The Faceless
Planetary Duality


4.5
superb

Review

by iamthenightmare USER (1 Reviews)
November 11th, 2008 | 20 replies | 70,038 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A diverse and enjoyable tech-death album that will please old-fans and offers enough new ideas to bring in new ones.

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

Following their critically-acclaimed debut, The Faceless attempt to expand upon the technicality of Akeldema while simultaneously incorporating a diverse group of influences into their evolved sound. The result is a unique blend of intense tech-death metal, groovy rhythm passages, bluesy solos, and blistering shredding that expands upon nearly every aspect of Akeldema but manages to sound completely new and fresh.

As in any tech death band instrumentation is key, and The Faceless certainly don't fail here. Drummer Lyle Cooper blasts away at a frantic pace with a variety of equally furious fills tossed in, guitarists Micheal Kenne and Steve Jones offer a variety of sweeps, dissonant chords, chug-a-lug riffage, and of course shredding solos. But bassist Brandon Griffin (while being unforgivably hidden within the mix) is arguably the true highlight of much of the album, offering some of the most creative and technically proficient bass riffs around, that is whenever you can actually hear him. The vocals provided by Demon Carcass(yes it is a joke name) and Kenne round out the mix with Carcass delivering punishing bellows and Kenne throwing down some surprisingly good clean vocals and vocoder work. This new addition to the sound manages to shake up what would be some rather monotonous vocal work otherwise.

Actually the sound on Planetary Duality can hardly be considered monotonous in any sense. Industry standard time signature shifts abound, as do obscure time signatures and sometimes even small genre shifts. For example Xenochrist shifts from a death metal intro to a black metalish riff, Coldly Calculated Design abruptly shifts from furious tech death at its finest to a smooth BTBAM-esque solo, and Planetary Duality II (A Prophecies Fruition) contains a passage reminiscent of Opeth. While often short-lived, these shifts in style keep the sound fresh and varied without becoming overbearingly eclectic.

Probably the most noticeable aspect of Planetary Duality is the incorporation of The Faceless' influences into their own unique sound. On the first listen traces of Necrophagist, Cynic, Opeth, Between the Buried and Me, and Nile are all readily apparent. While some may claim this merely rips off the above mentioned bands such is not the case. The Faceless merge these influences within their own individual sound to create something unique and new but don't allow these influences to become over-stated.

As with every CD, there exists a few drawbacks on Planetary Duality. The most noteworthy is the length. Planetary Duality runs at just over 30 minutes, and while I personally don't mind half-hour albums others may not as open to the thought. But considering the astoundingly positive reception to Cynic's 34 minute Traced in Air, this may not be such a problem after all. The snare production can get a tad tedious in large doses, particularly when blasting at full speed. The loss of a keyboardist shortly before recording Planetary Duality closes some doors that would otherwise be open. And, for all you anti-deathcore people out there, breakdowns. While there are not many present, those less-privy to the idea of chug in their tech death(which judging by the cold reception Beneath the Massacre still manages to garner is quite a bit of you) will undoubtedly consider this a con. Overall these cons are rather small and can easily be gotten over.

Planetary Duality is everything a sophomore effort should be. It expands upon the ideas of Akeldema without rehashing anything already presented and offers enough new ideas to justify Planetary Duality as its own album and not just Akeldema part two. While the new sound may turn off old fans, the great musicianship and overriding theme of alien invasion is sure to draw new fans and lots of attention from the metal community. A great album that won't disappoint even the harshest of critics.


user ratings (1485)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • BringMeTheWaffles. (4)
    The Faceless release a truly solid album....

    vanderb0b (3.5)
    Will this album change your opinion of technical death metal? No. Will it provide you with...

    Brendan Schroer STAFF (4)
    A very rewarding sci-fi tech metal album for those who are able to withstand 30+ minutes o...

    randomguitarist (4.5)
    The Faceless deliver technical brutality and experimental ambiance. One of the most punish...

  • TomMilligan (4)
    A Superbly executed Tech-death album....

    Kit Brown (4)
    Planetary Duality is a more than solid next step and a logical progression for the group,...


