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The Faceless: Autotheism

Progressive Cali deathsters take the rough with the smooth

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.