Faust - _From Glory to Infinity_
(Paragon, 2009)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (7 out of 10)
Not to be confused with either the legendary individual Bard "Faust" Eithun, late of Emperor, nor any of the myriad groups of the same name that Encyclopaedia Metallum lists (three from Poland alone), Italy's Faust is -- to put it mildly -- a long gestating project from Ancient touring guitarist Aleister. (Am I the only one sick to death of these uni-monikered black metal musicians? Then again, when you name your band something like Faust, you're probably not too concerned about standing out from the corpse-painted herd.)

Up to now the band has produced one mini-CD, the aptly titled _And Finally Faust_ from 2001, which was also the same year Aleister was recruited into the Ancient ranks.... buuuuuuuut the band formed in 1992, so I don't think you can completely write off their almost stunning lack of productivity to touring commitments alone. And now, a full seventeen years after their sanguinary genesis, does the long awaited full length debut live up to anticipation?

A trick question, actually, because absolutely no one was anticipating this album at all. Which sounds like a slight, but really works in the band's favor, since it turns out to be a pretty solid old-school death metal album once you overlook the above (legitimately bash-worthy) offenses. Aleister has assembled a crackerjack semi-all star supporting band, including Darek "Daray" Brzozowski (Dimmu Borgir) drumming like his life depended on it, and -- improbably enough -- Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus, Death, etc.) on bass!

The musicianship is truly the hallmark of this album. The percussion is clean and varied, the bass prominent and full, and the guitars precision picking their way through a smorgasbord of thrash / death riffs ranging from the melodic to the menacing. Furthermore, Aleister acquits himself quite capably as a vocalist, if not necessarily distinguishing himself in the field.

That said, of all the review material I get these days that comes in a plain, unmarked cardboard sleeve, why of all albums did I have to get full artwork and lyrics for this one? Yea, it would appear all creative energies were funneled into the playing, as the lyrics are beyond stale. They're also blatantly offensive for the sake of it, which I don't have a problem with if you can bring something new and / or amusing to the table, but... well let's just say the cover art features a naked nun with breast implants, and the final song on the album is called "Holy Hole", which is about exactly what you think it is. And there you go.

Contact: http://www.deathmetal.it/

(article published 13/11/2009)


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