The Faceless

The Faceless Finishing Up New Album, Planning 10th Anniversary “Planetary Duality” Release


The Faceless mastermind Michael Keene was recently interviewed by Metal Wani and had much to say about the band’s forthcoming new album “In Becoming A Ghost“, which is tentatively eyeing an August release date. He also spoke of his plans to re-mix and remaster the band’s sophomore album, “Planetary Duality“, for a tenth anniversary re-release next year. Speaking of the setbacks that have seen the band somewhat sidelined in recent years, he offered:

“The band went through a period where… for quite awhile in fact, there’s been long periods of time where the basis is essentially just me. Kind of in the way that Trent Reznor works in Nine Inch Nails, I tend to work in a similar fashion with The Faceless a lot. I really didn’t have a lineup for awhile.

So I was kind of trying to get that put back together and I didn’t want to compromise, I didn’t want to continue on with a lesser version of The Faceless just for the sake of keeping going. So I wanted to make sure that it was a-plus players and that the band was either as good as it was or better, which I feel it is. And the new record is in my opinion the best record to date. It’s definitely my proudest work, my proudest writing—certainly my proudest mix and master, that’s for sure.”

He continued:

“When you’re onstage with someone that you hate—which, I won’t name any names—but there’s been a couple times where there’s been members where the majority of the lineup didn’t like one person or another. And it’s really hard to kind of open and really be yourself onstage when you’re sharing the stage with someone that you kind of can’t stand the sight of.

And sharing the stage with a bunch of guys that you really love and admire, not only does it open you up to have a better time and be yourself; I feel like the chemistry between you and the playing is better and there’s just the magic there that isn’t there otherwise.”

As to the current status of “In Becoming A Ghost” and his plans for a tenth anniversary edition of “Planetary Duality“, he offered:

“The current status is this: all tracking is done. Mixing is done. Basically I’m in the mastering stage. I kind of mix and master at the same time, so it’s kind of final touches of the mix and just getting the mastering tweaked just right on the record. Which is literally like, we’re talking a couple days here. The master will be turned into Sumerian in just a few days. And I was very explicit with them that I did not want them to set a release date until I turned the masters in.

Because on previous records there were release dates set and then things ended up taking longer and of course what’s the last that happens, the last thing is the mix. So the mix is the thing that suffered. On “Planetary Duality” for instance I essentially didn’t mix the record because there was no time.

They told me that if I didn’t get the record to them in 24 hours that we were going to miss street date. And I stayed up all night, worked for 24 hours. I had listener fatigue, so I couldn’t even hear the mistakes I was making. And I turned it in as was and then come to find out it sat on their desk for 10 days before they even turned it into the press plant.

So I had 10 days I could have worked on the mix and could have gotten it great, but instead that happened and now I have to live with it forever—well I don’t have to live with it forever because I’m actually doing a re-mix of “Planetary Duality“—re-mix/remaster of “Planetary Duality“—which will be hopefully released next year as a ten year anniversary. But anyway, all that to say, that in the next few days the record will be turned in and street date will follow shortly after.”

When asked what street date they were looking for, he replied:

“We’re looking at most likely August. I would say with very high likelihood August will be the month that it’s coming out.”

As for the direction of the new album, he offered:

“It’s the most diverse record that I’ve made for sure. I mean, to give you an idea there’s a flute solo in a song. You don’t have any of that in death metal too often. As a matter of fact, the same guy that played sax on the last record played the flute solo on this record.

Actually one of the things that took… held the record up a little bit was that I was actually kind of having a hard time finding uniformity in the mix, because the material was so diverse.  It was really hard to find a universal mix to start from. Because generally with metal—with other styles of music if the mix is different from one song to another, that’s totally fine—with metal everyone expects there to be a certain amount of uniformity. They expect the drum sounds, the guitar tones to be the same, etc., etc.. With how different the material was from song to song, it was hard to find sort of like a base mix—a universal base mix—to start from.”

He further said of the sound of the effort:

“It still very much sounds like Faceless album, it’s just even more diverse. And I even went into the writing process with a concept in mind of writing something that had the signature sort of technical death metal sound that was created on “Planetary Duality” combined with the sound of “Autotheism“. Somewhere in-between there, but its own thing as well. So, trying to kind of lay it somewhere between there and then also have it be its own thing and push the boundaries even further of what’s acceptable and still being able to call it metal.”

He went on to say that despite the influx of new members (Ken Sorceron, Justin McKinney, Chason Westmoreland and Brandon Giffin) into the band since the last album, the majority of the album was written before they came into the fold.

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