Face of Oblivion
The Embers of Man

Ever wonder what happened to supreme death metal vocalist James Lee after his departure from Origin? Here is your answer. Lee swings the microphone with authority on The Embers of Man from Mankato, MN’s Face of Oblivion, an album on which he is also credited with lyrics. No big surprises here; just a solid tech-death album that doesn’t forsake songwriting for blind technicality.

In other words, this isn’t off-the-chain tech-death like Brain Drill or Necrophagist, but those elements are present, just used more selectively and done in service to the song. Tunes like openers “Dead to Me” and “Drowned in Blood” take a more direct approach to tech-death (which almost seems like an oxymoron), right down to the semi-conventional song structures that include recognizable – if basic – choruses. Lee of course demonstrates his impressive versatility, which includes his distinct screams and growls, as well as some rather Origin-like patterns on songs such as “Panacea.” Rather than taking the have-arpeggio-sweeps-will-travel approach, those elements, along with the active bass playing, are used with wise selectivity; one example being the well-placed sweep bursts on “Lecherous Indignities,” one of the more dynamically composed tracks. That’s not to say that things don’t get a little nuts at times, particularly during the tempo-varied sweep-fest that is “Undesigned,” but even in that case there is a degree of linearity involved.

The Embers of Man takes a few spins to fully appreciate, which is usually a good sign. While it will probably not grace 2011 year-end lists the world over, it is a respectable first effort and one that most fans of the technical side of death metal should enjoy. Welcome back, James.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
August 18th, 2011


  1. Commented by: faust

    I don’t understand the production on this album… sounds like it’s from the 90’s.

Leave a Reply

Privacy notice: When you submit a comment, your creditentials, message and IP address will be logged. A cookie will also be created on your browser with your chosen name and email, so that you do not need to type them again to post a new comment. All post and details will also go through an automatic spam check via Akismet's servers and need to be manually approved (so don't wonder about the delay). We purge our logs from your meta-data at frequent intervals.

  • Hour Of Penance - Devotion
  • Veriteras - The Dark Horizon
  • Pestilence - Levels of Perception
  • Sonata Arctica - Clear Cold Beyond
  • Necrocracy - Predestiny
  • Replicant - Infinite Mortality
  • Zombi - Direct Inject
  • Mastiff - Deprecipice
  • Wristmeetrazor - Degeneration
  • Lvme - A Sinful Nature
  • Chapel of Disease - Echoes of Light
  • Houwitser - Sentinel Beast
  • My Dying Bride - A Mortal Binding
  • Mutilation Barbecue  - Amalgamations of Gore
  • Atrophy - Asylum