When word first broke about vocalist Derek “Demon Carcass” Rydquist being absent from The Faceless‘ tour in Europe, I got a bit antsy. The Faceless are undoubtedly my favorite death metal band out there right now, and despite Rydquist’s vocals being pretty generic as far as death metal goes, he was always an integral part of their overall sound. Plus, having seen them live on a few occasions, I was just sort of accustomed to his presence over the years. You know how it works.

Funny story regarding Derek Rydquist, actually; a few years ago, I took my girlfriend at the time to a The Faceless show. She was unfamiliar with the band and had just assumed the skinny dude in glasses and shorts was a roadie and not the deep growling vocalist she had heard previously. When he didn’t leave the stage and instead belted out those lows, she couldn’t believe it. Metal dudes can look pretty unassuming. In fact, she thought the same thing regarding the dudes in Between The Buried And Me when she first got into them, and we were actually at the show to see BTBAM as a priority.

Enough of that nonsense though, there’s breaking news: Rydquist is out of The Faceless, and some other dude by the name of Geoff Ficco is in. Here’s the statement that Rydquist made to Lambgoat:

“As you Internet sleuths have deduced, I have left The Faceless. I left the band a couple months ago, and we were waiting until they had everything sorted out on their end before saying anything about it, but I guess I’ll take it upon myself to break the news. I am no longer emotionally or artistically fulfilled by being the vocalist for the group, and that’s how I arrived at my decision. Touring’s luster has worn off, and I have found myself reconsidering the role I would like to take in creating and presenting music. Also, being a ‘professional musician’ was kind of ruining my love for music because when you rely on this stuff to make you money, as with anything, it is easy to become bitter towards it. Not that it was all bad, I had the best times I will ever have being in this band, but it is time for me to move on.

“I’d like to thank the band and the friends I’ve made through the band for making this not only a life altering experience, but a life shaping one. There is an immense amount of talent in this band, and the new vocalist they have is doing a great job, so please keep supporting The Faceless. I can now join you in anticipating the new album.

“If you’re interested, I’m now playing in another group with some dudes from some awesome bands. Check it out at www.facebook.com/bewilderbiest. We’re mixing the album right now, so we should have some music up soon.”

Bummer. But apparently the new guy is doing the band some justice, as he’s actually the one doing the vocals in the new pre-production track “The Eidolon Reality.” This whole time, I just assumed it was Rydquist. I guess he’s not as integral as I had once thought. In case you haven’t heard it yet, here’s the new track:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtNlISxBwSw]

Hopefully they can stop having all these lineup issues and remain constant. Their new album is due out later this year on Sumerian Records.

– JR

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