The Faceless
Akeldama

In a year full of technical death metal excellence from the likes of Decapitated, Gorod, Psycroptic and Spawn of Possession, along come a group of six kids from Encino, California and fuck everything up.
I’m truly starting to believe that anything that gets labeled as “deathcore” or “metalcore” is now becoming strictly due to the band question’s age or looks. For example, much like All Shall Perish and Beneath the Massacre, The Faceless’s six fresh faced barely out of their teens will undoubtedly get thrown into the deathcore pack, but the fact remins Akeldama is a technical death metal record through and through. A Fucking good one at that.
So what if I tried to sell this record to both Hot ‘Between the Buried and Me’ Topic core fans as well as grizzled death metal 30 somethings. So to sell this what if I grudgingly sold this as a supposed ‘deathcore’ record for you kids reading, but for you gnarly long hairs out there then told you that the death element wasn’t some chaotic, noisy rumblings but a tightly honed and progressive form of complexity more akin to Necrophagist? And that their were Nocturnus like synths? And that the skill level of these guys was on par with the bands mentioned above? You’d better fucking act interested.
Granted a breakdown here an there as well as a couple of unsure ATG melody lines, oddly quirky and squealing moments (i.e. “All Dark Graves”, “The Ghost of A Stranger”) almost hinder the band’s attempt at real death metal respectability but still manage an All Shall Perish level of arpeggio laced, pummeling brilliance, but overall, when assaulted by complexly ferocious tracks like the ballistic opener “An Autopsy”, “Pestilence” (with some very cool clean/female vocals), the more lurching “Horizons of Chaos, pt 1; Oracle of the Onslaught” and “Horizons of Chaos, Pt 2; Hypocrisy”, the crushing “Leica”, and ultra proggy title track there’s hardly a single hint of ‘core’ to be heard amid the ultra impressive skills and compositions. And truth be told, the very thin strains of core-ish melody give the album and more memorable than many of their peers (“Lieca”).
At a little over 30 minutes, Akeldama is a tad short, but delivers the good in that time and I really expect great things from this lot in the very near future (and I’m betting on a bigger label).

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
January 1st, 2007

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