New York's Paragon Records, normally known for serving up raw & primal black metal acts, seems to be getting into the death metal scene of late, and their latest release From Glory to Infinity by the band Faust (no, not the old German prog/avant-garde group) is quite a solid platter of technical and brutal death metal. Once you get past the eye popping drawing of a naked, large breasted nun on the front cover, the music of Faust is actually quite engaging, which is no surprise when you consider some of the participants. Somewhat of a 'supergroup', Faust was formed by guitarist/vocalist Aleister in the early 90's, and for this new recording he has assembled for the band Ghiuiz Borroni (Profanatum) on guitar, Luca Princiotta (Doro, Blaze, Clairvoyant) on guitar, Steve DiGiorgio (Death, Testament, Sadus, Iced Earth) on bass, and Derek 'Daray' Brzozowski (Vesania, Dimmu Borgir) on drums. Pretty good pedigree to say the least, and the album was mixed and mastered by Juan Urteaga at Trident Studios, so if you are familiar with the work he's done with Testament, Exodus, Vile, and Sadus, you can expect a great sounding final product here as well.
Make no mistake about it, From Glory to Infinity is a brutal record from start to finish, but it's an extremely well crafted one that contains plenty of technical passages and lots of melody. Alester's growls are totally old school, straight out of the Morbid Angel/Death/Obituary playbook, and quite refreshing to hear considering how many extreme acts like to mix in hardcore shouts, black metal screams, and clean vocals into the mix these days. Musically, the songs here are quite impressive, featuring plenty of smoking guitar solos, acrobatic bass work from DiGiorgio (this guy is and has always been a monster player), and powerful yet nimble drumming. It's almost hard to pick specific highlights on this one as all the tunes are very impressive, but a few to point out are the majestic "Carnal Beatitude", the galloping "Holy Hole", and the mix of brutality with ultra-technical arrangements on "Purple Children". There's quite the 'epic' flavor to many of these songs, especially evident on "Wet Veils", where the layered, complex guitar riffery delivers a grand, melodic, and classy feel, perfectly complemented by relentless blast beats, intricate bass lines, and virtouso guitar leads.
In short, this is a highly recommended death metal release, and here's hoping that little Paragon Records can make the world aware of this powerhouse act.
1. Purple Children 05:36
2. Wet Veils 05:58
3. Sentimental Worship 04:21
4. Golden Wine Countess 04:17
5. Servants Of Morality 04:51
6. Carnal Beatitude 05:28
7. Pig God Dog 02:27
8. Holy Hole 04:51
9. A Religion-Free World's Dream 02:06