The Faceless
Planetary Duality


4.0
excellent

Review

by Brendan Schroer USER (179 Reviews)
August 10th, 2009 | 59 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A very rewarding sci-fi tech metal album for those who are able to withstand 30+ minutes of heavy assaulting on the ears.

These days good technical death is hard to come by, let alone death metal in general. There are very few that have stood out in the crowd for this genre. Luckily, however, this band pushes the envelope into new territory for tech metal with new ideas. Sure, there are a few minor flaws here and there (which I'll discuss later), but overall, this album seems to improve on Akeldama and it stands as a good, solid album.

It seems very interesting that this band came from Encino CA, of all places. Most death metal comes from Europe, particularly in Sweden. Anyway, without further ado:

The band starts with Prison Born, the most technical track on the album. Despite the brevity, clocking in at 1:59, it makes a good start. Actually, this whole album is quite brief, as it is only 31:42 in length. Yet it seems that the short life of the album makes it more concise and ultimately acceptable for tech metal. The Ancient Covenant continues the crazy prog/tech metal, but is not as startling as the beginning, and is much more melodic. This song goes through MANY tempo changes to reach its destination.

Shape Shifters is just a short instrumental, but it's very unsettling and will prepare you for the upcoming tracks that lie ahead. The guest keyboardist adds a nice touch here. All of a sudden, Coldly Calculated just comes right out of the gate, leaving you no time to catch your breath. Take note that this is one of the only two tracks containing clean vocals, but this is very brief. Xenochrist HAS to be the highlight here. It, too, has a startling beginning, but then goes into a short keyboard interlude, yet then continues the chaos. Eventually, though, it settles down for some good prog metal. It also changes to various tempos and is overall a solid song.

Then we come to Sons of Belial, more of a doom metal track, but of course still maintaining the sci-fi theme. It has a minute of two of the doom metal, but then catches breath and builds up to a faster tech metal song like the rest of the songs. I'd say this song is a bit of a disappointment because of being a very slow starter, but it just takes a bit of patience to find its worth. Legion of the Serpent is another highlight of the album. It starts out in kind of a Black Dahlia Murder-type way with its extreme metal-esque beginning, and it actually continues this kind, proving again that The Faceless have been pushing the envelope for a while in terms of music.

The title track, as you've probably noticed, is in two parts, with a story detailing Area 51. Of course, this IS a sci-fi album, as mentioned, so it totally fits. The 1st part is the one mostly detailing the story and it is about a minute and a half. The second part, sadly, was a disappointment for me. It was a solid song, but seemed a bit bland and directionless overall. It usually repeated lines over and over again. This is the second song with clean vocals. They're uesd a bit more here, but i'ts still brief. It was just a bit of a disappointing end to a great album.

To conclude, this was a great sci-fi tech metal album that pushed the band's ideas a lot more than their 1st offering, Akeldama. If you're a technical death metal fan, or even just a tech metal fan, then this album is essential, even with the flaws of brevity and the last track.



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user ratings (1490)
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...

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

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

  • iamthenightmare (4.5)
    A diverse and enjoyable tech-death album that will please old-fans and offers enough new ...

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


Comments:Add a Comment 
Zip
August 10th 2009


5312 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review was unnecessary

Zip
August 10th 2009


5312 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What did you say that was any different then the 4 other people that reviewed this.

Nothing.

TrojanWhore
August 10th 2009


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, ignore Zipper.

Akeldama is better but this is very good.

FadeToBlack
August 10th 2009


10926 Comments


yep zipp3r's being a cunt.

This is a definite improvement over your first review, just a bit short. pos'd

I thought the last song was probably the best. It felt more like an actual song than the otehrs, which were just like collections of successive notes

BallsToTheWall
August 10th 2009


44363 Comments


It seems very interesting that this band came from Encino CA, of all places. Most death metal comes from Europe, particularly in Sweden. Anyway, without further ado: So much fail with this comment. A good review though. Listen to Nocturnus who did the sci-fi old school death hella good.

Digging: Pharmakon - Abandon

1drummer
August 10th 2009


324 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Prison born is not the most technical song on the album, this is an amazing album though. PD part2 is probably my Fav.

FadeToBlack
August 10th 2009


10926 Comments


123 on Nocturnus, The Key is great

jingledeath
August 10th 2009


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

prison born slays, the rest is good too

Greggers
August 10th 2009


2375 Comments


Good review, I still haven't heard this

bloc
August 10th 2009


34848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you should, it's good stuff

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

R6Rider
August 10th 2009


4614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album slays

TrojanWhore
August 10th 2009


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

trudat

guitarists are beast

Phantom
August 10th 2009


8930 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

oh my

Wizard
August 10th 2009


19403 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It seems very interesting that this band came from Encino CA,

California/ South-West States are responsible for putting out most of this deathcore junk. These guys at least have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Digging: Khonsu - Traveller

Eakflanderyof
August 10th 2009


2143 Comments


^ Yeah, they even whip out a little black metal influence in Xenochrist. I saw these guys live when I went to see Atheist. The bright-eyed core fans were so annoying. A friend of mine just made fun of the karate guys the whole time in the pit and kept tripping them as they went spinning across.

The album's not too bad, though. Coldly Calculated Design has a pretty awesome little circus diddy in the middle. Xenochrist is pretty awesome. PD part 2 is godd. When I listen to this album, I feel tired of it by the end, though. Good tech death is hard to come by, though. I would recommend Dysrhythmia to anyone that likes this. It's like this without any core and more prog elements. Kinda has that sci-fi feel as well.

Review could've been more in-depth and descriptive in general. It felt like a lazy track-by-track that got even lazier in the end as most do. There's also little too much about what genres they're going for at certain parts.

Wizard
August 10th 2009


19403 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I definitely agree that 'Xerochrist" is the strongest track on here. If only that song were consistent to the rest of the album.

I would recommend Dysrhythmia to anyone that likes this. It's like this without any core and more prog elements. Kinda has that sci-fi feel as well.

Dysrhythmia own these guys hard because they don't do the deathcore, plain and simple. I have a review on the go for Barriers and Passages as well.

marksellsuswallets
August 10th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dysrythmia rules.

rasputin
August 10th 2009


14544 Comments


album's ugh

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 10th 2009


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

123

Wizard
August 11th 2009


19403 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You guys have also got to realize that I'm only 14, so if I've written a bad review, this is most likely why. Yet it seems that the review has had some positive feedback...

It really doesn't matter what age you are as long as you're producing quality reviews. I feel you're mistaking peoples disagreements with the rating and not so much the review itself.



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