knows, endless hours of listening to that shite is enough to scar you for eternity… never mind send you scurrying for cover should those two words ever dare to cross your retinal path again…

But, we have to be progressive, and we cannot let technicalities like teenage prejudices get in the way of our hardened, middle-aged journalistic judgement, can we?

This third album from California tech-metallers The Faceless literally has me torn in two, as it epitomizes both the peaks and troughs of this particular sub-genre. There are moments where it is just too damn fucking clever for its own good, such as the awful jazz-overkill of ‘Deconsecrate’, and then moments of pure blinding genius, such as the stunning technical death metal of ‘The Eidolon Reality’, the slow growing industrialism of ‘Ten Billion Years’ and the short sharp shock of ‘Hymn Of Sanity’.

And then there’s ‘In Solitude’ – the towering, epic closer, building from a gentle, picked solo vocal and strings intro piece into a brief sub-power metal interlude before blossoming into a stunning piece of beautiful, progressive darkness, filled with both atmospherics and venom in equal, highly effective measure.

Despite this impressive second half, the disappointing opening half means that the listener has to work for the reward of a 5/10.

Track list:

1. Create
2. Emancipate
3. Deconsecrate
4. Accelerated Evolution
5. The Eidolon Reality
6. Ten Billion Years
7. Hail Science
8. Hymn Of Sanity
9. In Solitude

‘Autotheism’ is out now on Sumerian Records and can be bought here:

About Mark Ashby

no longer planetmosh staff