Faceless Burial – At the Foothills of Deliration

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Australian death metal act Faceless Burial returns with their newest full-length album “At the Foothills of Deliration”. After a two-year hiatus, the Melbourne trio has finely honed its craft where the third album shows how the band can push boundaries while giving each instrument a fair space and the music bears a multi-mosaic sound. Faceless Burial never repeats itself, in each studio album they showed how death metal can be achieved with fine skills. Therefore “At the Foothills of Deliration” stands on its own footing on the level of technicality and brutality.

Faceless Burial’s music is an odd blend of technical death metal. Anyone who has been following the band can cite the sonic evolution of the band. Since its establishment the trio Alex Macfarlane (vocals, bass, and synth), Fuj (guitars), and, Max Kohane (drums) exploited their technical abilities. Through the intricate riffing and the drumming complexity, the writing style for the newest album defined as a style owing its own sophisticated sound. The riffing on the album conjures some vile-sounding putrefied death metal, however you will hear plenty of melodic fragments that are somehow similar to the band Stargazer.

In the sense of old-school brutality the opening track “Equipoise Recast” reminds me of early Suffocation where there is more emphasis put on the melodic elements and the catchiness of the guitars. Guitarist Fuj pieces the melodic nuances of Tomb Mold’s “Primordial Malignity” together to make the aesthetic changes more prominent. The music has a distinctive vibe that comes with the brilliant drumming work of Max Kohane. There is a whole swarm of festering riffs chugging along with the drums, and while the six tracks don’t settle on one territory, the music integrates some darker riffs. In the second track “A Mire of Penitence”, the guitars add some eerie riffs but they sound incredibly technical. There are layers of riffs that build upon one another hence creating a dense atmosphere.

The vocals are deep and grunting, Faceless Burial takes many shifts into fast-paced tempos whereas the riffs shape-shift, giving you an impression of an otherworldly entity that takes many shapes. Although this is one of the albums that needs time to grasp, its heaviness and its sonic contents in for instance “At the Foothills of Deliration” sometimes leans towards the progressive side of death metal. The juxtaposition of the drums and the eerie riffs conveys highly complex riff work, each individual track is approached by the trio’s virtuosity as for the musicianship it’s nothing short of brilliant.

Despite the sonic oddness, the atmosphere is dense and mysterious and packed with great drumming performance. “Dehiscent” is one of my favorite tracks on the album, where the guitars and the bass craft an atmospheric feel. The outer space vibes sometimes come in contrast with the bass guitar that is being layered into strange soundscapes. “At the Foothills of Deliration” offers plenty of variations in the guitar work there are plenty of intricate riffs, fretless bass guitar, and pulverizing drums.

From the Bastion to the Pit” opens up with a chunky guitar riff, while the drums on the other hand show how to create changes in pace and possess a technical and dynamic range throughout the track. The album is a unique piece of music that utilizes consistent riff progression. Furthermore, the trio pushes the boundaries keeping the songs evolving in a more technical direction. The drums maintain an organic mixture of technicality and blast beats from cymbal work to killer fills, there is just a lot going in within each length of the songs. It is staggering to pinpoint which instrument stands out the most for an album that clocks in forty minutes, although this isn’t the kind of album that is stereotypical for death metal fans.

Guitarist Fuj brings a variety of fast, mid-paced, and slow guitar passages, and they have injected with some catchy melodies. Likewise the three minutes instrumental cut “Haruspex at the Foothills of Deliration” serves as a beautiful and ethereal interlude to the previous one. The track features some dazzling guitar work and atmospheric synth played by Alex Macfarlane. Faceless Burial utilizes an unprecedented ability to craft memorable rhythms while the guitars seem to focus on playing as many notes as possible.

The final track “Redivivus through Vaticination” showcases the incredible technique of the drums, the drumming patterns flow perfectly with the fretless bass guitar layers. The composition on this track has a blend of progressive death metal and melodic subtleties as there are many hints of modern melodic bands. Finally the songs on “At the Foothills of Deliration” are progressively and technically meshed. There is not a single riff that sounds out of the place, despite the oddness of the opening tracks. The riffing framework gradually opens leaving plenty of room for the instruments to shine.


  • Music / Songwriting 9/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 9/10
  • Mix / Production 9/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 9/10
  • Originality 9/10

“At the Foothills of Deliration” is a great album and deserves plenty of repeated listening, Faceless Burial presents a compelling sonic signature sound full of quality and innate talent.

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