Slice the Cake
The Man With No Face


3.0
good

Review

by Thomas Michael Morris USER (36 Reviews)
March 5th, 2012 | 54 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: SLICE THE MOTHERFUCKING CAKE

Slice the Cake must love irony; they’ve chosen a ludicrously silly moniker to represent their take on deathcore: a genre well-associated with low intelligence and romanticized machismo. Ironic too, that Slice the Cake manage to shine through a genre bathed in negative light with some unique effervescence. I would not exactly describe The Man With No Face as a beacon of light amongst the dregs of a deathcore, but it definitely shows flickers of brightness.

Slice the Cake’s interpretation of deathcore isn’t profoundly original, but it is well-executed and different enough to be noticeable. There are archetypical techniques employed, such as chugging down-tuned guitars, gratuitous and violent drumming, and the odd half-time breakdown, but they are merely there to serve as a template. Often times, Slice the Cake inject atmosphere into their compositions through the use of piano and keyboard effects. This is especially present in the latter half of the album, where orchestral interludes are often utilized to string together passages of mid tempo deathcore. These orchestral elements are very well done, and are a welcomed break from the tiresome brutality.

If anything, The Man With No Face is an adventurous listen. After the brief ambient/piano intro, the album begin with a jackhammering two-minute burst of violence penned “Rational Thinking, Logical Future,” and the equally satisfying “City of Ghosts.” Both are very solid deathcore tracks steeped in a dense fluid of production. After these tracks however, Slice the Cake’s song writing becomes much more ambitious. Beginning with the five and a half minute “Time Unwinding”, each ensuing track eclipses five minutes in length, with the title-track at a daunting 22 minutes in length. Cumulatively, The Man With No Face stretches to well beyond 65 minutes in length. For an album to merit such a massive run-time, the material must be varied and cohesive enough to hold the listener’s attention. Is The Man With No Face deserving of its length?

The blunt answer would be no, a deathcore album has no means being so goddamned long. The Man With No Face seems to get lost in its own ambition after its furious opening, as it moseys further into vapid oblivion than it should have. Some may categorize such length and structural leniency as being “progressive”, but the great length here is mostly unnecessary and frankly, a little tiresome. This is especially apparent in the marathon title track. There are moments of intrigue: 11 minutes into the song there is a brief blues guitar motif introduced which soon proves to become support to a flamenco-style acoustic solo. Unfortunately, this moment is sandwiched between two largely unmemorable ten-minute chunks. There’s nothing offensively bad present, it’s just very apparent that the band carved up a piece of pastry which was way too large to be devoured in one serving.

This proves to be the album’s main downfall. While Slice the Cake can be applauded for their ambition, most of the songs present here really don’t merit a six minute runtime. Other than the album highlight “Of Gallows”, an eight-minute track that marries symphonic and death metal elements together in a way that brings Mirrorthrone to mind, and perhaps “Promethean,” which features the album’s most interesting and dynamic riffwork bookended by a few dreary piano cadenzas, the majority of the tracks are ultimately unmemorable. There are a few noteworthy moments, such as the aforementioned guitar interlude halfway through the title track, as well as the rumbling distorted bass intro to “The Chasm”, but they are surrounded by a relatively unchanging assault of mid-tempo deathcore. While the instrumentation is varied well within each song, none of the songs really do much by themselves to stand out. After “City of Ghosts”, each song can be expected to run six minutes in length, consist largely of mid-tempo guitar riffs and double-time drumming, and have some kind of orchestral element to serve as breathing room. A song like “As Written in Pnakotus” or “Equilibrium” doesn’t cover any ground that wasn’t already covered in “Time Unwinding” earlier in the album.

Ultimately though, The Man With No Face is a very solid debut with a few growing pains. Slice the Cake easily could have cut 20 minutes of material from this pie without it losing any of its flavor. The band is tight instrumentally, and Gareth Edwards gives a solid and varied vocal performance (though his cleans are somewhat nasally), but their overall performance isn’t flashy or interesting enough to warrant such weight. The Man With No Face is at worst inoffensive and forgettable, but at best a solid and gripping deathcore record.

Check out: “Rational Thinking, Logical Future”, “City of Ghosts”, “Of Gallows”, “Promethean”



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user ratings (83)
Chart.
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Yazz_Flute
March 5th 2012


18847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I might come back and add more to this, I wrote most of it during my Computer Science class and I might have
wrapped it up a little quickly.

I originally was going to review it as a 2/5, but this is definitely growing on me. "Of Gallows" in particular is a really
good song.

Also the entire album is streaming here: http://www.slicethecake.net/

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

Yazz_Flute
March 5th 2012


18847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm not sure why the album art isn't appearing on the front page...

Eulogize
March 5th 2012


2969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Those cleans are just so meh.

Yazz_Flute
March 5th 2012


18847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I always seem to get one ghost neg...

CaptainDooRight
March 5th 2012


30239 Comments


im pos you just because someone ghost negged you

ITsHxCTOASTER
March 5th 2012


2494 Comments


I think it could use a different summary but that really doesn't matter much at all, good review. pos

Leatherneck
March 5th 2012


660 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it's pretty cool that they record every track by themselves and it sounds as good as any other band that uses a full blown recording studio

Yazz_Flute
March 5th 2012


18847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, you wouldn't know that the three band members all live in three different countries merely by listening to the recordings. They do a really good job in that sense.

wacknizzle
March 5th 2012


13602 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Saw this on a blogspot the other day and decided to download it after hearing the instrumental versions of the songs on bandcamp. It's pretty good for modern deathcore but I haven't listened to it enough to give it a rating yet. Good review BTW, i'm gonna have to give it a few good listens to see how I feel about its runtime/variety/standouts because i'm actually diggin this so far.

Digging: Redwood Hill - Collider

Yazz_Flute
March 5th 2012


18847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's definitely a grower because of how much material is present, but none of the longer songs are particularly exciting.
Personally, I think this album would have been better off it consisted of several shorter songs like "Rational
Thinking/Logical Future" and "City of Ghosts", and kept "Of Gallows" as the longer, epic piece.

dannyboy89
March 7th 2012


12797 Comments


Nice review Yazz. Pos.

bloc
March 7th 2012


34998 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I kinda had higher hopes for this tbh. I thought it would be all proggy and tech but it just wasn't enough for me.

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

Yazz_Flute
March 7th 2012


18847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah it really isn't proggy nor super technical; it's more long-winded and atmospheric.

Eulogize
March 7th 2012


2969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, I never really liked atmospheric metal before but the atmospheric parts in this are pretty cool.

ITsHxCTOASTER
March 7th 2012


2494 Comments


Of course the one album you like that has atmospheric elements is deathcore

Eulogize
March 7th 2012


2969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I like Aegaeon's new album. It has atmospheric elements.

Rev
March 7th 2012


9439 Comments


Jack (the guitarist) is such a bro

Yazz_Flute
March 7th 2012


18847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Do you know him personally or something?

sexpoi
March 13th 2012


599 Comments


good review. I remember listening to their ep a while ago and I thought they sounded pretty promising. I'm gonna give this a go

qwe3
March 13th 2012


21369 Comments


SLICE THE MOTHERFUCKING CAKE

now theres something i can get behind



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