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Leaps And Bounds Better, But Inconsistent - 95%

flaccid_sphincter, September 27th, 2013

Back when Planetary Duality came out, if you told me The Faceless would release an album that would make it onto my best albums of the year list, I wouldn't believe it, yet in comes Autotheism, with The Faceless ditching the technical trendcore for a brilliant and melodic prog death sound reminiscent of Opeth, Persefone, and Kalisia's album Cybion. The Faceless have truly stepped it up in every single aspect, and I find myself spinning this album time after time, and I now know every word off the album.

The guitar work on here is much more enjoyable this time around, keeping the technical showboating to a minimum this time around (they kept the breakdowns to an absolute minimum this time too, which doesn't hurt), in favor of a heavily Opeth influenced style of death metal riffing, with lots of experimental chord progressions and rhythms. As far as the bass goes, there isn't much to say, it tends to follow the guitars and stay in the back of the mix. The drums are a lot of the same as well, blast beats galore. The guitar tone may be less desirable to some on here, most often using a lower gain, reminiscent of Gorod and Spawn Of Possession, but if you like their tone, more power to you. Much like the guitars, the vocals have evolved as well, with more frequent and much improved clean vocals, and sticking to a deep death growl more often than the "core" screams that plagued their earlier efforts. The greatest improvement of all here is the songwriting. No longer are their songs nonsensical riff-fests with vocals thrown over them, the movement between sections is much smoother, and doesn't seem nearly as disjointed as before.

This improvement does not come without its issues however, there are a few rather weak tracks throughout such as In Solitude, the disappointingly short Hymn Of Sanity, and the filler track, Hail Science, which could maybe be admired for its silliness, but it loses its charm after the first listen honestly. These shortcomings leave the listener a bit disappointed if they were expecting the rest of the album to be as phenomenal as the three-part album opener. Even though the rest of the album isn't as up to snuff as Autotheism in my opinion, it was a good buy for that track alone.

If you're a fan of Opeth's style of dramatic progressive extreme metal, this album is a must-have, even for just the intro tracks.