With it having been such a long time since the arrival of The Faceless on our shores, anticipations were high tonight. After slew of budding young talent kicked off the proceedings it was at long last time for the LA shredders to take their place. As the inaugural tones summoning the Autotheist suite were brought out “Autotheist Movement I : Create” booming out of the PA the beer drinkers scarper into the main hall, greeted by drummer, vocalist and two guitarists and lacking a bassist. Launching into “Autotheist II : Emancipate” all is well, with new vocalist Ken Sorceron bellowing out harsh vocals with pin point accuracy. Flanked by Keene’s Townsend-ian vocal delivery that brings an ethereal quality to the mix, however moving into the song’s instrumental medley is where the problems begin.
Suddenly cutting out Keene’s guitar is mute for the first section of the guitar trade off, the second run is completed be Justin McKinnney, proving that he is a fine addition to the band. Moving swiftly into “Autotheist Movement III : Deconsecrate” the problems persist with Keene’s guitar, still not rectified. Dutifully carrying on the band remain determined to finish the suite. Despite missing some crucial elements of the track, its merely a shame that this happened to the guitarist. Originally planning to bring “The Spiralling Void” into the mix the troubles continue as the programmed bass tracks aren’t working. Amid the technical difficulties, Sorceron takes to keeping the crowd warmed up with chants of “cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt” as the band decide to return to their Planetary Duality roots on “Sons of Belial“. Here the band come together brilliantly nailing every second of the track. Putting the largest of smiles on everyone’s faces.
Barrelling out yet another faultless classic, “The Ancient Covenant” is pulled off with ease tonight, once again showcasing that The Faceless are brilliant when the stars align. Changing their mind and performing without the bass track, much to my approval, the band fling out new song “The Spiralling Void” whose arachnid like guitar lines worm their way through The Underworld, sounding just as crisp sans bass. Finishing off with the crowd favourite “Xenochrist” the band bring the track home with a stellar finish.
Yet, I couldn’t help feeling somewhat disheartened that we weren’t able to hear more material from In Becoming A Ghost. “Digging The Grave” for example or “Cup of Mephistopheles” even deep cuts from Autotheism. With a set list consisting of seven tracks I just wished that there had been more. Nevertheless, technical difficulties aside, when the band came together the sound was absolutely wonderful. Let it be known that this performance has not made me doubt the band for a second however, its been a long time since they’ve been to the UK, hopefully their second time round will be somewhat better.