The Return of After The Burial & The Faceless

It's been a while since Michael Keene has been out of the wood work. I can't say how much extensive touring the group has done since I caught them opening for Dillinger in April of 2013, but it's safe to say they haven't exactly been in the forefront of the spotlight. The current package has the outfit taking 
out label mates After The Burial, who just having undergone a drastic life event with the loss of founding member and primary nucleus Justin Long, dropped off their prior commitment to the Summer Slaughter installment of 2015.
     Both groups here seem to have gone through an amalgamation of sorts with The Faceless showcasing yet another new vocalist, drummer, and rhythm guitarist with no bassist in attendance, while After The Burial performed as a four piece and a substitute bass player from Aethere filling in for Lerichard Foral who is apparently celebrating the birth of his new born. 

(After The Burial looking real good after some time away)

    I'm not sure how much of this attributes to Keene's workmanship or ability to play well with others, because since 2006 I haven't seen the same group of people perform in this band. Gone are the days of Lord Worm and the band that housed a collection of highly talented musicians that performed on the record. These days it seems like Keene runs a slew of auditions and finds musicians familiar with the catalogue and hits the stage. I think there have been over a dozen members in this band to date. Maybe this is why it takes the logo years to appear on another bill. There's something to be said about going to see the same band year after year and not seeing the same people on stage. Perhaps Keene truly wants to personify the group's moniker and indeed be truly "faceless" in that you never know who's going to be a part of the band.

(who are these people?)

     The set overall for both bands were absolutely fantastic. I've seen After The Burial numerous time throughout the years and the shows definitely ranged in quality of production and attendance. The show tonight found the band in front of an intimate audience, perhaps due to the recent incidents in Paris creating fear that's concerning concert goers who otherwise would have attended, or perhaps it's the band's ability to bounce back after losing one of their original members. The Faceless went through all three phases of "Autotheist" before playing a few classics off their debut and Planetary Duality.
     It's great to see the passion both groups have for their craft after so many hardships and so many years. What I felt during this show was gratitude as well as an overwhelming sense of passion coming from both outfits. In case you're hunting for a show to kickoff the winter season, make sure you pay attention when this bill swings through your neighborhood.

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