Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails


Tracklist:-

1. Starlit Path
2, Carved From Stone
3. The Night Reveals
4. The Flesh Prevails
5. Levitation
6. Alone With You
7. Allure
8. Sapphire
9. Chemical Cave

Now I'm not about to throw in the towel and come to the realisation that "I'm not going to be able to review everything I get sent", but I am behind (and with the pace of new releases over the last couple of years, who wouldn't be!). In moments like this I find myself reaching for something a little less recent. The Flesh Prevails was released in 2014 and was released via the venerable Unique Leader. Fallujah signed to Nuclear Blast America this year and are due to finish a European tour alongside label mates Carnifax tonight!

Fallujah forms part of a modern death metal tidal-wave. The sort that’s been brought on by Unique Leader over the past few years or so. I’m not complaining about that at all because modern death metal/metalcore is always a sound I go back to. I like the catchiness and the technicality that bands bring to the genre and Fallujah are a band I’ve criminally overlooked in the past. This album’s opener Starlit Path begins by throwing you completely of track. The measured build and the ambient melody tempers the brutality that follows. As it’s only the first song, you don’t get to hear Fallujah’s full intensity, but us metal fans aren’t the impatient type are we? The Flesh Prevails definitely matches up to it’s billing. Majestic lead guitar, head-spinningly fast drumming and off-kilter time signature make Carved From Stone a tech-death fans dream. There are so many facets to it that it’s hard to pick out just one. Fallujah certainly takes real care over their musical structures. They don’t just throw everything at you. The Night Reveals contains so many jazz/blues elements alongside its death that it’s hard tell that they started life as a blackened deathcore band. The solo work in the song is amazing and stands up well thanks to the cleaner production that the record has. The immediate progression into the title-track is a nice touch too. No time for pauses here! The clean singing adds a further dimension to the music and at times the instrumentation reminds you of Animals As Leaders. It’s really good break from the extremity of the rest of the album. Its over too soon and before long the second half is under way. Levitation takes a more straight-up  and brutal death metal stance (if that was possible with Fallujah!). There are hints of modern electronica on the album, which is something you can never fully escape anymore but thankfully when they’re used in songs as good as Alone With You, it doesn’t really matter. The drop as Alone With You becomes Allure is dramatic. What follows is pretty colossal too! Fallujah’s instrumental approach in the song brings out the best in them musically and I while I like death metal vocals as much as the next man, I really appreciate this kind of thing when it’s done properly. Penultimate song Sapphire is probably as heavy as this band gets on the record. Crunching guitar riffs are used more widely and the super-human kick drums only make it sound more extreme. By the time epic closer Chemical Cave rolls into view, The Flesh Prevails will have you well and truly under its spell. The technical wizardry (of the musicians) and the general feel of the record is one of awe. It may be over a year old now but it stand head and shoulders over a lot of technical death metal I’ve heard recently. 

The Flesh Prevails isn't streaming on official streaming channels through the band or label, so you'll have to buy a physical copy on CD or vinyl from Unique Leader below:-


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