*Sounds From The Underground*
Band: Faces Of Eve
Album: Faces Of Eve
Label: Self Released
Genre: Progressive Metal, Metalcore
Country: United Kingdom
Release Date: 25th August, 2017
Hertfordshire in southern England does not sound like the kind of place that would be a hot bed for heavy music. But indeed it is. From the hardcore punk heroes that are Gallows, through the punk turned pop Lower Than Atlantis right through to the innovative blend of every single genre of music that is created by the consistent brilliant and unpredictable Enter Shikari. It is safe to say that this little county (or province as some people may say) that sits in the bottom half of this little island boasts a fantastic résumé that needs to be acknowledged the world over and not just by Englishmen who know it oh so well. The latest offering from Hertfordshire deserves a fair share of this attention as I feel that they are bringing something entirely fresh to the table.
Faces Of Eve have made a name for themselves in their local scene by blending the kind of progressive musicianship, wonderfully crafted melody and crushing heaviness to create a sound that is as unique as it is engaging. The band has already shared the stage with a variety of different bands from all ends of the spectrum. From deathcore bruisers Martyr Defiled and Slaughter To Prevail to Rap-Rock/Nu Metal one-hit-wonders Crazy Town in and amongst their fully-packed touring schedule which is a testament to not only their hard work and dedication, but their adaptability as well. Recently, however the boys have been locked up in the recording studio with Tim ‘Timfy James’ Beazley of the British Rap Metal outfit Hacktivist (also formerly of the British metallers Heart Of A Coward) creating their eagerly anticipated debut full-length, self-titled release.
The album wastes no time in demonstrating exactly what these boys are about. Within ten seconds of the opening track ‘Sanctuary For Heavy Hearts’ we see the technically astounding drum work of Conor Prentice linking in perfectly with the rumbling bass line of Owen Morris and high paced, post-hardcore influenced guitar work of Dan Sloane to create a soundscape that boasts as much melody as it does heaviness. Add in the expressive and varied vocal range of the frontman Benjamin Black and you have a perfect mix that will have as many people singing along as throwing each other around in the pits when they hit the stage. In the middle section of the song we are created by a wonderful tranquil clean break that gives Sloane and Black a chance to interlink and demonstrate their ear for melody before the pace picks up once again and sends you straight back into the break neck speed that had been gathered previously.
The second track ‘Dream Catcher’ boasts a different sound altogether from the outset. The low-tuned guitars bounce and sound reminiscent of Progressive Metal bands such as Volumes and Periphery. The guitars display some wonderful harmonized leads and once again compliment the sultry vocal displace that is put on throughout the course of this all to brief song. At around the two minute mark we are treated to our first taste of the heaviness that these boys are capable of in the form of an all-to-brief breakdown that once again quickly shifts into a clean melodic break that Dallas Green would be happy to add to one of his City And Colour albums. This is once again a wonderful example of the way this band works, don’t get comfortable and settle in to anything here because Faces Of Eve have the ability to shift dynamics at the drop of a hat.
The opening notes of the song ‘The Bird Cage’ would not sound out of place on a Meshuggah album as Sloane once again carves out another low tuned riff for the listener to nod their head along to before the soft vocals of Black once again contrast the metallic dirge beneath. The frontman sounds reminiscent of the former Saosin turned Circa Survive vocalist Anthony Greene as he drives his fantastically well written vocal lines with the help of some harmonizing backing vocals from his bandmates. Once again the rhythm section is water tight and really does their job in creating a thunderous metallic base for this melodic slab of heavy music.
The track ‘Rail/Grit/Line’ has to be the personal highlight of this debut for me. The fantastic tremolo riff that opens the song wouldn’t be out of place on a Protest The Hero effort and really does a fantastic job of changing the direction once again on this album and also gives the guitar enthusiasts amongst the audience a chance to salivate at the technical prowess on display. Once again the bassline is thunderous and supports the impressive guitar wizardry wonderfully whilst never straying out of synchronization with drummer Conor Prentice. The added sense of urgency and the hectic nature of the instrumental sections of this track really do make it a certain highlight of the album and add yet another string to the ever-growing bow that this band have created for themselves.
Overall the debut release from these hungry, young southern Brits shows the birth of a truly special group. If this is what the band has to show on their debut full length release then I believe that what Faces Of Eve may have in the pipeline may be truly special.
Watch this space.
1. Sanctuary For Heavy Hearts
2. Dream Catcher
5. The Bird Cage
8. As Above
9. So Below
Total Playing Time: 27:19
Links to the band: