Review : FACES OF BAYON – "Heart of the Fire"

Faces of Bayon Heart of the Fire
Release:  2011Jun28 (US)
Label: Ragnarok Records
Rating: 3.5/5

Some say that in order to stand out in an often crowded stoner rock genre, one must have a hook, a catch of sorts.  Faces of Bayon stands out because they probably take their inspiration from the stone faces of Bayon, a buddhist temple in Cambodia. Non-believers in their blend of stoner doom should prepare to be “Brimstoned” with organic, mellow riffs that glow through inky ambience.  Things slow down with further fuzziness that gives rise to a slow, epic leap into “Ethereality”. Pulsing, heavenly beats compliment the droning bass and guitar. Vocalist Matthew Smith is cemented as a “Godmaker” with vocals that are equal parts light and distorted, complimenting soft riffs.

The Original Sin” is certainly full of sinful, Sabbath-ian hooks, but when compared against the previous tracks, feels like a step backward.  Unfortunately, there is some repetitive pain “Where The Golden Road Ends” due to yet another set of traditional doom riffs. And the instrumental closer “A Fire Burns at Dawn” left my ears scorched with apathy.

Faces of Bayon could have gone further with the sound that they displayed on the first half—reminiscent of a more sinister Om, and sometimes a softer Black Sabbath. Perhaps for the follow-up to Heart of the Fire, they could consult other divine monuments like the moia statues of Easter Island.

Try: 1,2,3

01. Brimstoned
02. Ethereality
03. Godmaker
04. The Original Sin
05. Where the Golden Road Ends
06. The Fire Burns at Dawn

~Brad Barratt


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