It has not been a kind year to The Faceless. With overly publicised tour cancellations and managerial arguments surfacing to the public, one would have assumed that this was a band on the brink of packing it all in. Thankfully this was not the case, and following a very exciting reveal of a new lineup solidified by new vocalist Ken Sorceron, of Abigail Williams fame (and probably one of the best vocalists in the game right now). The Faceless return with their first album in nearly 5 years: In Becoming a Ghost.
Starting off with title track 'In Becoming a Ghost', a melodic, almost black metal introduction track that wouldn’t feel out of place on an Abigail Williams record, sets the atmosphere for what’s about to follow: decimation. With the second track and most recent single 'Digging the Grave', The Faceless waste not one second in showcasing what we’ve all come to love and appreciate about them: Technical death metal of the grandest order.
Mixing furious blasts, riffs so technical you’d imagine spiders struggle to hit every note, and even a clarinet solo to boot. Flourishes of experimentation such as the aforementioned clarinet solo thrive throughout In Becoming a Ghost, which definitely showcases as one of the albums’ highlights.
The problem with a lot of technical death metal is quite often; songwriting is sacrificed for all out tech shredding. With The Faceless, this could not be further from the truth. Whilst remaining very proficient at their instruments. Songwriting capabilities throughout the record are on another level. Rather than sounding like each song section has been cut and pasted next to one another, they progress and flow throughout the album, almost like a prog rock album designed to shotgun blast your face off.
Despite at (very infrequently) times falling to the usual tropes of tracks blurring into one another at times, as a lot of technical death metal records tend to do. In Becoming a Ghost stands leagues above their previous material, or even leagues above their peers. The Faceless have come out with an outstanding record that whilst still sticking to the formula they’ve laid out for themselves since their inception, shows progression of the grandest scale. This could even be considered a career best. We can only hope that we don’t have to wait another five years for a follow up.