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Review of the Album Face of the Unknown by Portuguese Thrash Metal Band Prayers of Sanity

Updated on October 16, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

This girl is praying fro something and the photo symbolizes part of the band's name.
This girl is praying fro something and the photo symbolizes part of the band's name. | Source

About the Band Prayers of Sanity & the Album Face of the Unknown

Face of the Unknown is the third studio album by Portuguese thrash metal band Prayers of Sanity. Yes, there is actually thrash metal in Portugal though it just needs time to grow and prosper. I once briefly heard Portuguese thrash metal through a site called Metal Observer several years ago but I do not recall that band's name. Anyway, let's get back to analyzing the album Face of the Unknown and this album is a mix of “The Haunted” style vocals and riffing and it is pretty respectable. There is also the feel of a more modern Exodus and to a limited degree the riffing of the band Slayer. The vocals are of the raspy, angry type and in thrash metal, this type of vocal style is actually quite common but that's just the way it is I guess. If Greece is becoming a new kind of Bay Area for the thrash metal genre, then we can say that Portugal is a country that is just learning how to play this kind of style and at least Prayers of Sanity do a good job of playing thrash even if there isn't much variety on this album.

The Album Face of the Unknown Also Has a Soft Instrumental Song Called In Between

“In Between” though is a short instrumental song that breaks up the monotony of this album if we can even call it that and this one is pretty good in its own right. The riffing is good enough like the majority of European thrash metal bands that I've heard. Even if the song has the same riff structure that repeats it is a good song that sounds like the song called Watch the Children Pray by the band Metal Church. At least Metal Church influenced these guys to an extent and that's a good thing.

"Face of the Unknown" Full Album

Face of the Unknown Album Review Continued

Someday is a song that is influenced from the first album of “The Haunted” as the anger and the rage in the vocals is clearly present. Face of the Unknown starts off this thrash metal album and it feels like an Exodus and Slayer style thrash metal song because the guitar work reminds me of Tempo of the Damned. The song's lyrics are clearly political in nature and this is no surprise here as so many thrash metal bands have used politics in their lyrics to bring attention to the propaganda that surrounds citizens in so many countries around the world. Part of the riff of this song reminds me of the song Tempo of the Damned. “Dead Alive” is a thrash metal song that has that Tankard influence in the beginning before really getting to lightning speed in terms of the guitars. Sometimes in life we feel powerless and lifeless to deal with life's challenges. We feel like we have wasted our life sometimes. Past, Present, None is a song that takes a philosophical approach to life and it is trying to tell us that the future technically does not exist and we cannot go back to the past, hence there is only the present moment in time. March Forward is a song that tries to describe a scenario in which people live to celebrate the influence of thrash metal but the song is also trying to describe a force behind human nature that no one can stand. What is that force?

Final Thoughts About the Album Face of the Unknown

The strongest songs in this album are probably Dead Alive and the instrumental song called In Between. All in all, this is a decent thrash metal album from these Portuguese guys. This album ends with the very fast and modern thrash metal song called Nothing. The song is about being nothing and having to get wisdom in order to improve yourself. Some people are devoid of knowledge and wisdom even though they think that they know everything. This last song has a really good bass part in it as well. The song ends in dramatic fashion with the shout of the word nothing.

© 2020 Ara Vahanian


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