The Faceless - Autotheism (Review / Discussion)
Okay, so I'm going to do a little dissection of the album, because I'm bored. Forgive me if it sounds like rambling. I'm typing this as I'm listening to it for a second time.
When Planetary Duality came out I became obsessed with The Faceless, but over the last couple years my love for them has dwindled. When I heard the new sample a couple weeks ago I thought it was very interesting. It was weird, but in a good way. I was excited to check out the album, thinking it might rekindle my love for the band. Well, it did and it didn't.
This album is very fragmented. It seems like the band is going in different directions at once. The sample comes from the first song, "Autotheist Movement I: Create", and it's really the only part like that on the album, which I found disappointing. After a weird dramatic intro, which sounds like it could be in a movie trailer, it goes into that awesome almost Opeth-esque section. It's doesn't really develop beyond that though. Then it segues into the next part, which starts off with full on technical death metal. Then, out of nowhere it stops and there's a sample of baby crying. I'm not sure what the point of that was, and it is slightly annoying. The rest of the song is actually very good, with a cool solo in the middle, some nice riffs, and then another solo to finish it off. Now, I'd like to mention that this doesn't give off the same feel as Planetary Duality. Although it is technical, the solos are much more progressive sounding and Michael Keene's clean vocals play a much larger role throughout the album.
Part three of this song, "Deconsecrate", starts out rather weird. I'm not sure what they were trying to go for, but it sounds like creepy circus music. It seems really out of place. After an aggressive section, that keyboard part returns. It does so again near the end. There is also a saxophone solo randomly thrown in amongst all of this. It seems like this song is going back and forth between too many styles without coming together.
Next is "Accelerated Evolution", which I enjoy a lot. It's actually like an evolution of the style on Planetary Duality. Then there is my favorite song on the album, "The Eidolon Reality", which actually sounds like it could have come off Planetary Duality. That is not surprising though, as they were playing it live two years ago. It has a great chorus and I love the solo at the end. The next song, "Ten Billion Years", maintains a slower pace for most of its duration, but is still very interesting.
After a short interlude we get another taste of the aggressive, technical side of the album. "Hymn of Sanity", clocking in at merely a minute and a half, is perhaps the most intense song here. It is also the heaviest, with a short lived slam riff at the end. Then we have a drastic change of pace. "In Solitude", the last song on the album, starts with a very mellow intro and Michael Keene singing. It also features some acoustic guitars before going into one of my favorite riffs on the album. However, just as you're expecting an epic closing to the album, it starts fading out. It's a very awkward ending.
There are some incredible moments on this album, but it is not cohesive as a whole. At times it sounds like the band is trying to appease their fans with some Planetary Duality style parts, but then they want to try to step out of the box with more progressive sections and odd keyboards. It's like they don't know exactly what they want to do, so they threw in a little bit of everything. Some of the songs are straightforward, featuring mainly one side of the album, but others attempt to combine multiple elements and end up being a jumbled mess. I think it would have worked out much better if they released the more aggressive songs on an EP and then gone all out with the progressive style on the album.
Feel free to discuss, type your own review, or whatever!
Ride the wings of death.