Artist: Face Your Maker
Album: Blood Tides [EP]
When it comes to theories involving the end of the world, there are boundless conspiracies and convoluted guesses as to how, when and why the world will vanish, taking humanity along with it. The more one examines them, the more far-fetched and bizarre they truly seem—as nothing humanity has witnessed thus far truly feels as if it has the veritable capacity to decimate the planet Earth, extinguishing mankind in the process—until now. Face Your Maker, a furious four-piece hailing from Los Angeles bring Blood Tides, their sophomore EP that is packed with enough relentless, bone-breaking and skull-splitting heaviness to convince even the hardest heart that the world’s end is at hand.
When it comes to Face Your Maker’s aural apocalypse set forth upon the listener, there are a couple ways one could truly liken it to a veritable end-of-days event. The first? A Sodom-and-Gomorrah-esque firestorm of fury and brimstone—as there is no better way to describe the sheer instrumental onslaught Blood Tides unleashes upon the unsuspecting listener. It starts with the percussion—as drummer Dom Melendez creates craters where skyscrapers once stood using simply enormous, pounding percussion as his weapon. Tracks like “Animosity” and “Leviathan” feature jarring, ear-ripping fills that jump out of the fray and catch the listener’s attention. However, even when Melendez isn’t stealing the spotlight, he is firing away, peppering the listener’s ears with machine-gun like blast beats—best heart on “Leviathan,” cleverly spaced between bone-splintering breakdowns. Together with his murderous percussion and Ramses Molina’s deep, writhing bass guitar, Melendez and Molina provide a steam-rolling low end to Blood Tides that crashes into the listener’s cranium like an asteroid, setting it ablaze as if it were kindling. Molina’s bass guitar, however, is not the only source of furiously fretted fire and brimstone. Guitarist Kiki Molina provides an equally ravaging grimy, groove-ridden guitar that ranges from punishing, prolapse-inducing depth (“Blood Tides” and “Abolished”) to shred-tinted, head-bobbing grooves (“Tyranny,” especially). Together, the two Molinas provide a layer of fretwork so impenetrable; it would very well take a divinely inspired rainstorm of fire and fury to break through it.
Apocalyptic firestorms from above only go so far in comparison to the evil, crushing end that Face Your Maker design for mankind. Perhaps an apocalypse more fitting might be divine judgment—done by the hands and vocals of frontman Daniel Lopez. While the two Molinas set forth ire and strife upon the world, and Melendez hammers it heartily into oblivion, Lopez sets forth a wretched, cleansing bellow throughout Blood Tides that sounds like the very voice of God himself. Booming, casting dissonant, deep shadows over the intense and colorful instrumentation, moments like the climax of “Animosity” and the closing portion of “Abolished” liken Lopez to he that condemns all of mankind with a paltry few syllables. His low, hateful shouts and soul-smothering growls are simply some of the best and most misanthropic vocal efforts that the genre has to offer—even if, by definition, the genre offers slightly monotonous vocal styles as a norm. When it comes to violent, brooding and bitter bellows, look no further than Lopez.
Divine judgment and Gomorrah-influenced firestorms aside, the best way to describe Blood Tides is probably the most obvious one—a flood, engulfing all of mankind. With Lopez at the helm, Face Your Maker cast forth a flood of dense, dissonant deathcore that floods into the listener’s lungs like water but clogs them as if it was concrete. Face Your Maker take no pity on the listener, releasing what is likely the most well-rounded yet still lopsidedly-heavy deathcore album of the year. Jarring blast beats and nearly-technical grooves clash with balls-out, bodacious breakdowns that tear skin from the bone and snap the listener’s spine. While Face Your Maker might not be out to reinvent deathcore, they certainly rejuvenate it, infusing it with a fresh penchant for the no-holds-barred heaviness fans of the genre—new and old—have grown to love and crave as if it were a drug.
By the time Blood Tides is done sweeping the world, there will be no world left to sweep. Destruction at its finest, violence at its most visceral and pure, Face Your Maker embody every end-of-the-world theory and conspiracy there is into one whirlwind of world-ending heaviness.
For Fans Of: Oceano, Genocide District, Endings, Obliterate, GOD OF NOTHING
By: Connor Welsh