posted on 1/2007 By:
The illustrious Jeremy Garner and I had a conversation recently about Sumerian Records’ debut from The Faceless, and here’s what was said about the 33-minute Akeldama:
JG: “Maybe I’m in the wrong mood for it, but this sounds like nothing more than a bunch of metalcore clichés wrapped up in a technical façade. Am I missing something?”
JJ: “I think it’s mainly an influences-on-the-sleeve record, with the noticeable influences/likenesses being Nile, Necrophagist, All Shall Perish, Arsis, et al.”
JG: “Is that what they call unoriginality these days?”
JG: “No, I’m just being a bastard. I’ll have to give it a few more spins to see if I can’t get into it.”
JJ: “I’ll have to give you a few more spins to see if I can’t get into you, baby.”
And then things got awkward.
Anyway, as noted in the scores above, the band’s instrumental abilities are staggering, and effortlessly outweigh their songwriting skills, which, though competent, aren’t anything to get excited about. While the inclusion of extravagant, Dimmu Borgir-like keyboard interjections freshen an otherwise familiar sound, it feels like The Faceless set out to clone their influences on Akeldama. “An Autopsy,” more than once, sounds similar to Dimmu Borgir and Necrophagist, “Pestilence” has Nile and, to a lesser extent, Melechesh leanings, there’s Arsis written all over “Horizons of Chaos II: Hypocrisy,” the robotic spoken vocals in “Akeldama” parallel those on Meshuggah’s Catch 33, and well, I guess I’ve made my point.
Again, the musicianship is both incredible and punishing, but that alone is certainly not enough to warrant a purchase. The Faceless copy their influences/idols/peers too much, which makes Akeldama easy to skip in favor of the original items.
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