Faceless Mirror – From The Void: Album Review

The much anticipated second album from Faceless Mirror is finally here. We have been treated to snippets over the last 12 months but prolific songwriter Dave Cavanagh and the band has given 11 more musical gems on From The Void.

Release date: 12th January 2023

Label: Bandcamp

Format: Digital / CD

You would have had to be lost in the outback for the last 50 years not to be able to detect the obvious musical influences of Faceless Mirror but when gelled together the sound they produce is totally unique. The restrictions over the last two years have reduced their much-deserved higher profile and would be a huge favourite on the British festival and concert scene should that opportunity arrive.

The album begins with Mumma (What A Life) in which we hear the very best of producer and guitarist Dean Macaw, whether it’s his wailing, intricate solo or funky, fuzzy rhythm.  Dave’s mournful lyrics resonate with those who seek relief from the emotional roller-coaster of life. Despair from dying, lost love, missed opportunity, and trying to find a positive way to survive life’s misfortune.  More nimble acrobatic guitar work is delivered on the dreamy Are We In Love when the uncertainties of a new love are explored by Dave’s hopeful yearning lyrics. 

Four tracks have already been released as singles. Dave Cavanagh’s emotional dedication to his children Blood Is Thicker Than Water would be a favourite for a fifth.

Of the song No Shelter, guitarist Dean Macaw explains how it: “touches on the divide between wealth and poverty, and what greed is doing to the earth and its inhabitants. “ While Dave Cavanagh’s vocals yell out with the desperation of the misuse of the planet and its inhabitants and its devastating consequences, Dean’s guitar screams out power riffs and licks. Rhythm section John Armistead (drums) and Michael Hunt (bass)  steer the band with meticulous accuracy. This track shows Faceless Mirror is one tight unit with a very full and rich sound.

The versatility and breadth of styles -catchy, rocky, country, funky, jazzy  – is shown in the tracks that follow, with Dave’s lyrics always to the point and never pointless flowery or meaningless. He is thought-provoking and concisely observational and reflective.  Lucky Stars, Lonely Times, The Girl In The Black and Down the Old Scrapyard  are all instantly likeable.

The powerful and emotional single, Another Night Will Fall, sees Dave Cavanagh’s soulful voice delivers the message of hope for recovery and relief from traumatic personal issues with passion and sensitivity. Dean  Macaw displays his slide guitar prowess throughout and his joyous, stunning guitar solo musically expresses that “a ray of light will come.”  David Cavanagh says the song Another Night Will Fall originates from the 90’s when he and Dean Macaw were in the Kelly Gang  but they recently revisited it and “laid down the guts of the song with acoustic guitar and vocal,” to create the current song which according to the band ‘reflects on mental illness. 

The music is tastefully enhanced by the immaculate production from Michael Stavrou on tracks Mumma, This Old Scrap Yard and Another Night Will Fall. Most of the mixing is done by Dean on home-based equipment!! With the current line up of John ‘Derek’ Armistead on drums, Michael Hunt on bass guitar and special guest David Fennel on piano,  Faceless Mirror is a tight unit with a very full and rich sound.

Dean praises the contribution of drummer, John ‘Derek’ Armistead: “Derek was last to come into the mix, as he is an awesome drummer as well as time keeper. He was already familiar with the dynamics of the song and TOTALLY BLITZED the drum parts and blew us all away!!)” His own contribution is worthy of praise too as he tells us he had to “relearn and re-record all off the guitar parts with a Gibson Les Paul, a Fender Strat, and Marshall amps.” 

Dean Macaw tells us they wanted to have a large dynamic with the electric guitar to contrast the mournful acoustic guitar. for their pulsating final track Only You. Mixed with  strings  and Hammond organ creates an  “eerie/haunting sound and feel as well as a more of a live sound.

Little Old House is pure country with a Steve Earl meets Neil Young feel and represents how their choice of  track listing can offer up sudden pleasant surprises. The strings have a  Lady Madonna feel added to the strong crashing guitar work.  Dave Cavanagh’s lamenting vocals help to add to the anguish which resonates with anyone who feels that everyone is against you except for the one who can empathise with you. The combination perfectly blends together to express the isolation and angst created by this situation. The instrumental fluctuations from light touches to the overwhelming pulverising effect make this a wonderful climax to this stunning album.

I know that many a discerning At The Barrier reader will link up to our website and think “Faceless who?” Well give these guys a listen and you’ll be saying “Faceless Wow!!”

Faceless Mirror: Website / Facebook / Bandcamp

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