Kassad – Faces Turn Away (Hypnotic Dirge)

Wednesday, 27th December 2017
Rating: 8/10

An interesting perspective to view the cover of this album while listening to what lies within. With the bend in the cover, you can’t see what’s around the corner, and the same thing applies to Faces Turn Away. While it’s rooted in black metal, it doesn’t tend to stick to the traditions in many regards and can lead to some surprising twists and turns.

Despite many wanting to give this one a ‘post’ tag, don’t expect a chill or overly atmospheric experience. It’s there by all means, but for every moment like the gloomy and dark vibe of “Void,” you can expect a near Anaal Nathrakh explosion. The music veers between exhilarating and visceral into chill and dreary on the drop of a hat from the get-go with “Shame,” which effectively sets the course for the remainder of the album. From industrial/electronic implementation (“Broken”) and eerie synths (“Pulse”) to frantic black metal carnage (“Madness”), Kassad truly runs the gamut. What does seem to truly impress is how even when the music is at its most chaotic, there’s still a sense of melody that drives the band forward. “Pariah” is visceral but there’s still a surprising bit of catchiness to it all. On the other hand, “Broken” is able to cast a solemn mark and seems to grapple the middle ground between atmosphere and heaviness.

While the tail end of the album features more instrumental mood-y material that some may think lingers a bit, it does fit the overall expansive nature of Faces Turn Away. No matter your take on the black metal sound, you can rest assured knowing that Kassad will take your expectations and throw them for a loop. All in all an intriguing listen that can brood and destroy with equal passion and flair.

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