Fausttophel’s 2019 album bears a Ukrainian name whose English translation is ‘No Liars Among The Fallen.’ This is a band which does its best diligently album after album and song after song to sabotage itself.
There is plenty here to compel a true metal fan. Harsh and brutal sounds, heavy riffs, speedy rhythms and serious vocals are undercut by the band’s consistent yearning to be infertile, infantile and impure. In come the female vocals, ethnic and folk instruments, synthesizers and voice-overs to disappoint. Admittedly, on album number three, the band delivers its best work yet and minimizes the Ukrainian voice-over narration and the soprano shrill bitching and delivers more of the good stuff, but the bad stuff is still strewn all over the place. The title track kicks off the album and for one moment it sounds like the Blade Runner soundtrack before the band goes for it. Mansion Of Shadows is a gripping attack until ruined by synthesizers clearly inspired by Samael. The Path Beyond is a speedy number before sabotaged by the band’s defilement. That is how it goes with this band. Moreover, the recording is laden with the disappointment that comes with a drum machine. Emperor fans may love it. Serious metal fans will wonder what might have been. Boys, leave the girlfriend and her synthesizer at home and, not only your music will be respected, but also warm food aplenty will be in the fridge when you return home. Extra marks for the intriguing cover artwork.
Ali “The Metallian”
Fausttophel is an old-school black metal act, initially founded in 1999 in Ukraine. The group disbanded after two years as one member died in 2001. The band returned in 2009 but now based in Russia. Fausttophel issued Среди падших нет лжецов, an Ukrainian title whose English translation is No Liars Among The Fallen.
No Liars Among The Fallen is band’s third full-length album which consists of 10 tracks and app. 55 minutes of play. What I first thought of Fausttophel is that it sounds as a true old-school black/death band that remains true to its original ideas created back at the beginning of this millennium. The material is very aggressive, dynamic and very changeable.
Thus, the album is very diverse, changeable and unpredictable, with both harsh and brutal sounds, heavy riffs, speedy rhythms and unusual yet decent vocals. Some of the songs feature female vocals (mostly with singing or choral accents), ethnic and folk instruments/percussion, violins, acoustic guitars, multi-sounded keyboards and melodic musical themes.
The production is also ‘goin’ back to the roots’, as there’s this nice little dirty touch about it. I would like to applaud them for this beautiful, professional and intriguing cover artwork.
No Liars Among The Fallen might not be the most innovative or original album out there, but it contains some powerfully good stuff! My personal favorites are the two last songs, “Sabbath”, mainly due to its ritualistic atmosphere, and the excellent album closer called “Lilith”. I also like the haunting church-like sounds and atmosphere from the album-opener and self-titled track, “No Liars Among The Fallen”.
The band appeals to many styles of metal, esp. melodic black and death metal, but also for fans of Dissection, Edge Of Sanity, Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Samael, Old Man’s Child, Rotting Christ, Opeth, Limbonic Art and more!
Formed in the cold Russia back in 1999, this is their third album, and I am MASSIVELY impressed. They have that old eastern European touch of old like MASTER’S HAMMER or ROOT, with a very evil touch of thrash in the most evil of the early DESTRUCTION, SODOM and KREATOR sound, melted with basic death metal ala early DEATH, IMMOLATION and POSSESSED. Add to that a perfect, and I mean perfect production for the style, that is not over produced with heavy guitars, and a great drum sound, a bass that actually not only follows the guitars but gives the sound more depth, a band that can play in many types of speed and you got a killer album. The band not only plays fast, they are committed to create evil morbid melodies like they do in ”Kubla Khan” that by the way, pays homage to the Greek Black Metal bands. Oh, I was almost forgetting to tell you that they do growl the lyrics in their native tongue, giving the music that exotic sound that we all metalheads miss from the Iron Curtain Bands of old. The creation of riffs contained in here is killer. I can sense some very early SEPTIC FLESH sound in here, just to tell you about the great sound this band conjures. Fans of good extreme metal shall not let this pass away. I am a big fan of this great band now.
The Ukrainian formation FAUSTTOPHEL has the origins in 1999. However, due to problems with the line-up (death of one of the members?), for a few years the band sank into non-existence and in fact they began to be more active after 2009. And only in 2013 they released their debut album “Жажда забвения”. Then there was another – “Sancta Simplicitas” also reviewed on our website http://www.metalcentre.com/2016/09/fausttophel-sancta-simplicitas/. And now we have their third work…
Yes, great work, it is an adequate term. FAUSTTOPHEL uses many means of expression in his arrangements, ranging from these traditional instruments in Metal music to multi-sounded keyboards, violins, acoustic guitars, folklore percussion instruments and duduk and female singing or choral accents.
The material is very aggressive, dynamic and vigorous despite these multiplicity of additions and various sounds densely appearing in the compositions. The brutality, speed and heaviness form the basis, which is varied or mitigated just by diversified inclusions – multi-instrumental melodies, multidimensional atmosphere or a symphonic, folk or bygone ages mood.
Of course, the whole is complemented by polyphonic Ukrainian-language vocals – grwolings, screams, melorecitations and whispers as well as male-female singing, which in turn creates a very rich arrangement of the most powerful Metal genres, that is Black Metal with Death Metal, enriched with themes of Doom Metal, strongly fixed by ominously-melancholic melody with a very rich rhythms (from fast rhythms to slow-flowing tempo).
