If you’re from Gothenburg, Sweden, and you play Melodic Death Metal, there’s a lot to live up to. In the face of such high expectations, I hoped for either a new slant on the subject or an energy-sapping performance on this 5 track ep.

It all starts off with the customary melodic riff, repeated and reinforced by strong drumming and a heavy wall of sound. The growler sounds impressively like he’s had a hot poker placed somewhere he doesn’t want. There is a clean vocalist with a soft, angelic voice which nice as it is, doesn’t seem to fit into proceedings. There’s a nice bit of keyboard and guitar work here and there on the title track but although enjoyable enough, I couldn’t identify anything special about it. The experience is replicated on the second track “Design of Deception”, which like much of this work reminds me of Satariel in the melodic energy and the vocal style. From the third track “Black Birds” there’s a step down where it wasn’t needed. Maybe this was Unlit Face asserting their individuality but it doesn’t work. The previous power disappears and apart from a short atmospheric section near the end, this shapeless song has no interest or particular quality. The other two tracks are equally mixed bags. Mixing a kind of Viking melancholy with death metal melody, they come out as quite pleasant and good in parts but mystifying in purpose. The clean vocals are weak and on top of an insipid sound structure, both “Set Afire” and “Destination Beginning” are bland. Even the singing of the latter’s track title as its chorus sounds weary.

I have listened to this mini-album several times in the hope of picking something out of it. If I hadn’t been reviewing it, I wouldn’t have done that. I liked the first two tracks, which although unoriginal, had good energy. There was the occasional twinkle but unexceptional riffs, weak clean vocals and the atmosphere of wallpaper all contributed to a lack of life or fizz, especially as the work progressed. I don’t know what Unlit Face were trying to achieve with “Your Truth Lies” but they didn’t capture me with it.

(4.5 / 10 Andrew Doherty)