Hailing from Minnesota, with members of Incinerate, Compulsive Mutilation and Acanthostega (which is a great band name and needs some more albums attached to it, oddly enough – it's black metal) we have death metallers Face Of Oblivion. To be fair, out of all the monikers that these gentlemen play under, they probably could have picked something a little better. To most, it might seem like these guys are a dreaded “three-word band” like Pierce The Veil or suchlike. Thankfully, that is not the case. Listener, you are absolutely not getting a fucking core record and I'd tell you that first-hand. Face Of Oblivion play a highly technical form of death metal that my former colleague would be quite interested in (thoughts are with him while under hospitalization) and it's a bit of a shame that he can't hear this one, as it's relatively strong. I actually didn't receive a digital promo for this one, so it took a bit longer than usual to review it as I had to make a personal rip of it.
While reading Resident Evil comics, I found that the grueling atmosphere of the disc fit the biological horrors portrayed in the comics quite well and that to me, was a plus. Most of the records I listen to are while I'm doing something else (I'm a major multi-tasker) so barrelling through those comics was certainly more enjoyable while listening to Cataclysmic Desolation than while listening to the other discs that came shortly after. The music itself comes across as a truly fearsome sort of brutal death with bits of technicality injected in areas, most of it all flowing together in a severely twisted format which delivers as much gore as it does precision. Adding to that, we have some rather intelligent song-titles like “Seismic Anomaly”, “Paradoxical Undressing” and “Scaphism” to name a few. There's no “Head Smashed In By Bulldozer” or “Cannibalistic Organ Feast” to be found on these disc. You might even call it a bit more scientific. The disc certainly sounds that way. But it's definitely a “mad science” in that respect.
Most of the record is completely devoured by Eric Baumgard's (Acanthostega, Breast Ripper, Compulsive Mutilation) drumming, as with most discs of this type. Fronting that of course is Jesse Watson (Incinerate) on vocals along with Cole Gunther (Bass) who also provides some background vocal segments. Chris Hensley (Compulsive Mutilation) is the band's main guitarist, and he's responsible for much of the absurd technicality that you'll hear spattered about the release, but he also provides a little bit of background vocal here and there. I would assume that while on stage you should expect the same thing from these guys, something of a demonic duet that would come off rather well in that format (depending on the PA and such) even though most of the tracks bleed into each other. Cataclysmic Desolation makes for a good soundscape, but it doesn't really have any major changes in tempo that differntiate from it's peers. The list of bands that these guys like are pretty much similar to how they sound, and nothing really makes them stand out to me in that regard. They're worth checking out for techy brutal death guys, but if you can't get into technical death metal like this already, then this record will certainly not change your views on the subject. Face Of Oblivion offer a rather frantic atmosphere with a few guitar tricks and perhaps a handful of solos, but they should consider branching out into a fashion that might make them ascend beyond the style of some of their peers. The truth of the matter is that most bands never really do that though, and I suppose what is offered here is good enough for me.
(12 Tracks, 34:00)