The music is very changeable. Already in one song we will hear many transformations and themes. However, you will not feel any chaos or musical mess. Everything is well combined and thought out. Many phrases are very catchy and strongly affecting for emotions…
FAUSTTOPHEL are walking their path. However, it has its intersections with expensive roads belonging to BAL-SAGOTH, DIMMU BORGIR, EMPEROR or CRADLE OF FILTH. This is the reason of many inclinations…
Many guests took part in the recording of the material…
Four years ago, Fausttophel’s second full-length album impressed me a lot, so I had high expectations from their newest material, a 10 tracks effort clocking a bit over 50 minutes of playing time. Fausttophel delivers a mix between Black and Death Metal as their music’s backbone, but on top of that they add so much more that in the end it’s impossible to pinpoint their music only to these two genres. The best thing about the new album (by the way all lyrics are in Russian and there’s not much to discover for non-Russsian speaking listeners)is its diversity and surprise effect: the compositions are so wide and imaginative, so rich of different elements that it’s impossible to remain passive during the audition. The rhythms are changing a lot, ranging from slow to fast paced, so all over the place, and there’s always something surprising popping out when you expect it the least but all in all the band’s music sounds curdled and well-thought, don’t know how much time they spent on composing it but the end result suggests it was all carefully planned and structured. If you’re into end ’90’s – beginning of the ’00’s technical and melodic (symphonic even) Black Death Metal and you’re looking for a band to uplift your spirit this is the right album for you. Don’t know how much interest they receive from Russian audience, but my feeling is this is definitely a band that deserves a lot more attention.
Zwar sind die Vocals dieser bereits 1999 gegründeten Band in ihrer Landessprache Ukrainisch gehalten, doch reicht man dem internationalen Markt die Hand, indem alle Titel auch auf Englisch übersetzt gelistet sind – quasi die perfekte Kombination, denn natürlich klingt der melodische Black Metal auf Ukrainisch gleich eine Spur eigentümlicher. Stilistisch beackert die Band auf ihrem dritten Album ein recht weites Feld, wobei die Prioritäten klar auf zwei Punkten zu liegen scheinen: mit stolzgeschwellter Brust demonstrieren, was man instrumental so alles drauf hat, und eine haunting-düster-gruselige Atmosphäre erzielen. Beides kann man als gelungen abhaken, allerdings passiert es im Gegenzug immer wieder, dass die eher ausführlich gehaltenen Tracks mehr wie aneinandergereihtes Stückwerk als wie ein stimmiges Ganzes wirken. Da wäre etwas mehr Songdienlichkeit in Zukunft echt wünschenswert, zumal „No Liars Among The Fallen“ immer wieder richtig coole Passagen zu bieten hat und die Band mit etlichen Gastmusikern lobenswerten Aufwand betreibt, ihre Vision umzusetzen. So evoziert ‚Temptation‘ mit einer (echten) Violine Gänsehaut, ebenso wie kämpferische Epik, die in dem bombastisch wirkenden ‚The Path Beyond‘ aufkommt, nicht zu vergessen die fette Atmo-Attacke in dem mit Orchester- und Klassikelementen aufgemotzten ‚In Hephaestus‘ Forge‘. Auch bei der Gitarre mögen FAUSTTOPHEL es gern klassisch, weshalb – ungewöhnlich für dieses Subgenre – auch immer wieder melodische Gitarrensoli eingebaut wurden. Dagegen stehen dann eben Stücke wie ‚Kubla Khan‘, die seltsam abgehackt die Geduld auf die Probe stellen und bei denen man sich als Hörer mehr Songdienlichkeit und ein besser nachvollziehbares Arrangement gewünscht hätte. Insgesamt aber eine durchaus interessante und mit Liebe zum Detail gemachte Scheibe.
Ukraine’s Fausttophel have returned with a new recording which continues their melodic mixture of black and death metal from previous releases and this is a review of their 2019 album “No Liars Among the Fallen” which was released by Another Side Records.
Dark sounding synths and ritualistic spoken word parts start off the album before going into a heavier direction. All of the musical instruments on the recording have a very powerful sound to them while the riffs also add in a decent amount of melody and blast beats can also be heard during the faster sections of the music.
Vocals are mostly grim black metal screams while clean vocals can also be heard at times along with a high death metal growls. Throughout the recording you can also hear a decent mixture of slow, mid paced and fast parts along with the solos and leads being done in a very melodic style.
Clean playing can also be heard at times along with the fast riffs also adding in a decent amount of tremolo picking. Synths also make a return on some of the later tracks as well as giving the songs more of a symphonic touch, some of the songs are also very long and epic in length and as the album progresses a small amount of ethnic style instruments and ritualistic style percussion can also be heard. The production sounds very professional while the lyrics are written in Ukrainian and cover Occultism themes.
In my opinion this is another great sounding recording from Fausttophel and if you are a fan of melodic black and death metal, you should check out this album. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE “V Kuznie Gefesta” “Kryla” “Put’ zaGran'” and “Lilt”.
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