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Prog/tech/melo/slam death metal? Basically. - 85%

TheSunOfNothing, January 29th, 2010

The Faceless are one of the brand new modern tech-death bands, and are typically aligned with bands like Born of Osiris, Beneath the Massacre, and Veil of Maya, just to name a few. The Faceless, however, are much farther ahead in their game than the other bands, as evidenced by their latest effort, "Planetary Duality", which has basically abandoned any correlation to the more melodic and semi-deathcore workings of this album. However, despite the obvious superioirity of the latter album, this album shouldn't be overlooked, and if you do, you're missing A HELL OF A LOT.

First of all, yeah, I guess this has a few elements of deathcore thrown into the mix, with deathcore breakdowns seeping into a couple of the songs. But when this is done, it is done in an artistic way, with solos and keyboards leading them along. The majority of the album is a cohesive mixture of technical death metal, melodic death metal, progressive metal, and at certain points, slam death metal (the album has several slam riffs placed throughout which are usually very fun). It's interesting how they don't put any of these elements up front, and instead have all of them seep into one another (with the exception of the handful of slam sections and the entirety of the title track, which is a progressive metal song).

Demon Carcass's vocals are phenominal. Unlike the newest album, black metal shreiks are a main vocal style as well as his brutal death grunts (he is definatly one of the best modern growlers). In addition, some instances show him doing a more gurgl-y approach to the growls, which sounds weird, but cool all the same. Michael Keene (guitarist) shares some vocals here as well, as he does on "Planetary", his vocals being the cleans on "Pestilence" and the vocoder on the title track (his vocoder, and to a lesser extent, his cleans, are both used much more on the latter album). Michael's guitar is well done as well, filled with variety and shred-ability. He's definatly a guitarist to be looking out for in the future! Also of note is the drummer, Nick Pierce, although he only drums on one of the songs (title track), he adds an interesting Portonoey-esque feel to the drums, and he get a kickass solo later in the song, which is rare these days.

All in all, while I'm more of a "Planetary" guy, "Akeldama" is still a solid work which should not be missed.