Face Down is basically a hardcore band with death metal influences, but there isn't anything basic in the quality of their material as sported on The Twisted Rule The Wicked . Judging from the band members' names Face Down appear to be of Swedish descent, which explains the death metal influence, but the hardcore tangent is pure Americana. And while they fail (as most bands do) at properly articulating their nihilist philosophy, the destructive, tear-it-all-down-and-start-from-scratch mentality is well put by the hammering guitar riffs and throat stripping vocals.
The monotony that frequently plagues h/c is wisely sidestepped by featuring songs of varying length and riff buildups. With the shortest track at 2:19 and the longest 6:06 there is a lot of room for personal tastes to vary, and it also serves to keep the pace moving with different riffs and rhythm changes. The catalog of riffs employed on The Twisted Rule The Wicked are what truly make this album, utilizing tempo variance as well as alternating beat emphasis to keep the headbanging connoisseur bobbing for hours. With "Top Of The World" we get a throbbing bassline and anciliary electronic effects to keep those more interested in industrial stylings from tuning out. "Cleansweep" similarly appeals to death metal fanatics with it's blastbeats and clipped vocal delivery.
While Face Down will probably drive most hardcore buffs absolutely nuts ('specially live), there are admittedly a strain of fans whose needs are simply not met by anything other than grind or CCorpse-style death, and for those people the familiar Nuclear Blast label - a label that has always provided top-notch death, as well as other styles - may be misleading. Those with broader tastes will no doubt welcome the branching out NB has done in acquiring this quartet, who prove their musical capabilities above and beyond the genrefying this release will be subjected to by fans and the metal press.