Comments:Add a Comment 
asdemonsburn
November 11th 2008



793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review, if you think the bass is good on this, you should probably check out Deeds of Flesh - Of What's to Come.

weare138mike
November 11th 2008



48 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

yeah good review. I too was also very disappointed that the bass was so low in the mix. i love tech death bass. necrophagist does that alot. and i love bass sweeps. it's something you don't hear often. But yeah this album was a huge step up. and if you ask me i was expecting what they did on PD on akeldema. i thought akeldema was trying to much to play to the california crowd. seeing as bands like animosity and JFAC were spreading "deathbore" like wildfire thoroughout the US. the only track i really liked on akeldema was akeldema. but that's cuz i like fusion jazz i.e. shawn lane. I also think prison born is prolly the best opener for a CD i have heard in a long time. I hate how bands make some boring meaningless intro. i.e. suicide silence/whitechapel. It's nice to see a good concept album. and seeing this has to do with alien invasion. this would be a good CD to play while you are playing DEAD SPACE.

iamthenightmare
November 11th 2008



754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i totally agree about prison born, its the best opener for a cd since Agalloch's Limbs.

thanks for the positive feedback yall

yas666eer
November 11th 2008



270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"While often short-lived, these shifts in style keep the sound fresh and varied without becoming overbearingly eclectic. "

Completely true mate :D

TrojanWhore
November 11th 2008



752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought you already submitted this...oh well.

Great review, I'm really liking this album.

Phantom
November 11th 2008



8930 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review. I need to get this ASAP. Might have to look for a rip to tide me over for now.

Yazz_Flute
November 11th 2008



18769 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Upped to a 4.5, on my 3rd full listen today. I've decided that Prison Born is like the best track ever that is under 2 minutes long.

Digging: The Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

Infernis
November 11th 2008



398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd give it a 3.5-4 personally, probably a 4, but...it felt very short to me.

Most songs were memorable in one way or another, especially XenoChrist but I felt that Sons Of Belial for the most part was forgettable, aside the middle passage with that BM sounding part and what followed after.

That said, the album is pretty good and I do feel Deeds of Flesh would be appropriate to recommend with bass work.

Enjoyable album and while it's not exactly as genre-defying as Akeldama apparently was, as a whole album I feel this is a great release. I guess Akeldama just had some strong stand out tracks (Pestilence, most notably.)


Seems to be for the most part breakdown free. The riffs feel more like parts to a song as opposed to just thrown in there to be heavy, so I'm liking that as well..
This Message Edited On 11.11.08

iamthenightmare
November 12th 2008



754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

agreed, there are definitely breakdowns, but they feel extremely natural and not thrown in gimmicks to be br00t4cul4r

this album as a whole is better than akeldema, the parts work together much more nicely although its odd that you say this is less genre defying than akeldema considering this actually incorporates much more genres into the mix.

the only truly genre defying track on akeldema was akeldema itself, and even then it bore heavy similarity to BTBAM at points(never a bad thing)

asdemonsburn
November 12th 2008



793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Upped to a 4.5, on my 3rd full listen today. I've decided that Prison Born is like the best track ever that is under 2 minutes long.


Necrophagist - Foul Body Autopsy
This Message Edited On 11.12.08

jingledeath
November 12th 2008



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

G-reat review man.I seriously can't decide on which album is better.This one probably slightly edges Akeldema.Need to listen moar.
oh and Prison Born fucking owns!

weareshadenow
November 12th 2008



175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why does one album have to be better than the other, Why can't they both be equally awesome?

Legion of the serpents is teh shitz.

AngelPhoenix
November 12th 2008



2764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah I agree but I have to say, the last track destroys me

igloodude
November 13th 2008



398 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album sounds like a cheesy, low-budget sci-fi flick, only way more brutal. I like it a lot.

KTV
November 14th 2008



760 Comments


I didn't really give their debut a fair listen, but I'm giving this one a listen, and I'm really impressed.

combustion07
November 16th 2008



5343 Comments


Still haven't listened to this all the way through yet, sounds alright so far though, not as good as their first, but close.

iamthenightmare
November 30th 2008



754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

has anyone else been diggin this as hard as i have lately?
the only fault i can really find with this is that it doesn't have an akeldema type song that really mixes it up.


Rareform
November 30th 2008



26 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well the whole album is a change. It is progressive on a whole new level for them. You could say they are merely on a space shuttle. As i see it...the music does not only sound like its from a new planet, but it is also that much higher than any other band in the genre...

keysofanxiety
October 22nd 2009



143 Comments


A very good review, even more so considering it's your first.

I think I'll positive this =) Well written, I hope to read more of your stuff in the future.

supertouchox2
December 20th 2009



1062 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

finally a review on this i agree with, you touched on all the parts i see as pro's for the album although as towards the bass i would say it is lost in the mix but that is essential for this kind of music to provide a clear sound.
well done, brilliant review.



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