"Autotheism" (Sumerian; 2012)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

The Faceless are technical death metal. That's not my first choice in music but I like to expand my horizons, no matter how dark they may be. This is the third disc from this Encino, CA outfit and it's a machine gun-fest from start to barely-crawling-across-the-floor finish. I'm a fan of technical metal which can even be placed into the crudely drawn circle of progressive metal and The Faceless will surely challenge your idea of technical metal because they add in the death metal element of growling.

I'm a fan of music, period. If the music is top shelf then you can have goat bleating over the whole thing, and I'll still hear the music and that's just what I wrung out of "Autotheism." The most prevalent part of this disc is the drums and guitar. The drums, when cued up, are like a runway chainsaw and the guitar is fast and furious. It's a combination that will surely leave a mark; mental, physical or both. Another interesting auditory note is the use of various sounds beyond what you would think technical death metal would produce. I could list them but I hate those people who spoil the movie while you're waiting in line to see it, so, you'll have to listen for yourself.

The Faceless are also considered progressive metal and they do have that sound pushing its way past the technical sound on a few tracks. There isn't any sort of struggle going on and I think the balance is scripted but it's well played. Because technical death metal isn't just for the casual listener or especially the passerby I would suggest chewing on a few tracks at a time before the whole thing chews you up. The guitar is excellent and the dedication to technique should be bowed to. The drums are akin to sprinting a marathon and the bass used on this recording was fretless, probably because Even Brewer would have played the things off anyway and the vocals, clean and dirty, make the death element the caption for "Autotheism." Michael's mom even helped with backing vocals!

The Faceless: Michael Keene guitar, clean vocals, keys; Wes Hauch guitar; Evan Brewer bass; Lyle Cooper drums; Geoff Ficco vocals. Guest appearance - Tara Keene backing vocals on "Emancipate."

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2013 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 13 May 2024 14:45:22 -0400.