REVIEW: Absence of Faith - "The New Beginning"

By Chris Eissing

Chain Border

The New BeginningI'm not going to overly mince words. If you're really into synth-driven industrial this might tweak your throbber. Musically it is adequate. At moments it is complex, seeming to be a melding of Nine-Inch-Nails influence and Early Depeche Mode (I'm talking really old Depeche Mode, like in A Broken Frame) sophistication.

No ground is broken. However, it is competent Industrial. Musically there are some genuine bright spots, like Unholy or Lex Satanicus. The weakness of the compilation, though, is in the vocals. William J. Butler, the sole soul of Absence of Faith, does great rhythmic distorted vocals, as in Judgement, and they are well-blended with the songs. But his regular vocals commonly slip off-key, and are often over-processed and under-confident. This is seen in lyrical vocals of songs like Judgement, Visions, Ad Majoram Satanae Gloriam. The namesake track, Absence of Faith, is by far the strongest. Mixing techno rhythms, industrial vocals, and a well-included chick.

The New Beginning does deliver the anti-Christian nihilism one would expect from a band by the name Absence of Faith. It dances close to the edge of being over the top with its Satanic tones and imagery. If this album is an expression of Mr. Butler's wrestling with faith, denouncing Christianity, and his embrace of Satanism I give him great props for undertaking such a daring artistic expression. If the Satanism is thrown in to enhance the dark ambience of the compilation I'd be most disappointed.

If one of this Band's songs was in a movie, what would it be? I can see the song Absence of Faith as the obligatory techno-industrial song in a Matrix rip-off. Probably starring Peter Weller or Charlie Sheen. Whichever one has less of a career at that point in time. That is, of course, if Keefer Sullivan isn't available.

The album is above-average musically. The rhythmic and distorted vocals are pulled off wonderfully, but the lyrical vocals bog this album down. Also, there are sampled voices that begins and ends this album that seems totally out of place. If one can find their namesake track on download it is worth it, otherwise, look for their next album. Their deficiencies are not for lack of talent or want, simply experience, and will to improve.


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