After nearly four long years of waiting, the charismatic quintet from California is back with its third album called ”Autotheism”. Many bands in the past have claimed that the third album released is 90% the most critical in a music career, just remember albums like ”Master Of Puppets”, ”The Number Of The Beast’‘, ”Reign In Blood”, ‘‘Operation:Mindcrime” among others and you may fully agree. If you add the fact that the two previous masterpieces of the band ‘‘Akeldama” (2006) and ”Planetary Duality’‘ (2008) raised the expectations way too high, then it is inevitable to judge ”Autotheism” a little more harsh compared to other albums.

”Planetary Duality” was my first review for Metalpaths and I decided to start with it because I felt that people should discover about this great band. Despite that, I had stated that it was a little click lower in worth compared to the fantastic ”Akeldama”, which managed to destroy many ears and necks six years ago. This time The Faceless keep the basic elements of the first two albums but totally change direction, making their most progressive and (why not admit it?) mature album of their short career so far. Does this necessarily mean that it’s also the best? Not in this case unfortunately and I must explain the reasons why.

I had mentioned that alongside Obscura and Abysmal Dawn, the Californians were one of the three bands that could bring renewal to the whole death metal scene. Add the Cynic meets Meshuggah meets Cannibal Corpse feeling that was pouring from ”Planetary Duality” and it was more than certain that there would be much future success. This time The Faceless take the bet of their lives, releasing an album which is rather daring in all its form. Forget all the uncontrolled massacre that would torture ears and necks, this is evolution in the way the band wanted, not much caring about what the fans would think of ”Autotheism”.

The truth is that the guys are great players, they beat the shit out of the strings, skins, throats and whatever else you can imagine. On the other hand, compared to the other two bands I mentioned, they are making a longer step forward, which is also very dangerous. Without erasing the past, The Faceless clearly wanted to do an album that will be the bridge for their future releases, which judging by the current momentum, will become even more experimental and mellow (?!), unless they hide a very great surprise of course. I like listening to the album very much but that doesn’t mean it’s what I’ve been waiting since 2008.

You see, I still consider them a great band and I expected an album that would easily enter my top-20 list for 2012, in a very high place to be honest. I didn’t get such a joy from them and the album merely causes confusion and problems to me than headbanging and entertainment. The seven tracks they produce (plus the two interludes before the final track ”In Solitude”) will offer you 41 minutes of pure professional high-skill performance. If it’s your first encounter with them, you may adore them. If not, you may get a little disappointed that their brutality lessens as years pass by. In any other case, you can always check Obscura’s ”Omnivium” first, to see how they should have evolved.

Track List Line Up
01. Autotheist Movement I: Create
02. Autotheist Movement II: Emancipate
03. Autotheist Movement III: Deconsecrate
04. Accelerated Evolution
05. The Eidolon Reality
06. Ten Billion Years
07. Hail Science
08. Hymn Of Sanity
09. In Solitude
Michael Keene – Guitars, Vocals (Clean), Keyboards, Sequencing
Wes Hauch – Guitars
Geoffrey Ficco – Vocals
Evan Brewer – Bass
Lyle Cooper – Drums