"The band's full-length debut, These Bloody Hands, pulses with all the bloodletting power of the high-body-count video games the band plays when not designing the most aggressive hardcore it can imagine. The Faces' brute power and technical proficiency unfold as a steady assault of scabrous bass, boundless grind riffs, and diesel-powered drumming....Surprisingly dense with hooks, the songs tend toward pit-ready revelations of rage, in tunes like the title track, 'Everything Hates,' and 'Waiting for Death.'." -- Scene Magazine, April 4, 2003
Two things distinguish 13 Faces from the internationally acclaimed metal-crossover bands like it: The Cleveland quartet hasn't signed paperwork attaching it to a big label's PR machine (yet). And 13 Faces is better than most of those who have. The band's full-length debut, These Bloody Hands, pulses with all the bloodletting power of the high-body-count video games the band plays when not designing the most aggressive hardcore it can imagine.
The Faces' brute power and technical proficiency unfold as a steady assault of scabrous bass, boundless grind riffs, and diesel-powered drumming. Rob Runt's deep roars arrive in three-minute bursts, his range hovering tolerably between the vocal stylings of Cookie Monster and Slipknot's Corey Taylor. Surprisingly dense with hooks, the songs tend toward pit-ready revelations of rage, in tunes like the title track, "Everything Hates," and "Waiting for Death."
13 Faces is Cleveland's answer to Hatebreed; but even if it had the backing to land on Ozzfest, it'd be too heavy to fit in.
-- Scene Magazine
13 Faces' debut disc These Bloody Hands is 15 songs of aggression from start to finish. Are you looking for an album that'll give you one or two "slower" tunes to show the bands "versatility?" Too fucking bad. That is not present on this album. What you will find is an album that could be played straight through live, and there wouldn't be a single second in the pit for anyone to breathe and relax. 100% pure metal, no filler.
It's tough to review an album like this, simply because all of the songs follow the same sort of format. Not that that's a bad thing at all. 13 Faces are a great example of what makes Cleveland Hardcore great. They just do it throughout all 15 songs on the disc. These Bloody Hands is an excellent introduction to what you can expect on the whole album. A brutal onslaught of metal with no filler. The first few songs show exactly what this band is capable of. The crunching guitar riffs and the thrash drums really blend together well. A good number of tempo changes (very prevalent in These Bloody Hands) are accomplished seamlessly. The guitar work and the breakdown near the end of Crush To Nothing also stands out.
Look What You Did To Me features Rob throwing out some machine-gun like lyrics and giving himself a hell of a vocal workout. The guitar work is blistering fast, and the drum work is more than solid. March is one of the standout tunes on the disc, and it focuses mainly on the terrorism facing the US. Rob again throws down some awesome vocals on this track, with a simple yet solid riff backing up the chorus. The verse is awesome, with just the right amount of musical chaos. Frontline also tackles political issues with stunning brutality. The trend of extremely strong songs continues with My Life, which is probably my favorite song on the disc. It's one of the few tracks where you can understand what Rob is singing without checking the lyrics. It's heavy, and there's a lot going on with the music, but it's not overdone. Nothing Like You is one of the weaker tracks on the disc, but still very heavy. There's too much going on in the music at some points of the song, and not a lot of continuity. It's still a solid song, and it still represents what 13 Faces are all about, but it's not anything that stands out. Quickly makes up for that, though, with the same machine-gun like chorus that appeared earlier on this disc, and a straightforward heavy verse. The last four songs close out the album the same way it started, with straight-up brutal metal. The standout of these songs is Everything Hates, simply because the riffs are put together so well. Slow is also nice, with a slightly toned down pace for part of the song. They prove that they don't have to be going as fast as possible to make good music, it's just what they prefer. The double base during the chorus shows what type of talent these guys have. Try Again closes off the album as a huge showcase to the talent that guitarist John Comprix and drummer Jeff Curenton posess. The riffs on this album were put together very well to meld into 15 nearly-seamless songs. It's extremely difficult for a band to take a couple of nice riffs and figure out how to put them into the same song without it sounding forced, and 13 Faces did just that on this album. The production work probably helped quite a bit also. Comptrix proved himself to be a more than adequate producer on this album, taking what was probably a huge wall of sound and turning it into a brutal record that toes the line nicely between aggression and utter chaos. The only complaint that I could think of for this album is the lack of stand-out bass riffs. This isn't meant to badmouth Bryan Trembley, who is a damn good bassist. It's just that his work isn't really heard at all on the album. No bass fills that I could hear, and no groundbreaking work. I was hoping to hear a little more of the bass stand out in the songs, instead of it simply laying the base for the guitars throughout the album. Overall, this album didn't break any new ground, but I don't think that that was what the band was trying to do here. They set out to create an aggressive metal album, and they did that. They also did it better than many other national bands do. I love Hatebreed, but their albums can get extremely cluttered and can be difficult to listen to. These Bloody Hands is a disc that you can listen to and not once say "Why the fuck did they put that riff in there?" A great debut from a band that has already made a mark in Cleveland, and hopefully will be able to branch out elsewhere soon.
"13 Faces have been making a name for themselves in the Cleveland music scene for some time now their new 15-track release, These Bloody Hands, backs up what I've been hearing. 13 Faces can make some heavy and aggressive music. The new CD has a thick sound and is full of mosh pit riffs and angry aggressive vocals, which are provided by Rob Runt. Runt, who is well known in the Cleveland music scene, has established himself as one of the heaviest singers in the scene today.
Fans of music similar to Pissing Razors and Pantera will like this CD." -- Brian Kerr, The Lakelander, November 18, 2003
It's refreshing, in this age of hardcore and metal bands that seem far more bent on being harder-core-than-thou than on making the best music they can, to see a band that doesn't sound like it's trying too hard.
Please don't misunderstand me: 13 Faces are hardcore as all get-out. The thing is, the band's thought process seems to have gone beyond super-fast riffing, deep-voiced growling and whip-crack drumming. This is not to say that their lyrics stray far from the heavily worn footpaths of the genre, either: blood, violence, death and pain are frequent guest-stars, as is the snarled insistence that the narrator will not be swayed from his path ("My Life").
The difference is in the details: for example, "Quickly" eventually settles into a powerful yet insistently melodic riff, driving the outro line "Save your silk cravat for another day" home in a way that simply increasing the volume and aggression never could. The super-tight riffing and drumming never sounds like a demented metal version of American Idol. It's also worth noting that the rock listener who only occasionally makes a foray into this genre (read: me) will find the lyrics actually comprehensible for a change. Vocalist Rob Runt certainly has a lot of aggression to get off of his chest, but he never emphasizes the growl over the delivery. Other vocalists with similar approaches would do well to emulate him.
These Bloody Hands is the sort of album that makes the casual listener think that perhaps the genre isn't headed inexorably toward total, self-imposed marginalization. While 13 Faces should easily satisfy their ready-made audience, there is plenty about this band's approach to aggressive music that should convince the less devoted to give them a second listen.
-Splendid ezine 3/30/04