The Faceless - Planetary Duality (Sumerian, 2008)

Yeah, I know this came out in November, but I can't always be ahead of the times. I decided I want to go see Obscura open up for Cannibal Corpse in April. I figured I'd check out the other opening bands. It seems that the denizens of the internuts want to mention Faceless in pretty much every conversation about Obscura. I'll give it a try.
This album is written and performed by aliens. For truth.
I've been testing the soulless waters of "technical death metal" for many a year, so I'm shocked to come across two releases so close together that give me a special feeling.
What does Planetary Duality sound like? How about engaging melodies mixed with excessive speed, grooves, actual song-writing ability, and aliens. The vocals are decent mid-range growling. Some funky vocoder stuff shows up, but the sparse clean singing really hits home for me. The only comparison that comes to mind is Porcupine Tree's Steve Wilson. Whereas Obscura lean towards actual Death worship, The Faceless are almost off the map in the scope of their vision. I guess you can see all sorts of funky stuff when you're an alien.
You can hear this style of crazy, angular riffing all over the death metal world these days. But crazy riffs a song do not make. These are well written songs. About aliens.
The solos are beautiful, for lack of a better word. The drumming, while frequently trigger-happy, is fantastic. The bass makes some pleasant, slappy appearances. A couple of proggy acoustic breaks contribute welcome alien atmosphere.
I really dig this. I recommend a cup of coffee before listening. Now I can't wait for the show. I just hope the band has been well fed.

86/100

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