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The Faceless

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The Faceless
The Faceless performing at Tuska Open Air Metal Festival
The Faceless performing at Tuska Open Air Metal Festival
Background information
OriginEncino, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active2004–present
MembersMichael Keene
James Dorton
Past membersSee: The Faceless membership

The Faceless are an American technical death metal band from the Encino neighborhood of Los Angeles. They released their debut album, Akeldama, in November 2006, and a follow-up, Planetary Duality, in November 2008. The band's third album, Autotheism, was released on August 14, 2012. On December 1, 2017, the band released their fourth album, In Becoming a Ghost.


The band was formed in Encino by guitarist Michael Keene and bassist Brandon Giffin in 2004. In the winter of 2005, the band began work on a four-song extended-play album which would become Akeldama. After recording the drum tracks, drummer Brett Batdorf left the band. After a break in the recording process, the band decided to make the EP into a full–length record and recruited several drummers to finish the drum tracks for the remaining songs.

Following the release of Akeldama, the band toured extensively with bands including Necrophagist, Decapitated, Nile, and The Black Dahlia Murder.[2] The band went through several fill-in drummers before adding drummer Lyle Cooper to their line-up.

Planetary Duality debuted at number 119 on the Billboard 200.[3] The album was critically acclaimed and brought the band a new level of success.

Soon after its release, they toured with bands including Meshuggah, Lamb of God and In Flames. Prior to their performance at California Metalfest IV, Giffin announced that he would no longer be in the band.[4] The band also announced that they would be playing in The Summer Slaughter Tour of 2010 along with bands including Decapitated, All Shall Perish, and Decrepit Birth.

In May 2011, Keene confirmed via Facebook that Geoffrey Ficco would be replacing Derek Rydquist as the band’s vocalist.[5] Ficco performed the lead vocals on “The Eidolon Reality” pre-production preview track released on YouTube. In April 2011, the band was joined by bassist Evan Brewer of Animosity, replacing Giffin.[6]

In March 2012, guitarist Steve Jones left the band and was replaced by Wes Hauch, leaving Keene as the last founding member still in the band. Keene stated that “he’s moved in a different direction than us and we wish him good luck in his ventures.” Keene has also stated[when?] that the addition of Hauch gave the band some fresh energy, praising Hauch to be “one of the finest guitar players I’ve ever had the privilege of playing with, he’s really amazing.” Keene wrote Autotheism almost entirely while being the only member of the band, with the exception of track "Ten Billion Years" which was brought to the table by Wes Hauch and rewritten together between Hauch and Keene, keeping a large portion of Hauch's original arrangement with some Faceless signature elements added.

Autotheism débuted at number 50 on the Billboard 200 and hit number 1 on CMJ radio loud rock charts.

The band, along with bands including Cannibal Corpse, Between the Buried and Me, and Periphery, took part in The Summer Slaughter Tour of 2012.

In January 2013, Cooper left the band, and posted on his Facebook module regarding his departure; he claimed that the band’s goals and interests were not his own.[7] Alex Rüdinger, formerly of The HAARP Machine, a labelmate of The Faceless, became the band’s new full-time drummer.[8]

On February 14, 2014, Wes Hauch announced he was leaving the band.[9]

On October 20, 2014, both Evan Brewer and Alex Rüdinger announced on their personal Facebook pages that they were leaving the band to pursue other projects.[10][11] On December 4, 2014, vocalist Geoffrey Ficco announced his departure from the band, leaving Keene as the sole remaining member of the band.[12]

On February 25, 2015, The Faceless announced Justin McKinney (of The Zenith Passage) as the band's new rhythm guitarist via Facebook.

On April 12, 2015, Michael Keene announced the return of founding member and bassist Brandon Giffin.

On September 28, 2015, The Faceless shared a new song titled: "The Spiraling Void", announced a U.S. tour, and also confirmed via Facebook, the return of long time vocalist Derek "Demon Carcass" Rydquist.[13][14]

On November 13, 2015, The Faceless made "The Spiraling Void" available for download, via iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.

On April 18, 2016, The Faceless announced that they would be working under new management through E.J. Shannon Management.[15]

On June 9, 2017, the band announced that they will be playing on the Summer Slaughter Tour 2017 with The Black Dahlia Murder, Dying Fetus and other bands.[16] On the same day, the band released a new song called "Black Star",[17] which featured Ken "Sorceron" Bergeron on vocals, Justin Mckinney on guitar and Chason Westmoreland on drums, also, this is the first The Faceless song on Drop A tuning using seven string guitars.[18] Michael Keene tracked the bass on the entire album by himself. On October 19, 2017, the band announced their fourth full length album entitled In Becoming a Ghost, which released on December 1, 2017.[18]

On March 19, 2018, vocalist Ken "Sorceron" Bergeron, guitarist Justin McKinney, and drummer Bryce Butler announced they quit the band. Bergeron announced his departure earlier in the day, hours later followed by the other two members. At the time, Keene remained the only member of the band. The new lineup of the band was revealed a month later.[19] The Faceless were expected to perform the entirety of Planetary Duality on June 10, 2018, at Bay Area Deathfest after former member Justin McKinney's band "The Zenith Passage".[20] However, their set was met with criticism after they arrived late and only performed five songs.[21]

On July 24, 2022, Keene came under fire for arriving on-stage at a concert 45 minutes late, only to begin an apparently-inebriated rant about having a neurological disorder. After touring member Aaron Stechauner got Keene off stage, he performed alone on drums for a time to keep the crowd entertained. The Faceless eventually performed two hours after the set was scheduled.[22]

On July 25, 2022, the band announced that James Dorton of Black Crown Initiate had joined the band as lead vocalist.[23]

Band members[edit]

