Face Of Oblivion’s "Cataclysmic Desolation" is another one of those albums I wanted to like so much more than I did. This album was my introduction to the band, and I was eagerly anticipating hearing it for the first time. Little did I realize that I was in for a disappointment that I have experienced so many times before with bands that almost have me hooked then, at the last minute, they totally lose me in a clusterfuck of nonsense. Don’t get me wrong, this album wasn’t totally unlistenable, but 1 simple little aspect of sloppiness almost did this album in.
First I am going to mention what I did like about this album. The music was spot on. The riffs were precise and brutal as all hell and commanding of the respect that you would only find for the masters and creators of this wonderful music we call death metal. For me, it was like a mixture of "Cause Of Death" and "The End Complete" era Obituary mixed with the bottom heavy production and riffage on Cannibal Corpse’s "Tomb Of The Mutilated" and "The Bleeding". This aspect of the music was absolute sheer insanity. Especially when they add their own little technical twist to the traditional style of death metal riffing. I have nothing but absolute respect for the band for the way they have laid out the plans for such precise devastation and flawless deliverance. The drum work is the same way. You can tell there was time and effort put into the drum tracks and the drummer commands just as much respect as the guitarists. I cannot help but get a deep sense of tradition and mastery where the drums are concerned. While the styles may be different, You get the same technical precision and respect for metal as you do in albums such as Sepultura’s "Beneath The Remains" and "Arise" as well as Cryptopsy "Whisper Supremacy" and Entombed "Clandestine". Like I said, I know the styles of these bands may be different, but the drummer for Face Of Oblivion could definitely hold his own with any of the drummers from the aforementioned bands. What you get here is a relation to intensity and pure love for the art of death metal music.
Now, what really took a shit on this album is the total disregard and sloppiness of the vocalist. I will say, however, that this guy has one hell of a set of lungs on him, but his efforts of enunciation are piss poor and almost render the efforts of the other band members almost pointless. Plain and simple, you just don’t blatantly tank, what could be a successful album, with a substandard vocal approach. The patterns are, no doubt, brutal, but the delivery and enunciation efforts were absolute trash and almost non-existent. This effort would have been better as an instrumental album. I’m not going to write the band off based on this, though. I just hope that the vocalist can step up his game for the next album.