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The Faceless - Autotheism CD (album) cover

AUTOTHEISM

The Faceless

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.25 | 19 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Autotheism" is the 3rd full-length studio album by technical death metal act The Faceless. The album was released through Sumerian Records in August 2012. Itīs been four years since the release of the critically acclaimed "Planetary Duality (2008)". An album that showed a progression from the bandīs early more "core" oriented sound to a technical death metal sound with progressive leanings.

...the music on "Autotheism" continues the technical death metal sound of itīs predecessor to a degree, but Iīd say the technical part of the bandīs sound is now playing second violin to the progressive part of their sound. In other words this is more a progressive death metal release, which is technically well played, than it is a technical death metal release with progressive leanings like the case was with "Planetary Duality (2008)". The change in style between the two albums is actually so radical that at times Iīm in doubt if itīs the same band playing. Influences from artists like Devin Townsend and especially Opeth are strong on the album and there are extensive use of clean vocals (in addition to growling vocals) on the album. A feauture that was only occasionally used on the predecessor.

The album features adventurous song structures, tempo-and time signature changes and a generally progressive mindset to creating music. Best examplified in the opening 17:43 minutes long "Autotheist Movement" (check out the carnival music in "Autotheist Movement III: Deconsecrate" or the dynamic semi-jazzy soloing which also occur in the suite), which might be sub-divided into three tracks but functions as one long track. The rest of the material isnīt as progressive in nature, but there is still a focus on creative ideas before technical playing.

Weīre talking high level musicianship all around and a powerful sound production that suits the music well, which of course adds further to how professional sounding and enjoyable the album is as a whole.

If I take on the objective glasses "Autotheism" is a damn fine progressive/technical death metal album strongly influenced by Opeth and at times Devin Townsend. A high quality release and recommendable to fans of the style.

On a personal level Iīm slightly disappointed that theyīve changed their style so much since "Planetary Duality (2008)" (which I still think is one of the strongest tech death metal albums, released after 2000), that I have a hard time recognising "Autotheism" as a The Faceless release. There was a big difference in sound and style between the debut and "Planetary Duality (2008)" but this time I think theyīve worn their influences a bit too much on their sleeve and in the process have forgotten to focus on who they are as a band and what made them distinct and unique sounding. Musical development is fine, but not necessarily if you sacrifice identity in the process.

Still Iīll go with the objective opinion about "Autotheism", when I rate it, because you canīt take away from the album that itīs extremely well played, well produced and very creatively put together, and I know I would have rated it high, if it was the debut album by a new artist. So a 4 star (80%) rating is still deserved despite my reservations.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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