Current members

Current live/touring members

  • Andrew Virrueta – rhythm guitar (2018–present)
  • Aaron Stechauner – drums (2018–present)

Former live/touring musicians

  • Mica Meneke – lead vocals (2008)
  • Nico Santora – rhythm guitar (2014)
  • Anthony Barone – drums (2015)
  • Julian Kersey – lead vocals (2015, 2018–2022)
  • James Knoerl – drums (2017)
  • Taylor Wientjes – lead vocals (2018)
  • Cody Pulliam – drums (2018)
  • Gabe Seeber – drums (2018)
  • Jacob Umansky – bass (2018)

Session musicians

  • Navene Koperweis – drums (2006)
  • Andy Taylor – drums (2006)
  • Matthew Blackmar – keyboards (2008)
  • Tara Keene – backing vocals (2012)
  • Sergio Flores – saxophone (2012), flute (2017)

Former members

  • Steve Jones – rhythm guitar (2004–2012)
  • Brandon Giffin – bass (2004–2010, 2015–2016)
  • Bret Batdorf – drums (2004–2006)
  • Jeff Ventimiglia – lead vocals (2004–2005)
  • Mikee Domingo – lead vocals (2004; died 2014)
  • Zack Graham – drums, clean vocals (2004)
  • Bryce Butler – drums (2017–2018)
  • Elliott Sellers – drums (2004)
  • Michael Sherer – keyboards (2005–2006)
  • Derek "Demon Carcass" Rydquist – lead vocals (2006–2011, 2015–2016)
  • Nick Pierce – drums (2006)
  • Marco Pitruzzella – drums (2007)
  • Lyle Cooper – drums (2007–2013)
  • Jarrad Lander – bass (2010)
  • Geoffrey Ficco – lead vocals (2011–2014)
  • Evan Brewer – bass (2011–2014)
  • Wes Hauch – rhythm/lead guitar (2012–2014)
  • Alex Rüdinger – drums (2013–2014)
  • Justin McKinney – rhythm/lead guitar and orchestrations (2015–2018)
  • Chason Westmoreland – drums (2015–2017)
  • Ken "Sorceron" Bergeron – lead vocals (2016–2018)



Studio albums
Demo albums
  • Nightmare Fest (2006)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Kapper, Andrew (undated; circa August 2012). "The Faceless – Autotheism Review". Heavy Metal module of Dotdash. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  2. ^ All Shall Perish, Arsis, and The Faceless Metal Maniacs Tour Show Review. Metal Injection. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  3. ^ "The Faceless: 'Planetary Duality' First-Week Sales Revealed – Nov. 19, 2008". Blabbermouth.net. n.d. Archived from the original on February 13, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  4. ^ "The Faceless Bass Player Quits Group". Lambgoat.com. May 14, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  5. ^ "[untitled]". The Faceless (via their Facebook module). May 20, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2013. "So, as some of you may have heard, Derek is no longer in The Faceless. We wish him the best of luck and will always value the time he spent in our band. Our new vocalist's name is Geoffrey Ficco and he is truly a beast! If you've heard our demo for 'The Eidolon Reality' than you've already heard his punishing vocals ;) Surprise!" – Keene
  6. ^ “The Faceless Announces New Bassist April 7, 2011. Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  7. ^ [better source needed] (registration required) "Lyle Cooper Leaving The Faceless". Lyle Cooper (via his Facebook module). Retrieved January 26, 2013.
  8. ^ "[untitled]". The Faceless (via their Facebook module). January 28, 2013. Retrieved February 1, 2013. To clear the air on a few details, The Faceless has decided to part ways with drummer Lyle Cooper due to a growing difference in the level of commitment to the project. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors and we're sure he'll continue to be successful with music. Having said that, we are very excited to announce that Alex Rudinger is our new full time drummer. We just played our first 3 shows with him in Mexico and what he brings to the band both musically and personally, is simply astounding. We are looking forward to a great future with Alex. The Faceless was design by Juan Franco Art in 2007
  9. ^ "Guitarist Wes Hauch Leaves THE FACELESS, To Join Reactivated GLASS CASKET". Metal Injection. February 17, 2014.
  10. ^ "Alex Rudinger - After much thought I've decided that it is... - Facebook". Facebook.com.
  11. ^ "Evan Brewer - After almost four years of good times with... - Facebook". Facebook.com.
  12. ^ "The Faceless vocalist Geoff Ficco quits band". lambgoat.com.
  13. ^ "The Faceless - The Spiraling Void - YouTube". YouTube. July 24, 2016. Archived from the original on July 24, 2016.
  14. ^ "The Faceless". Facebook.com.
  15. ^ "The Faceless - We have recently started working with E.J.... | Facebook". Fr-fr.facebook.com (in French). Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  16. ^ "THE SUMMER SLAUGHTER TOUR". Thesummerslaughtertour.com.
  17. ^ "THE FACELESS - Black Star - YouTube". YouTube. June 10, 2017. Archived from the original on June 10, 2017.
  18. ^ a b "Justin McKinney". Facebook.com.
  19. ^ "Video: The Faceless Perform Live with New Lineup". MetalSucks. April 22, 2018.
  20. ^ Pasbani, Robert (March 19, 2018). "Everybody But Michael Keene Just Quit THE FACELESS". Metal Injection.
  21. ^ "The Faceless Reportedly Play Shortened, Sloppy Set at Bay Area Death Fest; Fans Rage Online". MetalSucks. June 11, 2018.
  22. ^ "Watch: The Faceless' Michael Keene Goes on Incoherent Onstage Rant, Starts Headlining Set Two Hours Late". July 25, 2022.
  23. ^ Greg Kennelty (July 25, 2022). "BLACK CROWN INITIATE Vocalist Joins THE FACELESS". Metal Injection. Retrieved July 25, 2022.

External links[edit]