Face Down- The Runaway

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, May 2, 2011

If you were to give me a copy of Face Down’s The Runaway EP from last year and didn’t tell me where the band was from, I would assume that they were probably based somewhere in the southern part of the United States. The group has put together groove metal that at times feels like a clone of Pantera, but there are enough variations to keep them from feeling like a mere copy. However, rather than being from the United States Face Down is actually based out of France and it appears they’ve got the version of the genre down pretty well. They will need some more diversity and distinguishing elements moving forward, but for an EP that was released less than a year after their creation The Runaway is surprisingly engaging.

For a group that released this EP so early in their career, The Runaway is surprisingly polished and boasts very strong production values. I’m not completely sure what sort of background the instrumentalists come from, but you can tell that they know what they are doing and had the songs produced/mixed in such a way that their riffs and drum beats come off as aggressive and in your face. While there are a few times where Face Down sounds a little too close to some of their inspirations, there are other moments throughout the EP where they have some catchy grooves and solos of their own. Another element that I like about this group is that there are a few songs where they move away from the constant aggression and try to incorporate some melodic leads, and this gives their material a bit more diversity. Face Down still has plenty of room for growth, as they haven’t completely found their own niche just yet but they appear to be off to a good start.

The group’s vocalist has a familiar rough edged voice that is a cross between growling and clean singing, and if you’ve listened to any groove metal in the past decade or so you should have an idea of what this sounds like. I can’t say that Face Down really stands out in this department as their singer isn’t that different from everyone else, but he does attempt to head into some mellower styles on occasion and this does keep the vocals from becoming repetitive. While it doesn’t seem likely that the band will really grab anyone solely because of their vocals, they do fit the music well and anyone that already enjoys this genre will be able to appreciate them.

Face Down has potential, and while they aren’t quite a must listen to band just yet they are better than many of the other American groups that are trying to play this same style and this is saying a lot. The Runaway has some enjoyable moments, and that leaves you rooting for these guys. Hopefully as they move forward and begin to write a full length album their material will further progress, as I believe that somewhere down the road they could find a way to stand out and not just be seen as “another groove metal band.”

http://www.myspace.com/facedownattitude

Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by Blue Wave Production

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