Album Review: FACELESS BURIAL - Speciation

Artist: Faceless Burial

Album: Speciation

Genre: Death Metal

Review by Hayden Connor

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, we are presented with the heavily anticipated sophomore release by these death metal titans known as Faceless Burial. This group of caveman maniacs came into the scene strong, releasing a monolith debut record and a short but sweet EP, both being solid straight forward death metal records, but now we are introduced to their 2nd full length Speciation, being released through Dark Descent Records and Me Saco Un Ojo Records.

As a 3 piece, they create a massive sound, composing with only blistering guitars, abstract drums, knuckle dragging bass and a vile vocalist.

"Worship" opens up the record, bringing in vicious blast beats, bizarre guitar harmonies and later we have some insanely infectious pinch harmonic riffs and disgusting vocal lines to leave the listener wanting more. My favourite section of this song is at 2:38 when the rhythm guitar drops out and all you hear is a groovy bass line under a quick ripping solo.

"Limbic Infirmary" crushes you instantly with a revolting growl, a wicked bass breakdown around the 3:33 mark and a well crafted melodic ending solo.

"Speciation" is drenched with swampy doom passages, creating a bleak atmosphere in the process and later greeted with revolting stomping mid tempo riffs that can perfectly soup up a nasty mosh pit.

"Ravished to the Unknown" was the first single to promote this record, plenty of exciting tempo changes and heavy Demilich vibes when hearing the single noted riffs.

Speciation as a whole is quite progressive as every track takes you on a journey, having jam packed riffs that blend in effortlessly together and stepping out of boundaries. Vocally not much has changed from their previous records, but staying in their comfort zone with the cavernous sewer soaked growls that contrasts with the instrumentation flawlessly.

The lead guitar work is unbelievable, very eloquent and melodic within the solos. The rhythm section is handled well, having plenty of punishing riffs that is quite technical with the occasional palm muted slam moments. Bass is fairly low in the mix but still has a crushing distorted tone that can shake the Earth beneath you. The drumming on the other hand never holds back, bringing in powerful fills, relentless blast beats and smooth transitions between the high hats and the ride cymbal that sound ever so wonderful.

Faceless Burial wear their influences on their sleeves, showing love for early 90s death metal acts like Incantation, Gorefest, Morbid Angel and the more technical moments tips a hat to Nocturnus and Gorguts. It's great to hear how the band stepped away from releasing another record that sounds just like their first record titled Grotesque Miscreation. But instead gave Speciation its own identity, crawling with slightly more technical elements and longer running time tracks, proving that these guys are willing to progress as musicians and develop their composing.

For listeners who have followed this band for a while and are more accustomed to their more bare bones material might have a hard time finding attraction to this release. There are less grindcore elements which is something to take note of, but at the end of the day it's still Faceless Burial doing what they do best. Production is a lot cleaner this time around, still has that filthy vibe we all love in our death metal but you're still able to hear every note picked.

Time for the verdict, Faceless Burial stay true to their sound whilst expanding and exploring new territory, they set the bar high for the Australian underground scene and never hold back. Although the band aren't doing anything groundbreaking or utterly unique, they have a tight formula that's heavily rooted in old school death metal, the direction the band is going towards is a welcome change for me and wouldn't be surprised to see Speciation on my Top 10 of 2020 at the end of the year.

Speciation will be released August 7th via Dark Descent Records / Me Saco Un Ojo Records.



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