The Faceless - Autotheism review
|Release date:||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.
||Written on 09.03.2013 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.|
|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.
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