Face Down - _The Twisted Rule The Wicked_
(Nuclear Blast, 1997)
by: Paul Schwarz (
_TTRtW_ seems to be where everything has come together for Face Down. Their debut didn't make the kind of dent that an album like Machine Head's _Burn My Eyes_ did, and so Face Down was left with solid, but not phenomenal, sales and a good live reputation. _TTRtW_ has a production which better represents the band and lives up to their live power. Songs like "Waste", "Dread Bleed" and "Cleansweep" have an energy bursting from them which should elevate Face Down to the next level of both popularity and critical acclaim. Face Down have not only written a selection of excellent songs, but they have also constructed an excellent album. They use samples brilliantly to glue the songs together and also choose to have an acoustic, keyboard-assisted track, "Autumn Scars", before another vicious storming number; this gives the album shape and keeps the listener on your toes. Face Down move beyond the power groove metal norm through lyrics that are far deeper and more personal than their peers. They speak of sorrow and anger as opposed to how hard they became in order to survive the streets. Marco Aro's delivery is also far more pained and less macho than the average power groove vocalist. Performances by all members, including the now sadly departed drummer, Peter Stjarnvind, are sterling. Face Down have not only produced a brutally heavy album in traditional metal terms but they have also added an extra dimension to the tried and tested sub-genre of "power groove" by making an album that is truly dark in a way that Biohazard or Machine Head can only dream of.
(article published 1/1/1998)
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