Fasedown - Blitz of Anguish

After quite the long absence, California's own Fasedown is back with a vengeance.  Sporting ex-Crucified and ex-Deliverance members, Fasedown continues with it's brand of metalcore that lands very heavily on the side of metal in comparison to many bands in the genre.  I almost hesitate to even lump them into that category, cause most metalcore bands bore me and Fasedown is a much more enjoyable listen.  

After the opening intro, the band wastes no time kicking it into high gear.  Fasedown's sound is very aggressive and very brutal with only slight moments of semi-calm in-between the explosive outbursts that repeatedly pummel you senseless.  These guys know their instruments well and combine technicality with their powerful metal style, and they even through in a guitar solo hear and there.  Vocally, Devin Shaeffer does an excellent job combining blood-curdling screams with deathly growls and the very rare clean or whispered vocals in a passionate performance on this disc.  He sounds very similar at times to Lamb of God's front man.  The song "False Array" has a great chorus with alternating vocals, one of which agonizingly screams "Hell" in the background, while the main vocals scream "To tempt these flames I am insane", and deep death growls say "Idolatry!".  In fact, lyrically this album is incredible.  You can't help but want to scream and growl along with the fantastically penned songs.  Here are a few examples...

From "Forward":  "Let the dead bury their dead/There can be no more wasting of time for me/Abandon the meaningless tasks/Kingdom of God the central commodity/Shed burdens/shed/let's go forward."

From "Restoration":  "Worthless access I only get in the way/Futile, hopeless, profound markings of me/Once bastion of all ambition and dreams/Look at me now/Tried once and failed/and again just to get kicked in the teeth/Trampled and killed, all of my dignity/Another day, another jam, another obstruction in the way/Blitz of anguish, why this burden on me?/With my closed eyes: a blurred but strong memory/'Never give up'/As I moved on awakened to the reality/Although I fall, I bend but do not break/Even in time, with all decks stacked against me/I find freedom/...End/When will it/End/As I recede/My God restores/In times of need/Pulls me ashore."

From "The Lie":  "Today is the day/that I tell the world/I will be stepped on no more/By my own two shoes/From this point on/Let there be no excuse/I will move on."

The band also includes, at the end of the CD, a sample from a radio program (that I think I heard like 15 years ago or something).  It's a supposed recording from Siberia where some drilling was being done.  Apparently it was thought to be the "sounds of hell".  It's a garbled recording with agonizing screams that are absolutely haunting.  Whether it's true or not, it's something that will give you chills as you listen to it.

As for production, it's good and consistent throughout on this release and the packaging is well-done, except I don't care for the front cover artwork that much.

All in all, this is a pretty solid release.  I like it a good deal and fans of the band's previous material, along with fans of Lamb of God, As I Lay Dying, and Living Sacrifice should find plenty to like here.  You can order this through the band's website, through Facedown Records Distribution, or at places like Blastbeats.com.

Rating: 82/100

Review: Matt Morrow

Label: Hematocrit Records

Total Songs: 12

Total Time: 43:29

Tracklisting: 1. Nine Mile Hole, 2. False Array, 3. Peril, 4. Forward, 5. Unto Dust, 6. Ruin, 7. Restoration, 8. Chaos, 9. The Lie, 10. Suffering, 11. Equal the Task, 12. Legacy of Nothing.

Best Songs: Tracks 4 and 7.

Band Lineup: Devin Shaeffer - Vocals, Jim Chaffin - Drums, Mike Phillips - Lead Guitar, Jesse Gibson - Guitar (does not appear on CD), Matt Hopson-Walker - Bass (Dana Veit played bass on CD).

Band Website: http://www.fasedown.com