Technical Death Metal comes in many forms and functions but the style that FALLUJAH does it in, referred to as Atmospheric Death Metal, seems to hit the nail into the coffin, especially as heard on their latest release The Flesh Prevails, out now via Unique Leader Records. As soon as I took this record for a spin I was hooked; I found myself getting lost within the music while listening and it felt as if my mind had been ripped open by this maniacal display of musicianship.
I will start by saying that the second time I experienced this album was at night before I went to sleep. I decided to throw it on and give it a listen while completely relaxed and focusing on nothing but the music. I was immediately pulled in by “Starlit Path” and the bass hooks during the intro which led straight into some heavy riffing. I could tell that they were setting the bar high. “Carved from Stone” followed immediately with a pretty but ominous introduction; this track is seriously heavy bringing to mind BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME on mercuric steroids. Hints of Black Metal exude on “The Night Reveals” which has some of the sauciest bass licks throughout and also includes a myriad of riffs and rhythms to be heard during the guitar solos in the middle.
Moving right along into “The Flesh Prevails” the mood is quieted down while the drums maintain the rhythm spastically in this continuum of sounds. You can definitely picture and feel the album art work being represented sonically within this piece. One of the more brutal numbers is “Levitation” with its coldly calculated riffs reminiscent of THE FACELESS; after coming to a halt mid-song, the group brings back the brutality for the last minute to finish this one off. “Alone with You” really struck me and caught me off guard; the female vocals add so much depth. For the next three minutes you have time to reflect on what you’ve heard and really get lost within yourself when listening.
One of my absolute favorite tracks is the instrumental “Allure” which is a continuation of the previous song in a heavier context. You can completely feel it, it’s amazing; needless to say, I think these two should be heard together. The appropriately placed “Sapphire” shows the most Death Metal influence while also showcasing each musician’s ability in the perfect sections; the arrangements have been completely top-notch throughout. Just when “Sapphire” fades out and you think it’s all done, “Chemical Cave” fades back in with a proper closing to this masterpiece; the vocals are limited and somewhat drowned in the mix which compliments the instruments flawlessly. The ending reminds of a small part of an ANIMALS AS LEADERS song and then graciously fades away again. Perfect!!!
There have been a slew of badass metal releases lately with more instrumental work which is something I think this genre needs more of. FALLUJAH takes the best of both worlds and integrates many other styles into their own. This is a must have for any fan of metal. I recommend buying this as an LP and enjoying it start to finish on a turn table, the way music was meant to be experienced. If not, buy it and crank it as loud as you can and just LISTEN!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM
WRITTEN BY JOR-EL