Faceless Burial – Speciation Review

A tasty riff; a prime cut; a hearty slab; a juicy lead; vocals that bite; drums that bring the heat and band members that look like a snack…wait, what?

When it comes to describing music, it is very common to start associating elements of what we hear with the art of food. Both things provide us a form of sustenance and if we’re being completely honest, we’re pretty much all at least a little bit hungry at any given time. This seems to be especially true in the world of death metal. Maybe it’s all those songs about zombies and murderous cannibals; nothing says nom bombs like an explosion of guts.

Release date: August 7, 2020. Label: Dark Descent/Me Saco Un Ojo Records.
With Speciation, Faceless Burial deliver a very satisfying meal on their second full-length effort. As with any good meal, the main feature is the protein and those meaty riffs are being cut from a sacred cow. At any moment you may hear a brief Middle-Eastern fusion in the vein of Death, a groovy chug from Jungle Rot, a technical run warranting a wild Suffo-Chop, a bouncy Kataklysm riff or even a slow ugly Autopsy roll. Each of these individual bites are often small, but they leave you salivating for the surprise the next forkful will provide.

While many a fussy eater will decry fat in their food, a beef connoisseur revels in the value of those striations of succulent goodness. Speciation reveals a beautiful marbling in the spare appearance of its guitar leads. Songs like “Limbic Infirmary”, “Speciation” and “Spuming Catarrhal Gruel” all provide enough juice to keep this dish from getting dry.

All meals need side dishes and the rhythm section makes sure those aren’t an afterthought. The drums have pummeled the potatoes into a supreme mash laced with fills so smooth they act like butter. The bass chops up a salad providing an essential part of the food pyramid that many don’t feel is exciting, but once you pay attention you think “damn, that’s actually really good.”

Perhaps Faceless Burial received the recipe for this meal from their grandma because it features a secret ingredient that adds a wonderful subtle flavor that may not be immediately apparent. That pop of zest comes from the cymbal work. It provides the expected support and drive, but the occasional flourish will make your tongue tingle.

These culinary gurus have brought a new sous-chef into their kitchen that has significantly helped them to balance their flavor profile. The production on their last two releases comes across like a ladle-happy lunch lady dumped gravy on everything submerging it in murk. A more delicate balance of sauce, dressing and spices has come together on Speciation to ensure that every part of the meal hits the palette just right.

If this blend of ingredients with a small penchant for experimentation and appreciation for odd flavors seems familiar, that’s because this concoction could easily be a guest menu at the Tomb Mold restaurant. Those Yelpers that have praised that Canadian establishment over the last few years should be flocking to the day this Aussie dish is made available.

This six-course meal certainly isn’t perfect. The presentation on Speciation feels like all six courses were delivered at once where it isn’t always easy to tell which one starts and the other ends. Some parts of the meal also feel undercooked. Perhaps Faceless Burial needed to let the wine breathe a bit longer, use one less topping or let the meat sit just a minute longer. Essentially, some parts go by so quickly that you don’t have time to fully appreciate them. Taking the time to let certain sections draw out longer or cut a few parts could help take what they’ve created to the next level.

These gripes are truly minor. Only Gordon-Ramsay-level perfectionists would throw this meal against the wall and tell Faceless Burial that they’re as useful as a Fleshlight for a eunuch.

For the rest of us, whose noses don’t sit quite so high, this 4-star meal will leave you satisfied and eager to tell your friends about your fine-dining experience.

Posted by Spencer Hotz

Admirer of the weird, the bizarre and the heavy, but so are you. Why else would you be here?

  1. This album rules. I definitely hear Demilich in their sound as well, and that ain’t a bad thing.


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