Review Summary: A logical progression for Fallujah, one hinting to greater heights to follow
“Nomadic” is a land mark release for Fallujah. It shows them adding emotion and maturity to the technical side of their music; resulting in an EP that shows the future is bright for the young band. The modern technical death metal scene has not exactly been thriving lately; due to a host of all too similar bands that focused more on how many sweeps they could in three minutes than crafting well made songs. With “Nomadic”, Fallujah not only show their instrumental skills, but display solid song-writing skills and maturity uncommon within the genre.
The progression in this release flows extremely well, with the various alternations in musical style always feeling as if they belong exactly where they are. This helps to avoid the feeling that they are progressing for progressions sake (better known as “wankery”), a common criticism of many modern progressive bands. Opener “The Dead Sea” is the perfect song to display the mature progression; showcasing seamless transitions frenetic instrumentation and well calculated atmosphere. The following track “silent” is a nice, yet somewhat unnecessary interlude that would be more suited to a full-length rather than a three track EP. Closer Venom Upon the Blade exhibited many of the same traits as “The Dead Sea”, albeit at a mostly slower pace that’s main focus is to build up to the excellent crescendo.
Instrumentally is where Fallujah truly shine, with guitarist Scott Cairstairs providing solid riffs and smart leads in equal measure. Surprisingly audible bassist Rob Morey holds his own against the intensity propagated by Carstairs and acts as an excellent compliment. Drummer Andrew Baird gives a mostly excellent performance of endurance and speed, coupled with the grooves in the slower sections that results in a very solid and mostly varied performance.
However despite the numerous strengths shown by Fallujah throughout “Nomadic”, there remains room for improvement. Whilst the drummer is evidently very skilled, his triggered double bass can be somewhat overused and grating because of how often it is used. Vocalist Alex Hoffman, despite being a more than capable at his role, lacks definitive range and variation in his delivery. This can lead to his vocals sounding a little bit stale, however the fact that there are only two tracks containing his vocals prevents this from becoming too much of a problem. The aforementioned instrumental track “Silent”, whilst being a good track, feels out of place and unneeded on such a short release. Lastly, and possibly the biggest setback, is despite all the emotion and effort Fallujah put into Nomadic, the overpopulation of the scene means we’ve heard a lot of it before (although rarely as well executed).
Regardless of the somewhat minor setbacks, “Nomadic” remains an excellent technical/progressive death metal release that shows there may be a very bright future for Fallujah. The combination of technicality, well structured songs and emotional input shows the potential this band possesses. This is Fallujah finding their niche within the scene, standing well above the majority of their peers.