Face Yourself
Tales of Death EP

I realize Deathcore is a polarizing form of extreme metal and quite honestly I could give 2 shits.  Many people and fans, as well as current and former members of my alma mater, Internal Bleeding have even said our earlier work had a direct influence on Deathcore.  The main points discussed were our second album, in 1997, The Extinction of Benevolence, due to the massive amounts of sludgy breakdown slams, and my varied vocals of the inhale gutturals, and some of my power-violence hardcore-ish death metal vocals, as well as the 808 bass bomb drops on that album.  Yes, I do see how early IB was an influence on deathcore and I am happy about that, as I have been a fan of deathcore since the first Job For A Cowboy and first Chelsea Grin eps hit years ago.

So…if you live under a rock and are unfamiliar with wtf deathcore is, here is a description.  Merge death metal and hardcore, but with more death metal influence.  Yes, you will have blast beats, but you will also hear excruciatingly heavy breakdown slams throughout the songs.  Vocal attacks are usually ultra-deep, with brees, as well as higher register vocals, with screamo types of vocals.  Many start and stop moments throughout the songs and once in a while, certain bands – I am looking at you Emmure, who incorporate djent, Meshuggah-like moments into their breakdowns.  Lyrics are usually based on more emo types of life changing moments, but also can have violent and sexually charged lyrics.

This brings us to Face Yourself, a newcomer to the scene dropping their first 2 EP’s in 2023, a S/T one and Death Reflections.  The band has become a deathcore sensation with their marketing and videos.  The band is based in the USA, east coast, but also out west and spanning to France.  The singer has a French name, so I am unsure if she resides there still or is in the States. “Gross Bagarre”, off the s/t is one minute of extreme breakdown to slower and heavier breakdowns and the singer Yasmin Liverneaux Belkhodja’s head spinning, with her long hair and her violent AF vocals, have me doing windmill kicks all damn day. The band is rounded out by:  Eric DiCarlo – Drums, Guitarists: Thomas Cardone/ Corey Doremus/ Dave Ricco & Kyle Muenzner – Bass.  There are other members, like the bassist, and one of the 3 guitarists, who do backing vocals.  They do sometimes more of the shouting core-ish styled vocals.

Now they drop yet another new 5 song EP Tales of Death that well, just like their previous EP kicks ass, quite severely I might add.  “The Betrayer” starts with some industrial sounds before the breakdown erupts immediately with Yasmin’s putrid and filthy gutturals coming through perfectly-killer growl before the blast beats erupt.  The breakdown at the 1.49 section is some disgustingly heavy shit –  it’s criminal to release something so heavy and brootal.  Terrific slams.

“Sirens” starts with some dissonance and bass guitar heavily distorted fuzziness and right into the brutal breakdown and the 41 second moment with Yasmine’s clogged-sewer pipe gutturals and higher register raspiness are stellar and one of the other members chimes in with his shouting vocals.  Quite a varied and frenzied vocal attack.  The breakdown continues and gets heavier as the song goes on with some excellent growls.  The song “Bathory” is excellent and resembles nothing of the Swedish legends’ form of black/viking metal, they were known for. This is pure beatdown music with plenty of tempo shifts, with some blasts and then the song traversing into a monstrous beatdown groove.  Nice vocal work, from everyone, and a bit of a spoken word moment within the music, towards the end.

Hey at the end of the day Face Yourself may not be the most original deathcore band on the scene.  So how does one separate themselves from the genre? Because this is not blackened deathcore, this is straight beatdown deathcore.  How you do it is by having a dynamic singer, like Yasmine, and you create memorable and catchy riffs with catchy slams.  That precisely is what Face Yourself does.  All three EPs are killer and Tales of Death, with the cool Halloween/horror artwork, is yet another example of the band knowing what they do well and continuing to push their music forward.  I can see this band, if they would be willing to accept an offer, get snatched up by a major label in 2024…it’s coming.  This band is making waves with their EPs/merch/videos and social media presence.  If you like this type of music…then come on and get yourself some!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
December 1st, 2023

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