Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, September 9, 2019

Totengefluster - The Faceless Divine

When I was in high school I had a Totengefluster poster on my wall. I was mesmerized not only by their badass logo but by their  whole presentation. This was symphonic black metal that I could get behind! In the 6 years since I fell in love with their 2013 debut, Vom Seelensterben the band has only gotten better. The transcendent sonic punishment of this record is a marked improvement over their 2017 album Im Nebel der Verg√§nglichkeit. The band has only expanded the range of what they can do whilst staying true to themselves.

The Faceless Divine continues to impress because of the range of emotions the band masters on it. Tracks like The Hollow Wanderer (Cursed) sit nicely alongside straight up ragers like Grant Us Thy Blessing. It's impressive to see the ease with which Totengefluster dart across their chosen soundscape. The Faceless Divine is, as a result, a truly masterful release. It shows us a band who have spent years honing their craft only to now be at a point where they can unleash symphonic black metal hell at a level few of their peers dare match. They have crafted something darkly bombastic and inherently fascinating.

Totengefluster have been a favorite of mine since high school for very good reason - they are among the best at a very specific breed of black metal. They have taken a sound that is often viewed as oversaturated and even a little silly and been able to strip it back to its core elements to put together something impressive. Though they may lack the youthful rage they had on earlier efforts, this album still speaks to just how far Totengefluster have come in their decade plus career, it makes for compelling listening.

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