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The Faceless - In Becoming A Ghost album review

Tech-death pioneers complete their return from exile

The Faceless - In Becoming A Ghost album

Helping to shape the technical death metal landscape with debut Akeldama and the exemplary Planetary Duality a decade ago, a revolving-door policy on members and limited touring seemed to consign The Faceless to the scrapheap. Yet 2012’s Autotheism showed band leader Michael Keene had plenty of fire and imagination left, exploring more elaborate, progressive realms. It’s an evolution that’s grown exponentially on their latest effort, mixing complex dissonance and audacious passages with even more angular textures, demented strings and a none-more-70s flute solo – all in the first song. Bound together by a narrative that weaves in daring, vicious instrumentation and gorgeous vocal melodies that prog metal visionaries Enslaved would be proud of, In Becoming A Ghost really delivers on its startling scope and absorbing nature, propelling the band from the ‘what might have been’ to ‘what next?’

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.