INTERLOPER – Search Party
What is unquestionably true is that The Faceless live member, Andrew Vincent Virrueta (vocals, guitars), former Rings Of Saturn guitarist and another The Faceless member, Miles Dimitri Baker as well as former Rings Of Saturn drummer, Aaron Stechauner are fabulous musicians despite the band being only 7 years old and with just one recording, "A Revenant Legacy" EP (2021) preceding this debut full length. There are plenty of melodies, hardcore riffs, well-placed cleans and screams recalling early Trivium, progressive twists and turns but most of it just flows by with no consequence to my ears or soul. Indeed, this is the most honest adjective I could use to describe it: soulless. Fortunately, not all the songs are so and there a few gems, such as the favorite old In Flamesian "The Wishing Well", "Idle Years" recalling Omnium Gatherum and Scar Symmetry or the opener "Pathkeeper" of a more traditional metallic fiber. However, these are sudden if very welcome changes from the constant flow of good but not great music with even good songwriting but such dreamy and uneventful monotony I lost track of it several times.
I usually am not too cruel to debutants and "Search Party" does have some potential but both more focus and more experience are needed and I suggest more of those unexpected changes in tone and stylings based on the aforementioned standouts. Hopefully the guys will learn their lesson well and surprise us all with a much improved follow-up.