Akeldama
THE FACELESS

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THE FACELESS - Akeldama cover
3.77 | 12 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2006

Tracklist

1. An Autopsy (3:11)
2. Pestilence (3:54)
3. All Dark Graves (3:50)
4. Horizons of Chaos 1: Oracle of the Onslaught (3:38)
5. Horizons of Chaos 2: Hypocrisy (3:43)
6. Leica (5:12)
7. Akeldama (5:51)
8. The Ghost of A Stranger (3:55)

Total Time 33:18


Line-up/Musicians

- Michael Keene / Guitar, Vocoder, Clean Vocals
- Derek "Demon Carcass" Rydquist / Vocals
- Brandon Giffin / Bass
- Steve Jones / Guitar

Session musicians:
- Nick Pierce / drums Track 7
- Andy Taylor (Diskreet) / drums Tracks 2 and 5
- Navene Koperwies (Animosity) / drums Track 4
- Brad Batdorf (Penatralia) / drums Tracks 1, 3, 6 and 8

About this release

Full-length, Sumerian Records
November 14th, 2006

Thanks to UMUR for the addition and adg211288 for the updates

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THE FACELESS AKELDAMA reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"Akeldama" is the debut full-length studio album by US, California based technical/progressive death metal act The Faceless. The album was released through Sumerian Records in November 2006. The Faceless was formed in 2004 and was at that point a four-piece without a permanent drummer. The drumming on the album is therefore handled by no less than four different session drummers. All skilled performers, who deliver fast precision playing, suiting the band´s demanding music perfectly.

Stylistically the material on the 8 track, 33:18 minutes long album is technical/progressive death metal with the occasional nod towards deathcore and more than a few parts which can be labelled melodeath. When the latter parts occur I´m reminded of an artist like The Black Dahlia Murder, but that is only a part of the band´s sound, and the music on "Akeldama" is generally a much more varied size.

The album opens with "An Autopsy", and it´s one of those tracks that´ll blow most listeners away. Jaw-dropping techncial playing, compositional diversity, and just loads of power and aggression. Pretty soon The Faceless introduce a little clean singing, deathcore breakdowns, and progressive structures and adventurous ideas, which ultimately make "Akeldama" a little more than your standard technical/progressive death metal release. The vocals vary between deep growling and higher pitched screaming (and as mentioned above the occasional clean vocal part).

"Akeldama" features a clear, powerful, and detailed sound production, which suits the material perfectly. So upon conclusion "Akeldama" is a high quality debut album by The Faceless. Some of the excursions into progressive territories make the overall flow of the album slightly inconsistent, but overall it´s a pretty impressive first release by the band and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

Members reviews

Sea Whisperer
THE FACELESS is a Technical Death metal band from Encino, California, founded by guitarist Michael Keene and bassist Brandon Giffin in 2004. Their debut album “Akeldama” (“Field of blood” in Aramaic), released in 2006, turned out to be very mature and well-written work, showing immense potential of the collective.

To say that music on “Akeldama” is diverse is to make an understatement. This album can serve as an encyclopedia of technical extreme metal, incorporating almost any trick from its arsenal you can think of. Differently sounding parts replace each other in quick succession. At one moment we hear NILE-like tremolo riffs with recognizable oriental mood, at next – a NECROPHAGIST-styled part and then – Deathcore breakdowns. To keep all these different fragments consistent and prevent songs from falling apart is a difficult task by itself, but most of the time the band is capable to do just that, thanks to Michael Keene’s songwriting talents (and small length of the songs, I guess). Despite of being influenced by some colleagues from tech-death scene, on this album THE FACELESS already developed their own style – cascades of intricate riffs, rapid changes in rhythm and tempo, sudden stops, intense, aggressive drumming, very neat use of keyboards, providing additional coloration and depth of the music, and using both clean and harsh vocals.

Production of the album is amazing: guitar tone is thick and edgy, bass is audible, drums are clear and loud. Musicianship is impressive – from guest drummers’ great performance to spectacular guitar work by Michael Keene, who delivers tons of technically challenging riffs and several tasteful solos, without slipping to mindless shredding. Derek Rydquist’s vocals, both screaming and growling, fit music perfectly.

My personal favourites from this album are “Horizons of Chaos I: Oracle of the Onslaught”, starting and ending with a very memorable “flowing” riff, “Leica”, containing some cool harmonized solos (if Halloween played Technical Death metal, they would probably sound something like that), and a title track, a brilliant Fusion Metal instrumental (reminding of some songs by Counter-World Experience), featuring great solo parts by all players (especially Keene and the drummer) and dreamy atmosphere.

Summary: a very solid debut, complex and diverse, marking the beginning of the way of one of the most interesting Technical Death metal bands nowadays.

Ratings only

  • MorniumGoatahl
  • TheHeavyMetalCat
  • 666sharon666
  • Necrotica
  • adg211288
  • kx1992
  • Immortalis
  • loggerhead
  • Anster
  • NorseGangsta

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