Jumping to Conclusions: The Faceless – In Becoming a Ghost

I’ve never really listened to The Faceless, and all that I really know about them is that The Facelessthey don’t subscribe to the Black Eyed Peas’ beliefs on drama (no no drama, no no no no drama). So I delved into In Becoming a Ghost with a clear mind and a full heart, not knowing what to expect.

Part prog and part tech death, the Faceless manage to do both genres pretty well, but leave a little bit to be desired on both accounts. Newcomer Ken Sorceron (of Abigail Williams fame) nails the growls, bringing a harsh counterpoint to the sterile precision of the music. Founding member Michael Keene, however, doesn’t deliver to the same degree with his clean vocals, which occasionally come across as thin and nasally.

The music is very interesting, but I feel like the weakest points are when the band tries too hard to be “proggy”. The flute solo on “Digging the Grave”, for example, feels wildly out of place and only detracts from the phenomenal musicianship of the track. While I’m sure the band wanted to experiment, they are more than creative enough with their songwriting that the additional bells and whistles are just unnecessary (except for the organ part on “Shake the Disease”, which is absolutely fantastic).

That being said, hot damn can these guys write a fun metal track. They never fall too far into full on guitar wankery (a common failing of many prog records), instead keeping their writing tight and furious while still experimenting with odd time signatures and uncommon sounds.

The album intrigues me enough that I will definitely spend some time going back through their discography to see what I’ve been missing, but it falls short in a few easy to fix areas (points also taken off for “(Instru)Mental Illness”, which may be the worst song title I’ve ever seen).

GRADE: B-

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS

“Digging the Grave”, “Shake the Disease”, “The Terminal Breath”

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