Façade - Façade (EP) (2013)


While most of the giants have lay dormant for far too long, a new breed of bands was tasked to keeping the seat on the throne of death/doom warm. For every inspiring new act, there are a throng of pretenders to that throne, ones who would rather paint the fingernails on the arm rests than sharpen their skills. Luckily for the kingdom, all is not lost. We've told tale already of Soliloquium, with their latest demo, The Concept Of Escape,"  opening our eyes to the new wave. But another rumble can be heard; this one from Dordrecht, in The Netherlands. For a six piece band by the name of Façade is not merely coming to keep the throne warm, but perhaps take it for themselves, rightfully. Their debut EP, a two track, self titled affair, would be more than enough to convince you, me, and everyone we know that this game being played, involving thrones, is about to get more heated as the days pass. After the next sixteen minute of your life, you may be ready to crown a new king, or at least hesitate to bow to the old one.

A sullen clean guitar melody opens "Listen," one worthy of the trail of goosebumps it may leave down your arms. But the change from comforting to downright scary is quick and flawless, coming to a head with every crushing down beat. The first words that stream from vocalist Ben de Graaff's mouth turn the bumps to a eery chill. With three guitar players in tow, the depth of sound in the riffs is incredible and well worth the expanded line-up. And despite being self-recorded and self-produced, it is an astonishing feat to have the mix stand up to the weight of the instrumental. The blasting beats that begin just shy of the five minute mark could break any mix, or at least leave the track feeling uneven and distorted. But they are kept in check, and every piece of the six man attack can be heard separately, and clearly. The rhythm section of bassist Pim van Dijk and drummer Korijn van Golen have the massive task of anchoring the sound, something they do with skill and accuracy, flowing from the first track into "To My Beloved One." What you are handed, in a neatly wrapped, almost ten minute package is a clinic on the death/doom realm. There is something extremely captivating in the way they play that keeps you fully focused through all of the tempo and tone shifts. This is like a perfect storm of Draconian and Swallow The Sun, joining forces to destroy all that is left. Once again, the wave of mutilation is massive and solidly constructed, dwarfing the production work many major labels bands have been attached to. 

Maybe some young blood was all the world needed. It would be easy to jump to conclusions and call this debut the second coming of the death/doom genre. That would be a drastic and perhaps misguided statement. But what it has done is reinvigorate the sound that launched, and sunk, a million ships. The guitar trio of Berend Klein Haneveld, Conrad Stroebel, and Ghislain van der Stel have laid down a wall of distortion that would be difficult to rival. But even more than just playing loud, and playing with gnashing teeth, they make all of the pieces fit together so that you can't escape their grasp. Granted, the EP is only a mere sixteen minutes long, but the way it flows, the way it holds your attention with eyes wide open is both incredible and horrifying. The ability they have to push you right to the edge of the cliff, only to pull you back at the last second is something that will make their careers long and fruitful. These six puzzle pieces known as Façade have come together at the right time, and the right place. And we are now witnesses to their rise to power.

9.5/10

Bandcamp - http://facadedoom.bandcamp.com/
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/facadedoom