Faceless Burial – Speciation

Band: Faceless Burial
Title: Speciation
Label: Dark Descent Records (CD) / Me Saco Un Ojo Records (LP)
Release Date: 07 August 2020
Country: Australia
Format Reviewed: Digital Download

Everyone can probably name a few Australian rock bands who’ve made an impact abroad; in terms of metal you might want to cite the AC/DC Aussia connection and consider their impact on the evolution of metal, but unless I’m having “a senior moment” (as my dad would call it), history does not include much in the way of big Australian “metal” acts. Of course there are plenty of bands in the underground making metal in Australia. Earlier this year Adelaide’s Shatter Brain released a great, vibrant dose of modern, thrash/groove metal infused metal with their excellent full-debut “Pitchfork Justice”, but whenever I see a metal release coming from “down under” I’m curious to discover where the influences will be drawn from, because the sources of inspiration could come from many different directions.

Faceless Burial hail from Melbourne, Victoria, coincidentally the city where I was born, but it’s been over 30 years since I lived there, so I hardly have my finger on the musical pulse of my old hometown. I quickly found much to my liking. This band plays hard, fast, tight and with satisfying energy and power, operating on a death metal landscape. The furious drums of pening track “Worship” straight away let you know what’s up soon to be complemented by high quality guitar riffs and leads. At times riffs have a rubbery Demilich feel about them. A little technical, but this never detracts from the heaviness.

There’s a proggy edge to the band that can be heard in “Limbic Infirmary” which shows off some great tempo and rhythmic changes. On this track guitarist Füj also drops an unexpected but very cool guitar solo. But here and elsewhere heaviness is first and foremost. Most tracks are between around the 5-7 minute mark, chocked full of great, heavy riffing. The fittingly titled “Irreparably Corpsed” has a Cannibal Corpse flavour to it; while in another death metal nod I hear an Immolation vibe to the closing track “Ravished to the Unknown”. All six tracks on the album have their own individual feel and whenever I feel like I know the formula the band surprise me, like with the squealing guitar on this track that sound like horses being reined in, or the slower, dragging metal meat grinder of the title track, which then switches to lightning-fast riffing on “Spuming Catarrhal Gruel” and has some of the album’s most frenetic playing and a wild solo.

For sure this is extreme metal, so if deep growled vocals and intense, battering percussie assaults are not so much your thing this album might be a bit too much of an auditory assault. But if for example you have enjoyed the brutal hammer attack of Cryptopsy’s “None So Vile” you will not be disappointed by the intensity, memorable riffing and all round bad-ass-ery of this release. For fans of brutal but catchy metal, the land of my birth has spewed out a goodun here. 8/10 Tom Boatman

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8/10 To Greatness and Glory!
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.**
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