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Album Reviews : Fallujah – Undying Light

By on March 27, 2019

Sometimes I find it virtually impossible to ignore a band’s previous output when writing a review of their new album, and so this is the case again with the newie from US progressive deathsters Fallujah.

Even viewed in isolation, Undying Light is a disappointment. And when you consider that this band put out one of the all time great techy/proggy death albums less than three years ago, that disappointment is even more pronounced. Relentlessly both brutal and highly imaginative, and displaying a level of songwriting skill rarely seen in this genre, Dreamless was one out of the box, obviously the one where the planets aligned for this band. Now it seems that those planets have moved back out of alignment. It’s almost like a different band.

Indeed, the first thing you notice is the change of singer. Previous frontman Alex Hoffman is possessed of one of the great voices in modern metal, it is a blistering blowtorch, a full-throated, all-encompassing roar that demolishes and dominates all before it. By comparison, while new guy Antonio Palermo is certainly far from a bad singer, his voice sounds a little thin and reedy. He sounds like another metal singer.

In fact, this is the overall issue here. While Undying Light is well written, well produced and displays high level musicianship, it comes across as just another metal album. Even after several listens. The aforementioned highly imaginative songwriting and arrangements have dried up, replaced by a more standard approach. While Dreamless had originality veritably dripping off it, nothing leaps out as being particularly innovative here.

After the magnificence of their previous release, Undying Light is a serious letdown. Hopefully this band can find the magic of Dreamless again one day soon.

Band: Fallujah
Album: Undying Light
Year: 2019
Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast
Origin: USA


Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine,, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.