Without Face – Astronomicon – Review

Without Face

Astronomicon (Earache)
by Martin Popoff

There’s a whole undergrowth of these large, progressive Gothic co-ed bands from countries off the beaten path, but Hungary’s Without Face are one of the most resplendent and truly progressive rock, Maudlin Of The Well, Dan Swano, Opeth, and Mental Home – indeed every band on The End – coming to mind, as well as the obvious operatic pack configured with similar line-ups. Much of the male vocal presentation (Andras) is clear singing, the female (Juliette) – as expected – wispy and romantic, the two dueling it out over a traditional but complex musical track in which the drummer shines both performance-wise and tonally, not to be outdone by the band’s bevy of old school keyboard sounds. Very impressive, musical, listenable, and challenging of genre-boxing preconceptions. Rhythmically daunting, the album grounds itself nicely with lyrics inspired by various dark tales from classic literature: Poe, Lovecraft, Longfellow, etc.
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