- Creative Differences: The cause of the bulk of the departures, including the second mass departure (Sorceron, McKinney, and Butler.) In the case of the latter, they all remarked, with varying degree of subtlety, that their involvement was a toxic, soul-draining nightmare. An Instagram post from Keene then triggered a brutal "The Reason You Suck" Speech from McKinney; he tore into Keene for stealing their money, ripping off fans, blaming them for his poor live performances, costing the band a tour when he binged on dope and missed a flight, spending the self-storage money on drugs and getting their gear sold at auction, and backtracking his leads on "The Spiraling Void" because he couldn't play them. He concluded by telling Keene to take some responsibility for his many bad acts. Additional posts on the matter revealed that Sorceron and McKinney sacrificed an incredible amount of time, money, energy, and opportunities to try and make it work—they staged countless interventions, in which they desperately tried to talk Keene into rehab. All the while, Keene badmouthed them and told bold-faced lies behind their backs. To this day, McKinney still takes shots at Keene, mostly about songs that they never got to play live because Keene failed to learn his parts.
- Development Hell: Apparently averted with Autotheism; its conception wasn't particularly difficult or arduous, just long. The heavy touring probably caused most of the delay. In Becoming a Ghost was a more legitimate case, as a complete lineup shift and an inability to maintain a new one (McKinney being the only explicit full-timer; Kersey was a live session member, Westmoreland and Sorceron wound up becoming Ascended Extras, and Rydquist and Giffin were supposed to do the entire album but backed out; Rydquist did, however, track "The Spiraling Void") all led to a development cycle that exceeded even Autotheism in sheer length.
- Executive Meddling: What might have saved the band. During 2016/17, The Faceless had burned many bridges and cancelled a lot of shows, including a major United States tour supporting Between the Buried and Me and an Australian tour supporting The Black Dahlia Murder. They had one last shot on a major tour on 2017's Summer Slaughter Festival, but Sumerian told Keene point blank that The Faceless needed to put out new material or they would not be on the bill. While they couldn't get a full album out in time, they did manage to drop the single "Black Star" before the tour started. And to the band's credit, other than the very first date of the show (they missed it due to Chason Westmoreland dropping out and they needed to get his fill-in James Knoerl up to speed), The Faceless successfully played every show past that on that year's Summer Slaughter.
- Genre Popularizer: Along with Necrophagist, Obscura, and, to a far lesser degree, Decrepit Birth, they were this for technical death metal. Prior to 2008, Necrophagist was the only real tech act with a major fanbase that was specific to them; while many people referred to acts like Nile, Suffocation, and Cryptopsy as tech, their fanbases were predominately taken from the death metal scene as a whole, and the other "name" tech acts of the day (namely Martyr, Spawn of Possession, Psycroptic, Gorod, Capharnaum, and Augury) were strictly cult acts at the time with no mainstream reach. When Planetary Duality dropped, however, The Faceless very rapidly gained a fanbase specific to them that was explicitly drawn to the tech elements, and between that and Obscura's Cosmogenesis (which arrived a few months later), the tech scene and fanbase that would bloom in the 2010s was effectively created. It is safe to say that without their presence, the climate that allowed for bands like Revocation, Beyond Creation, Fallujah, and Archspire to get big in the 2010s may have never emerged.
- Old Shame: Akeldama doesn't seem to be held in very high regard by Keene. "An Autopsy" is still a live staple, but other than that, they have turned their back on the album and don't seem to be too intent on changing that.
- Promoted Fanboy: Rudinger, McKinney, and Butler.
- What Could Have Been: Alex Rudinger was asked to join the band again circa 2017 as a live drummer, but declined due to his commitments in Good Tiger.
Trivia / The Faceless