Fallujah
The Flesh Prevails


4.5
superb

Review

by Chris Maitland USER (18 Reviews)
July 31st, 2014 | 23 replies


Release Date: 07/22/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: On "The Flesh Prevails", Fallujah further cements themselves as the next great death metal band.

Bay Area technical/progressive death metal act Fallujah has been rapidly rising in the extreme metal ranks of late. Their 2013 EP Nomadic took them out of the relative underground and launched them into the front of the pack of up-and-coming bands in the crowded death metal scene. As someone who's been watching Fallujah closely since their infancy, I feel this recent wave of hype and string of accolades bestowed upon them could not be more justified. Their wholly impressive second full-length, The Flesh Prevails, should only add to their growing legion of fans and simultaneously shatter any skeptics doubts about the future of American death metal.

The Flesh Prevails is a logical progression from Nomadic as the band further ramps up the atmosphere of that record and takes the technicality down a (slight) notch. It becomes clear that Fallujah is going for a more atmospheric vibe when the first notes of opening track "Starlit Path" kick in. "Starlit Path" features over a minute of mellow guitar and bass before launching into all-out bedlam with punishing blast beats, grinding guitars and the tortured, black metal-tinged vocals of Alex Hofmann. "Starlit Path" sets the tone for the stacked first half of the album as Fallujah once again perfects the delicate balance of death metal ferocity and ambient beauty. Previously released tracks "Carved From Stone" and "Levitation" are the two heaviest songs on the album, but also feature striking moody passages including the eerie clean vocals in the bridge of "Carved from Stone" and the subdued guitar solo in "Levitation" that give these tracks a spine-chilling emotional edge to contrast the onslaught that occurs for the rest of the song. While all three of these tracks are excellent, the third track on the album "The Night Reveals" is easily the biggest triumph of not only the first half, but the entirety of the record. The middle-eastern influenced guitar scales, prominent, winding bass line and constant tempo shifts make this one of the most well-crafted and flat-out bonkers songs Fallujah has ever made.

The second half of The Flesh Prevails see the focus shifting to the instrumental side of Fallujah, with the previously released "Sapphire" being the only song with prominent vocals to appear in the latter portion of the record. The instrumental tracks on The Flesh Prevails are a welcome reprieve from the chaos that ensues for the rest of the album as they mostly focus on the strictly progressive side of the band.From their inception, Fallujah's strongest point as a band has been their ability to craft intoxicating and haunting melodies and when the instruments completely run the show, the strongest melodies in their repertoire come out. "Allure" and "Chemical Cave" feature constantly-shifting harmonies that are consistently stirring while also serving as the perfect showcase of just how talented everyone in this band is. "Alone with You" is a completely different animal than the other instrumental tracks as it expands on the droney vibe of Nomadic's "Silent" with heavy use of electronics, stripped-down drums and a few gorgeous understated vocal lines from Roniit- who also provides vocals on "Levitation" and "The Flesh Prevails". Fallujah has this sense of subtlety in their music that is incredibly rare for this type of music and it especially comes through on the instrumental tracks. Fallujah certainly does their fair share of traditional death metal pummeling, but they also have a desire to change things up and heavily explore atmospheric territory. It's refreshing to see a band not only challenge the rules of the genre, but effectively break them, and possibly change them forever.

The Flesh Prevails is a dense, challenging listen that substantially rewards patient listeners who are willing to soak in the vast number of layers this record has. It takes numerous listens to process everything that's going on here, but once you, you realize just how special this record is. While The Flesh Prevails is a brilliant record, I don't believe Fallujah has come close to reaching their ceiling yet. Whenever they finally hit that ever-elusive ceiling, the metal world should be in for a serious treat.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
cmaitland421
July 31st 2014


177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Any feedback and comments are much appreciated. My thoughts were extremely scattered when I was writing this, so hopefully this comes off as at least somewhat cohesive.

KILL
July 31st 2014


72090 Comments


sweet dude check atheist

Digging: Steve Hackett - Out of the Tunnel's Mouth

Gameofmetal
July 31st 2014


3252 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Great review. Let's keep up this string of 4.5 rated reviews! I don't know of anything to suggest to you about improving. It was all solid. I wouldn't call Alex's vocals black metal tinged but that's my only qualm.

Digging: Caladan Brood - Echoes Of Battle

Gameofmetal
July 31st 2014


3252 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yeah I finally checked out the leper colony ep and could not believe that it was fallujah. The first track is just generic deathcore breakdowns. Crazy stuff

cmaitland421
July 31st 2014


177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah Leper Colony is a pretty subpar deathcore record. Amazing to see how far they've come since then.

XfingTheSullen
August 1st 2014


2802 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Someone should review Leper Colony.

KILL
August 1st 2014


72090 Comments


xfing digs atheist at least

Eunuch
August 1st 2014


1282 Comments


This is so fucking bad that it's not even bad. I also listened to Leper Colony and I think it was a
parody of deathcore/metal.

KILL
August 1st 2014


72090 Comments


eunuch bro have these dudes even heard hellwitch?

Tyrael
August 1st 2014


20946 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fuk ye

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

cmaitland421
August 1st 2014


177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

What makes think you I haven't heard Atheist? You know it's possible to like newer bands and be acquainted with older stuff too right?

KILL
August 1st 2014


72090 Comments


you prob jammed mother man cos it was in a top 50 list in kerrang you should jam the whole thing dude it makes this look like sissy bitch metal

XfingTheSullen
August 1st 2014


2802 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Kill, just wanted to give you some props for your reaction, it's not the first time I see you do this. "sweet dude check atheist" - literally the best thing to say in such a situation, it's not even mean or condescending and a good way for someone to see that what he's been so excited about is comparatively subpar

KILL
August 1st 2014


72090 Comments


hahaa yea dude

cmaitland421
August 1st 2014


177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Lol no, I heard Unquestionable Presence about five years ago after a friend of mine recommended it to me. They're a cool band and I have an immense respect for them, I just don't think they're the progressive death metal gods they're made out to be.

KILL
August 1st 2014


72090 Comments


jam it again you listened wrong also check focus

tempest--
August 1st 2014


14410 Comments


mastodon421

KILL
August 1st 2014


72090 Comments


oh god didnt even look at his fav bands, oh well gota start somewhere i am here to help

check sabbath

BMDrummer
August 1st 2014


9470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

the production is the big problem on this for me, good review though

Digging: Fugazi - First Demo

adr
August 1st 2014


3299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha

Digging: Full Of Hell & Merzbow - Full Of Hell & Merzbow



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