Fasedown is a band made up of ex-Deliverance guitar shredder Mike Phillips, ex-the Crucified/the Blamed drummer Jim Chaffin along with vocalist Devin Shaeffer and ex-the Blamed bassist John Hansen. Of course, the connection to Deliverance and the Crucified immediately peaked my interest. However, I put off buying this disc assuming that it was probably not be like either band. After finally hearing it, that assumption was correct. Musically, Facedown's debut mixes equal parts Pantera and Reborn-era Living Sacrifice with a touch of N.I.V. and hint of P.O.D.. Unfortunately, due to the fact that Fasedown seems to be trying to write for a more modern, trendy crowd, Mike is not given a chance to go off into many blazing solos, of which I know he is more than capable. To tell the truth, this is really just not my style. The reason I finally picked up this disc was because I was told that it was of a more thrash metal nature. Well, thrash metal this is not. Metalcore or even modern hardcore paints a more accurate description. The vocals are screamed in a macho rap meets punk/hardcore style, the guitars have that downtuned modern nu-metal sound and the rhythms are all of a more modern style as well. Having said that however, this disc is far from wimpy. The aggression and energy is high and the overall feel of this disc is certainly heavy. The straight forward Christian lyrics were also of interest to me. So, while I cannot say this is one of my favorite discs, I must admit that I gave this disc plenty of spins in the first few weeks of owning it.
Fasedown continues down similar paths of ultra-heavy, chaotic metal as their debute . Despite the "nu-metal" label tagged onto this band, the music has much more going for it that they typical "nu" band. I actually think that Fasedown have more in common with bands like Pantera or maybe even Unearthed than to bands like Slipknot or Korn. The songs have dynamics, hooks, variety and some outstanding guitar riffs. Songs like the opening track and "Unto Dust" are fast, full throttle assaults on the ears. Other songs, like "Forward", are mid-paced, have a groove and a memorable chorus. "Ruin" even offers a more melancholy side to the band, albeit a very short interlude. Ex-Crucified drummer Jim Chaffin brings some riveting drum work to this platter that should leave fans of anything brutal and heavy wanting more. For the most part the vocals are the typical scream-in-your-face hardcore yell that you might expect from a metalcore band. One small, very welcome surprise was that Mike Phillips was let loose to throw out some guitar leads this time around. Mike is a great guitarist and unfortunately on the band's debut was trapped in a modern band whose style didn't really allow for much guitar shred. However, with a talent like Mike Phillips, I guess the band decided they needed to let him loose on a song or two. The outstanding guitar solo in "Unto Dust" left my jaw on the floor as did the superb solo section in the middle of "Chaos". Unlike the band's debute, "Blitz of Anguish" pushes beyond labels and blew beyond my expectations. If this is nu-metal, then this is how nu-metal is suppose to be played.