The Faceless: Autotheism

Progressive Cali deathsters take the rough with the smooth

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It’s hard not to feel The Faceless should be a lot bigger than they are. They signed to Sumerian back in 2006 when the label was just starting out and paved the way for the ‘Sumeriancore’ movement that followed.

They took elements of Opeth, Cynic, Death and Strapping Young Lad to spawn a sound of their very own, sending ripples across the deathcore and djent scenes. Autotheism is their third album and marks a new lineup for a band that have been fairly unstable thus far.

From beginning to end it’s brimming with terrifying musicianship and profoundly inventive songwriting without ever becoming laborious. The ultra-precise brutality of Emancipate and Hymn Of Sanity are balanced by the cinematic soundscapes of Deconsecrate and Ten Billion Years to create a wonderfully rich and pain-stakingly articulate body of work.

Band leader and chief composer Michael Keene seems to reject all notion of musical boundaries, weaving his way through the realms of death metal, film-score and jazz, making Autotheism an absolute gem in the crown of progressive metal in 2012.

Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences. He's interviewed everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handling lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).