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FaceStealer - Amatory Mass Award winner

Amatory Mass
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 01 February 2023, 2:32 PM

When a musician of a musical genre comes to play any subgenre of Metal, this musician brings a load of different influences and visions that can bring a new and refreshing view that erodes musical genres needs to evolve and keep alive. To a hardened genre and Metal (because some demands that the musicians must be exclusively linked to Metal) it can be hard for the fans to deal with such thing, but the truth is: they can come and change the rules as they want, because it’s a healthy thing. Check what FACESTEALER shows on “Amatory Mass” to have a clear idea of what these words means.

Alex (the sole member of the band) came from the world of Electronic Dance Music and Pop as a producer, so he has a different load and many different points of view. It means that label the band’s work solely as a mix of Death Metal with Sludge Metal isn’t a complete depiction of what the songs of the album are showing. Some will have the idea of elements of Progressive Rock (as the clean vocals on “Amatory Mass” and the intro based on clean chords and synths of “Another Dead Hero” and its melodic guitar solo), some Melodic Black Metal and Melodic Death Metal traits, and others. And the hooks that bind the attention of the listeners can be of his different approach on music. It’s a fine beginning, with songs full of personality and energy, a very good technical approach, and many other good treasures to be discovered each time this album is played.

As expected, Alex took the duty of producing the album by himself, and the sonority is very good, defined and clean in a form that everything sounds in an understandable form, but with the weight and aggressiveness of the genre. And it may be a lesson to many Sludge Metal acts: no one needs to sound so filthy that the whole musical conception becomes fuzzy. But the tunes used on the drums could be better (ok, it’s a programmed drum, so in the future, so better tunes can be used).

This album is a true surprise for the fans, and it’s so easy to hear and to become in love with it… As the best songs for s first ride on the band’s work, “Amatory Mass” (plenty of Progressive Rock/Metal influences, with good contrasts between clean voices and grunts), “Live Streamed Crimes” (this is nearer Death Metal with touches of Sludge Metal, being aggressive and nasty, based on fierce guitar riffs), “Another Dead Hero” (it’s mainly a slow paced song, with very good rhythmic arrangements and melodies), “Bereft of Life” (this one bears a very good Thrash Metal-like hooking parts, again with good contrasts between clean vocals and guttural ones), “Lethal Sleep” (what a lovely Progressive Metal song, based on some lysergic PINK FLOYD-like elements, but with many aggressive moments to temper things), “Treats for a Dead Dog” (this one is really a Sludge/Death Metal song, with the slow and bitter approach of the genre, but with many charming melodic parts), and the band’s version for CROWBAR’s “Conquering” (filled with a hardcorized aggressiveness, but with some Progressive-Like parts) will do. Yes, all the songs are in the same level, so take it and enjoy!

FACESTEALER is really a surprise to be heard by all, and as a first release, “Amatory Mass” shows potential to state the band’s name as a great one in its genre. Or, other Metal genres…

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Amatory Mass
2. Live Streamed Crimes
3. Another Dead Hero
4. Bereft of Life
5. Lethal Sleep
6. Treats for a Dead Dog
7. Conquering
Alex Barnard - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Vocals, Drum Programming
Record Label: Independent


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