Planetary Duality review by The Faceless

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  • Released: Nov 11, 2008
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.7 (89 votes)
The Faceless: Planetary Duality

Sound — 10
Planetary Duality. The title implies science fiction, which is relatively prevalent throughout the album, with song titles such as 'XenoChrist' and 'Shape Shifters.' The album opens with the short, hard hitting Prison Born, with its blisteringly fast fills and stop-rhythm chorus. Michael Keene's guitar performance throughout the record is extremely well-constructed, with some of the best melody lines you've ever heard on a death metal album, such as in 'Coldly Calculated Design' and 'The Ancient Covenant.' The medley that is the title track is an extremely effective dose of ambience in the first movement, and unforgiving death metal in the second. Lyle Cooper's drumming is just outright fantastic, if only for the fact that the drumming fits in with the music, even among the complex time signature changes. The bass is barely noticeable, except for the tapping fill that opens 'The Ancient Covenant.'

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are typical death metal fare, but the way in which they are presented are what really prevent the album from ever becoming monotonous. You've got the standard growling and shrieking for most of the album, but amidst this, there are sections where the vocals take on a 'robot' sound, and even some bits where Keene takes on some clean singing, which lends to the songs extremely effectively, without sounding horribly out of place, except for one instance in 'Sons of Belial,' which isn't, by any means, a bad song. The clean vocals are an extremely welcome change from typical death metal, especially in that they don't sound like something you'd find on a Killswitch Engage record.

Overall Impression — 9
Several fans have complained that the album is too short. But that's th beauty of it. You can listen to the whole thing without getting bored, or being unable to differentiate between two songs. Because Planetary Duality is so short, it saves itself from the monotony that plagues even the best of death metal records. All in all, it's an excellent album. I definitely recommend it to anyone who appreciates a good death metal band, but isn't closed-minded to some unusual aspects of the music.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Great album. Why the hell does everyone like Xenochrist so much though? its the most boring, repetative song on the album, especially when it gets to the end. Not to say its a bad song but far from the best on the album. Legion of the Serpent, Sons of Belial and Planetary Duality II kill it.[quote]test1cles wrote: Goddamn I hate the drums on this album. I haven't listenened to it for a while because of the goddamn snare - I think the snare sounds awesome. The problem is the drums are a bit too high in the mix.
    those weren't power metal vocals guy above me. Power metal vocalists usually use a higher pitch and sound a little bit like women. The guy didn't sound like a woman but the singing didn't really fit
    Sound's Like 'Colors' from Between The Buried in Me. I'm new to these guys and I got turned on to them by their bassist ...still trying to get his licks down
    Veil of Lies wrote: I really don't like the vocorder parts, but the rest if F--KING AWESOME!!!
    For your information, it's "vocoder". Get your facts straight before you call people "****ing retarded". I deleted your spam post, next time it's a warning.
    k3v1n shr3dz
    "Legion of the Serpent" is my favorite! anyone else hear a Decapitated influence in some of this? esp "prison born"
    This album is incredible. I can play parts of Xenochrist on guitar now. I am so proud of myself
    Amazing album, love these guys. Drums are a bit loud, and the vocals arent loud enough. It dosent kill the album by any means though. I myself liked the vocoder parts, they lended to the overall creepy alien vibe of things. This also probably takes the cake on album art, cause its amazing. 9.5
    tallaxegrinder wrote: the insanely sinister catch of the way "sons of belial" flows makes this one of my all time favorite metal albums. i have loved this band since i first heard pestilence
    When I first bought it, Sons Of Belial was my least favorite to listen to, but after I learned how to play it, that was my favorite song to play on the album. I too have been in love since I first heard Pestilence =)
    Goddamn I hate the drums on this album. I haven't listenened to it for a while because of the goddamn snare - to me it's like it's all over the place, which I think is pretty annoying. But I might have to listen to it again