Well, it’s official. Prog is the new Deathcore. Breakdowns, blast beats, and growls have been traded in for 40-minute fretless bass scales, saxophone solos, and big words that no human being has ever used in their daily lives…ever. Every album will be a concept album. Every vocalist will either sound like John Denver or the guy from Dream Theater. Thanks. I saw this coming on the last Faceless record (Planetary Duality), which was significantly more head-up-ass than the solid, brutality-drenched debut that preceded it (Akeldama). When bands start going crazy with a vocoder, it’s a sure sign they’re already bored and shit’s about to get weird. With Autotheism, they’ve almost completely checked out. Their sound retains only enough Death Metal to justify a huge headlining tour with other Death Metal bands. Rest assured with forthcoming releases —assuming the band doesn’t just throw in the towel and join a monastery— the Metallic extremity will become more and more scant until they reach their ultimate flaccid goal of ukulele, tambourine, that flute Kenny G played, and yodeling. The vocalist —I’m not going to look up his name because I don’t care; I assume he’s the front-and-center pretty girl wearing the Nine Inch Nails shirt in Sumerian’s latest ad— sings clean about half the time now, and his clean voice is terrible. Imagine a soulless Mike Patton fronting a Power Metal band from Nebraska. As is usually the case with Progressive Metal releases, there’s about 10-15 minutes of solid music here, but no working class Metalhead with a shred of libido remaining has the time nor the patience to sift through the 30-45 minutes of noodling space travel and advanced calculus problems. I listened to this album beginning to end three times. All I remember is a Stephen Hawking soundbite and the urge to listen to the entire Ramones discography while jacking off to every porn with Belladonna in it that I own.
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