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Old 08-10-2012, 02:04 AM
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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!
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:50 AM
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I've always thought the faceless were good, not great. This album is the same way for me. It won't be touching my top 10. However, it is quite good, and is better than I was expecting. I love the "weird" parts you mentioned, lol.

As a science nerd, I was excited to listen to a song called Hail Science, but it is unfortunately a filler clip.
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:40 PM
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I agree that this album does seem quite disjointed. I feel like Keene was trying too hard to be progressive and weird which is why there are so many random samples and sounds being tossed around. With that being said, I still think it's a pretty great record, and songs like Accelerated Evolution, The Eidolon Reality, and Deconsecrate (besides the weirdo circus music) are right up their with some of their best material. I also really like the Cynic vibe in some of the riffs and solos.

I feel like this album will continue to grow on me the more I listen to it, but it is in no way better than Planetary Duality.

EDIT: Does anyone else miss the spacey vibe of Planetary Duality? I thought they did that sound better than anyone and they pretty much ditched it on this album.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:17 PM
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First full listen through as I type this, on Ten Billion Years now. Good record thus far. I'm not a huge Faceless fan to begin with, but this is definitely growing on me more than Planetary Duality did, so I might give that record another chance after I take in this one fully.
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NecroRob View Post
I agree that this album does seem quite disjointed. I feel like Keene was trying too hard to be progressive and weird which is why there are so many random samples and sounds being tossed around. With that being said, I still think it's a pretty great record, and songs like Accelerated Evolution, The Eidolon Reality, and Deconsecrate (besides the weirdo circus music) are right up their with some of their best material. I also really like the Cynic vibe in some of the riffs and solos.

I feel like this album will continue to grow on me the more I listen to it, but it is in no way better than Planetary Duality.

EDIT: Does anyone else miss the spacey vibe of Planetary Duality? I thought they did that sound better than anyone and they pretty much ditched it on this album.
Yeah, I listened to it again today and I am really enjoying it, but it's not as good as Planetary Duality. There are a few songs I really love though. And while I do miss the spacey feel, I am glad they're leaving it behind. The new sound is unique and it helps set them apart from the sea of technical death metal bands oversaturating the scene right now. I just wish the album was more consistent.
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Old 08-11-2012, 02:59 AM
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I actually like this one more than Planetary Duality
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:03 PM
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I think it's an enjoyable album but it's very flawed in some ways. As several have pointed out, they blatantly rip off Opeth a few times on the album (I facepalm every time I hear the "god is dead" part in Deconsecrate). I'm aware that this is actually the longest album is their discography so far but it also feels too short. I've only just gotten into this band recently and maybe it's worse on Planetary Duality but I can't help but think "that's it?" whenever I get to the end of this album. I'd give it about a 7.5/10.
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:34 PM
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After a few listens I can say without a doubt that I love it. It's not quite as good as Planetary Duality, but it still kicks a whole lot of ass. The new direction they went in is. All three Authotheist Movement tracks and In Solitude are fucking genius and right up there with the brilliance of Planetary Duality. The progressive elements are really cool and interesting and add this sense of unpredictability that sets them apart from other tech-death acts. Geoff Ficco does a fantastic job on vocals and he is more than worthy replacement for Derek Rydquist. Only flaw on the album is the extreme underuse of Evan Brewer. I mean you have the best bass player in metal and you don't utilize him at all? Bottom line: This is another amazing album from The Faceless and it was well worth the four-year wait.

Side note: One thing I couldn't disagree more about is the Opeth rip-off comments. Seriously? I mean I'm not a fan of Opeth, but I have heard enough of their shit to know this record doesn't sound anything like them. Does anyone else have a reason outside of it sharing one lyric from an Opeth song (which ironically is from Heritage from the no longer progressive death metal Opeth).
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastodon421 View Post
Does anyone else have a reason outside of it sharing one lyric from an Opeth song (which ironically is from Heritage from the no longer progressive death metal Opeth).
And it's not like that lyric isn't commonly used, as it's one of the most known quotes from one of the most influential philosophers in history.

I'm also really starting to enjoy this album a lot more. Even the clean singing has grown on me. Still not as good as Planetary Duality, but it's awesome none the less.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:00 AM
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So...is this worth buying? Thinking about getting it at Summer Slaughter tomorrow.
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