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mardi 27 septembre 2011

The Faceless


Un groupe repéré par Meshuggah ne peut pas être foncièrement mauvais, n'est-ce pas ? Et il n'y a pas que Meshuggah qui a misé sur eux, puisque The Faceless a pu être vu en concert dès 2006 en première partie de groupes comme Nile, Necrophagist ou The Black Dahlia Murder. Le groupe n'avait alors que deux ans d'existence, et leur premier album "Akeldama" venait tout juste de sortir. Un album qui les a immédiatement fait sortir du lot des groupes de death technique, pour tout un tas de raisons.

Dont celle-ci.


Techniquement, le niveau du jeune groupe est déjà irréprochable. La vitesse d'exécution et la propreté des riffs sont hallucinantes (ce que l'on apprend dès le stupéfiant premier titre de l'album, "An Autopsy"), les breaks sont incroyables et les mélodies racées (la dernière minute de "Pestilence" est un tour de force du genre). Certaines influences tirant sur le black-metal se conjuguent étonnamment bien avec des racines death mélodique "de l'école suédoise" (les synthés qui introduisent "All Dark Graves" et se font ensuite voler la vedette par un riff très Dark Tranquillity ; l'ambiance générale de "Horizons of Chaos II : Hypocrisy"), elles-mêmes aérées par beaucoup d'influences plus modernes ("Horizons of Chaos I : Oracle of the Onslaught" ou "Akeldama" n'ont rien à envier à des Born Of Osiris ou, cocorico !, Gorod) ou tout simplement surprenantes (suis-je le seul à penser à Mike Patton lorsque j'écoute les parties chantées de "Pestilence" ?) ; bref, ce premier album a déjà tout d'un grand...

"An Autopsy". Première track du premier album. Oh la beigne.

...à l'exception peut-être de cette façon qu'ont les grands groupes de totalement fondre leurs influences, de développer leur propre paysage musical, d'insuffler cette étrange cohésion dans leurs albums, et que The Faceless frôle sans tout à fait atteindre. Le seul léger défaut de "Akeldama" est au final la jeunesse du groupe (qu'on peut sentir par exemple dans le début de "Leica", qui ressemble beaucoup -- peut-être un peu trop -- à du Exhumation)... Autant dire, d'une part que l'on excuse facilement ce vague défaut, d'autre part qu'on se surprend aisément à rêver de ce que pourra donner la suite.

Parce que, pour un premier album, "Akeldama" a déjà de la gueule. (Chanson éponyme.)

Et, quelles qu'aient alors été nos espérances, nous étions loin du compte. Le très bon "Akeldama" n'est plus grand-chose lorsqu'on le compare à son successeur "Planetary Duality" (2008), qui le surpasse sous tous les aspects. Attention, je ne suis pas en train de dénigrer le premier album de The Faceless ; je suis seulement en train de dire que le second est encore dix fois meilleur, autant dire un petit chef-d'œuvre du genre. En deux minutes, la première track "Prison Born" nous souffle déjà comme jamais : riffs totalement épiques, rythmiques puissantes et variées, variété d'influences incroyable (jusqu'au chant vocodé qui n'a, dans ce contexte, rien de ridicule)... puis tout le reste de ce trop court album reste dans le même esprit, affirmant le style maintenant unique de The Faceless, sans irrévérence mais avec une originalité qui manquait parfois au premier album.

"Prison Born". Une autre dimension de la leçon de choses.

"Akeldama" a exploré les genres ; "Planetary Duality" les synthétise et les densifie. Les arrangements sont plus précis, laissant l'opportunité de jeter quelques clins d'œil sans qu'ils ne soient jamais déplacés (le passage black de "XenoChrist", le côté old-school de "Sons of Belial"), offrant des ambiances travaillées et inédites (la conclusion de "The Ancient Covenant" et son enchaînement avec la courte transition ambiance "Shape Shifters" ; les parties plus calmes et parfois chantées de la plupart des tracks ; le piano de "XenoChrist", encore ; les deux parties de la superbe "Planetary Duality", qui conclut l'album), modernisant ses ambiances sans les renier ("Coldly Calculated Design") et transmettant ce petit quelque chose qu'aucun groupe n'avait insufflé de la même manière auparavant.

Miam, épisode N ("XenoChrist").

En se trouvant, The Faceless a sorti un disque totalement grandiose, qui ne s'épuise pas après des dizaines d'écoutes, et qui nous fait attendre avec la plus grande impatience leur troisième album prévu pour 2012...



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