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Album Reviews : Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails

By on August 19, 2014

A2000There is awesome metal. There is beautiful melodic metal.There is pierce-your-brain metal. And then there is Fallujah. Why they’re in a league of their own you may ask? Because they’re all three of the above combined plus a WHOLE lot more. Seriously, as I’m writing this review, I don’t even know where or how to start because quite frankly I could go on for pages and pages about this album. Set in a background plethora of ethereal, trippy grooves only to ambush you with a monstrous array of technical riffing and the sheer brutality of death metal, this San Fransisco outfit have left metalheads and other music lovers picking their jaws up off the floor with their latest album. I first heard these guys when they released their debut EP ‘Leper Colony’ and I was, to put it quite simply, blown away, and have been once again with ‘The Flesh Prevails’.

This masterpiece begins with the rich and absolutely perfect ‘Starlit Path’ which, a minute in is proof enough of the musical ingenuity of this lot. It’s atmospheric tones which remind you of gentle and calm oceanic waves  before a storm breaks out, are subtle yet significant similarly bursting into a series of sophisticated, aggressive riffs and tasty bass lines courtesy of Rob Morey, that set the pace for the rest of the album. Out of nowhere, come the venomous vocals of Alex Hoffman, his deep growls sending chills down your spine. It’s like the track is telling a story of how death metal met transient shoe-gaze and this continues throughout . The catchy ‘Carved From Stone’ is next and really gets you ready for Fallujah’s massive sound. A brilliant culmination of soothing harmonies floating around in the midst of all that ferocious growling just leaves you in a complete daze of whether to get up and headbang or light a candle and sway along.

The Night Reveals’ ventures into more tech-death realms, providing some of the most crushing guitars and packs a punch with heaps of melodic groove while title track ‘The Flesh Prevails’ truly possesses a charm of it’s own, the angelic female vocals hypnotically consuming you, followed by some insane leads that will make you feel like you’re floating in air, I kid you not. ‘Levitation’ is probably my favourite track in terms of progression, the build up to the vocals and is quite unique with a sort of death metal ‘bounce’ midway. Guitars on this album steer the track, especially the bass, the clarity of each astounding, it’s like you’re watching the band live. ‘Alone With You’ stands out amongst the other instrumental songs with a more electronic vibe and gives you a little breather before yet another aural assault. The first single, ‘Sapphire’ is mind-numbingly awesome; hook-filled in a sea of intense riffs that boast some exceptional musicianship.

The album closes with ‘Chemical Cave’ which in my opinion, is one of, if not the strongest track. With a flow of gorgeous, progressive instrumentation that is almost enchanting, it ends this fantastic album on a triumphant note, and as proof that this band is right up at the top as one of the best metal bands to exist. There’s lots about ‘The Flesh Prevails’ that works so well. For starters, the production is first class and every track has the power to literally leave you in a trance of sorts. You have every instrument’s sound resonating through all the layers without being overpowered, which is not an easy feat. Throughout , it’s like there is a constant battle between the crushing death metal style of blast beats and precision guitar work and the captivating, powerful ambient,post-rock rhythms that will lead you into a different world. I have to agree with the fact that this album is extremely reminiscent of one of my favourite bands in the world ‘Ne Obliviscaris’ who also, in my eyes, can do no wrong when it comes to combining soft and heavy segments in music.

One thing is certain, Fallujah have revolutionized the very existence of metal with this release and it makes me feel things that I never thought I possibly could. What stands out most is the constant transition from heavy to ambient, as well as completely redefining the genre of metal with a varied mixture of elements that, in all honesty, only they could make sound this beautiful. The hype for this album is definitely justified as it will for sure be on the top of many end-of-year lists, especially mine. Don’t miss out on this one!It’s a stunner!

Band: Fallujah
Album: The Flesh Prevails
Year: 2014
Genre: Progressive/Atmospheric Death Metal
Label: Unique Leader Records
Origin: San Fransico, USA

Tracklist:

Starlit Path
Carved from Stone
The Night Reveals
The Flesh Prevails
Levitation
Alone With You
Allure
Sapphire
Chemical Cave

About

Prarthana is a vegan, Indo-Aussie, heavy music addict, fluent in sarcasm and metal. Traveling is an obsession as she enjoys taking in the history of various countries and following her favorite bands. She's either eating, teaching grammar or learning an instrument, when not occupied with windmilling in the faces of other humans.