Rating:
8.7
The Faceless - Autotheism
13 August 2012


01. Autotheist Movement I: Create
02. Autotheist Movement II: Emancipate
03. Autotheist Movement III: Deconsecrate
04. Accelerated Evolution
05. The Eidolon Reality
06. Ten Billion Years
07. Hail Science
08. Hymn Of Sanity
09. In Solitude


The Faceless have come a long way already over a career that hasn't even spanned them a decade, proving with each release their ever-evolving skill and maturation as composers. First there was 2006's Akeldama, a release that most everyone would regard as their worst due to its *gasp!* deathcorish elements. Then came 2008, and the band stepped up their game with Planetary Duality, moving further away from their deathcore roots and into some more promising tech death territory. That album brought hope for them to push the new sound even further, and now with 2012's Autotheism, those hopes have been met, the band even further transcending the foolish scene kid wanderings of their past in the process.

Autotheism begins, interestingly, the same way Planetary Duality finished: starting with a multiple-part song rather than ending with one. The album kicks off with the three-part "Autotheist Movement," and right away, from the piano and cello of the first part, The Faceless make it quite evident that with Autotheism, they're raising the bar even higher and taking no prisoners. The trilogy continues with the band's usual tightly-compacted riffage, as well as an extremely interesting (new!) blend of cleans and growls from, respectively, Michael Keene and new vocalist Geoffrey Ficco, who makes very little venturing into the deathcore style of the band's past. The man can throw out some intense grunts, and has no qualms about letting that be known ("Ten Billion Years," "Hymn Of Sanity,"and "Emancipate," in particular).

Autotheism is, in essence, much, much more epic than The Faceless's previous material, the progressive elements being more prevalent than ever before. The ambient sounds add in a distinct atmosphere that really helps to accentuate the band's sci fi/intellectual themes in a way that cannot be overestimated (the brief "Hail Science" interlude, "Create," and the majestic beauty of the beginning of "In Solitude"). But this is not at all to say that The Faceless still don't kick it up here and there with some intensity. As I said, Geoffrey Ficco is an excellent new fit with his harsh vocals, and as usual, Michael Keene proves that he's one of the most potent guitarists in tech death with his leads, notably at the end of "Deconsecrate" and on "In Solitude" (he's still no Christian Muenzner though).

So allow me to just come out and say it: Autotheism is most likely the best album to date for The Faceless, and really represents the band coming into their own like never before. It's a lot like Human for Death, or Omnivium for Obscura, or even From Mars To Sirius for Gojira. That is to say, it's basically their watershed album, the turning point where the composition has become a lot more mature, multi-layered, and intelligent. If you're still one of those people who has a personal problem with checking out The Faceless because they used to play deathcore, then don't waste your time with this album. But if you enjoyed the direction of Planetary Duality, and want to see that direction taken to new heights, then you need to hear Autotheism. The word roughly translates to "self worship," and in this case The Faceless have indeed proven that they are worshiping the triumph of their own songwriting.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: The Faceless
Album: Autotheism


 



Written on 09.03.2013 by
Apothecary
"Show me a sane man, and I will cure him for you"
-Carl Jung
More reviews by Apothecary ››

Guest review by
ScreamingSteelUS

Rating:
10
Many people criticize Autotheism as being a departure from The Faceless's previous direction, hoping that the progression from Akeldama to Planetary Duality would yield a third album even heavier and more technical than its predecessors. Autotheism is certainly in a much different vein from the band's previous efforts, being more progressive than technical, but it represents their creative and musical height, drawing on multiple influences to form what seems to be the true sound of The Faceless.

Read more ››
published 12.09.2013 | Comments (2)



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infernaldeath87 - 10.03.2013 at 03:10  
I love this review and it hit the nail right on the head about everything The Faceless was and is!
Apothecary - 10.03.2013 at 09:44  
Written by infernaldeath87 on 10.03.2013 at 03:10

I love this review and it hit the nail right on the head about everything The Faceless was and is!

Thanks for the feedback buddy! Yeah, I was hoping to see them take Planetary Duality even further, and they fucking nailed it with this... basically everything I said in the review lol.
Makes me really happy actually, because their aren't many modern tech/prog death bands that I like. I much prefer the older shit like Death, Atheist, Nocturnus, etc... so to see a more modern band kicking ass with the style like this is quite satisfying.
infernaldeath87 - 10.03.2013 at 21:27  
Quote:
Thanks for the feedback buddy! Yeah, I was hoping to see them take Planetary Duality even further, and they fucking nailed it with this... basically everything I said in the review lol.
Makes me really happy actually, because their aren't many modern tech/prog death bands that I like. I much prefer the older shit like Death, Atheist, Nocturnus, etc... so to see a more modern band kicking ass with the style like this is quite satisfying.

You're welcome man. Well I'm a big fan of anything that has to do with prog or death/tech death and I was thoroughly impressed with this album and it left me wanting even more! I love that old stuff too, and this album even had some of that vibe. Some parts reminded me of Cynic too.
Uldreth - 10.03.2013 at 23:09  
Nah man, Akeldama is best

Or well, I havent listened to this one enough to determine which one I like better but I liked Akeldama way better than Planetary Duality.
I_Die_Often - 15.03.2013 at 03:56  
Funny how you mention "Omnivium for Obscura" because I feel you definitely hear Obscura in this album.
Hear some Opeth wanna be's as well.
As far as a death metal album, I don't think so.
This leans avantgarde if one were to ask me. Playing great Obscura-esc music, then throw some odd shit in.
Yes, I am not a Faceless fan, but I gave this a shot... and got rid of it.
Apothecary - 15.03.2013 at 04:26  
Written by I_Die_Often on 15.03.2013 at 03:56

Funny how you mention "Omnivium for Obscura" because I feel you definitely hear Obscura in this album.
Hear some Opeth wanna be's as well.
As far as a death metal album, I don't think so.
This leans avantgarde if one were to ask me. Playing great Obscura-esc music, then throw some odd shit in.
Yes, I am not a Faceless fan, but I gave this a shot... and got rid of it.

Uh, no. The Faceless are progressive death metal (that's that "avante garde" you think you hear more than anything else). Obscura isn't the only tech death band out there, and Opeth aren't the only band that blend clean and extreme vocals together. If you can't argue respectfully and without sounding like a dick, then please, take your opinions elsewhere

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