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Totengefluster - The Faceless Divine

The Faceless Divine
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 05 December 2019, 6:33 AM

In the year 2007, Totleben began writing his first songs. His musical interest were bound to his inspirational roots. He had combined the coldness and anger of Black Metal with elements of Classical Music to get an aggressive and cinematic feeling for his music. But his music should not just be instrumental, there for contacting his good friend Narbengrund. Since Narbengrund's talent for writing lyrics were just perfect for the ideas Totleben had in mind, Narbengrund was made a founding member of black metal act TOTENGEFLUSTER. “The Faceless Divine” is the band’s third full-length, and contains 11 tracks.

“The Arrival of the Withered” is a short mood-setting instrumental. Cold winds build along with ambient keys and bells. Some light vocal chanting comes into play as the track culminates in a crescendo, seguing into “On Carrion Wings.” Drums roll like thunder and the vocals are shrieks. That classic Black Metal sound is present, with that one-two chord pattern. A guitar solo is a bit unusual but following it is an atmospheric passage that is absolutely harrowing. “The Hallow Wanderer” opens with a slower and more cautious pace. The bells ringing in the background keep the track as frightening as possible, and those repeated chants at the end bring another element of evil to the song.

“The Hunt” opens with ominous chords. From there, it keeps a mid-tempo pacing along with some keyboard parts that really set it apart. The vocals are intense short bursts of hatred. “Affliction” opens with a slightly slower pace, really allowing the evil to sink in. The guitar chords work in this hypnotic rhythm before sprawling out in true Black Metal style. It’s a longer song, with an interlude just after the half-way mark, that sounds like the summoning of Lucifer himself, materializing in front of your eyes. “Extinct Paradise” opens with that wall of sound so prevalent in the genre, but the guitars build a distinct pattern not often heard. The vocals build into bursts of anger and they’re unrelenting in their delivery.

“Vermin” is a shorter three-minute song that makes its mark in very little time. The central theme of the album is perhaps reflected best here…tight musicianship and permeating evil. “Reise eines verlornen Geistes” opens with a steady cadence and ambient background music. I like the way they incorporate these sounds into the music, as it sets them apart from the veritable sea of peers out there all reaching for the same ring. “Requiem” is a pretty piano closing song that really shows some diversity in songwriting from the band. Overall, I was quite impressed with the band’s ability to retain their Black Metal roots, while branching out a bit here and there to set them apart. Their musicianship is excellent, and they play like a well-oiled machine. I definitely recommend this to both Black Metal purists and fans who are not afraid of a little experimentation.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Arrival of the Withered
2. On Carrion Wings
3. The Hallow Wanderer
4. The Hunt
5. Affliction
6. Extinct Paradise
7. Grant us thy Blessing
8. Vermin
9. Reise eines verlorenen Geistes
10. Requiem
Totleben – Guitars
Narbengrund Nihilis – Vocals
Egregor – Guitars
Tuefeskald – Bass
Frostbitten – Drums
Record Label: Black Lion Records


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