Fallujah
The Flesh Prevails


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jacquibim CONTRIBUTOR (63 Reviews)
August 18th, 2014 | 37 replies


Release Date: 07/22/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fallujah's potential has been realised, almost...

It would be nice to call The Flesh Prevails a “coming-of-age” record for Fallujah, their evolution from an unremarkable deathcore group into one of tech-death’s most novel exhibits has been nothing short of amazing, and yet – incredible as it may be – they still have room to improve. The Californian quintet’s sophomore album expands on last year’s Nomadic in the most grandiose fashion imaginable, culminating in a delightfully rich blend of elaborate instrumentation and fluid ambient textures. The fluctuation between harsh and soft soundscapes as well as light and dark themes in death metal is obviously nothing new, but rarely have we seen a band so intent on merging the aforementioned traits and pulling it off with such authenticity. While Nomadic merely hinted at their potential, The Flesh Prevails feels like the band’s first genuine step into the development of something astonishing.

Fallujah’s strength has always come from them taking orthodox stylistic components and blending them in an atypical way. While in the past their tech death side has taken precedence over their other elements, The Flesh Prevails corrects this by bringing their signature ambience out of its supplementary role and into the limelight. The guitar work combines the technical aggression of Augury with a soaring melodic edge in the vein of Obscura, and though capable of functioning unaided, Fallujah’s unity of the vehement and the delicate is much more rewarding. Abundant synthesisers and additional guitar lines are cleverly interwoven with the instrumentation, creating an experience that is not only adrenaline-charged but also highly immersive. Though the speed and complexity may initially give off an impression of aimlessness, subsequent listens will confirm Fallujah’s mindful approach to the album. The band resist the temptation of throwing as many ideas as possible at each track and instead focus on how to extract the maximum from the concepts that each track is built upon.

One of the many highlights on the album “Sapphire” basically consists of a singular idea being continuously modified until the track’s closure. The title track borrows the choral riff of “The Night Prevails” and acts as both an extension of the song as well an intermission for things to come. There are seldom any moments where the band delves into complexity for the sake of complexity, but one tech-death truism that they failed to avoid is the arduous production. Zack Ohren, the man behind Immolation’s sonic masterpiece from last year has left his unmistakable mark on this album as well. Softer breaks seldom offer relief while bursts of energy feel comparatively subdued thanks to the overpowering drums and mastering sapping a great deal of the vitality from the songs. Nevertheless, the instrumentation and sublimity of the arrangements make up for the blights in the sound engineering, so one can’t help but wonder what could have been had The Flesh Prevails been given the production it deserved.

The criticism levied at the album and indeed the band for the production may have been exaggerated, but it doesn’t change the fact that the album would certainly benefit from a little dynamic range. It’s true that an uncompressed version of the album is circling between reviewers for the sake of comparison, and so it boggles the mind as to why the powers that be elected to release this one. One can only hope that they come to their senses and allow us to hear the album as it should be heard, because as far as content is concerned, The Flesh Prevails is extraordinary.



Recent reviews by this author
Blaspherian Upon the Throne...of Eternal Blasphemous DeathBaring Teeth Ghost Chorus Among Old Ruins
Pink Floyd The Endless RiverPure Fetor
Kashiwa Daisuke 9 SongsSwallowed Lunarterial
user ratings (521)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2014


15314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Another Fallujah review, horray.

Lack of motivation stemming from IRL problems meant I couldn't be arsed finishing this sooner, but I hope y'all like it anyways.

Digging: Blaspherian - Upon The Throne of Eternal Blasphemous Death

FearThyEvil
August 18th 2014


12785 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Will look forward to reading this tomorrow when I actually get some sleep.

tempest--
August 18th 2014


14702 Comments


"Thought the speed and complexity..."

Though

Other than that, obv gr8 review :D

"sonic masterpiece" ;-]

Only gave this one listen so far, I liked it. A bit modern for me, as in, I prefer the osdm sound to something like this, but it's still good.

m/

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2014


15314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

ty lloyd, all fixed

Still waiting on a vinyl rip or something and then I will gush uncontrollably

tempest--
August 18th 2014


14702 Comments


gotta release the DR10 version

SlMBOLlC
August 18th 2014


5296 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

gues im just not as keen as you guys on this

tommygun
August 18th 2014


25434 Comments


neg

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2014


15314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

goodbye approval rating

climactic
August 18th 2014


20003 Comments


remember when contribs could get pos/neg'd? rip

Digging: Downfall of Gaia - Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay

tommygun
August 18th 2014


25434 Comments


v first sentence of review - replace the comma after the word fallujah with a semicolon

tommygun
August 18th 2014


25434 Comments


otherwise v nice review i appreciate your appreciation of dynamic range

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2014


15314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

cheers tommy, compression doesn't usually bother me but when an album is as focused on build ups as this then it helps to have a bit of headroom

tommygun
August 18th 2014


25434 Comments


agreed

as confucius once said, if everything's loud then nothing is

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2014


15314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yeah that's what i never understood about over compression, no matter how loud an album is the listener is just gonna turn it down to the most tolerable level but then you lose all the oomph

BigPleb
August 18th 2014


38214 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Very nice review dude, imaginary pos.

Album is sweet but I never feel the need to jam it much, unfortunately :/

Digging: Arc Iris - Arc Iris

KILL
August 18th 2014


72295 Comments


Still waiting on a vinyl rip or something and then I will gush uncontrollably

will prob be faux dr, digital recordings on vinyls dude dont be tricked

i mean it could be a diff mastering but i doubt it

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2014


15314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Modern metal vinyls get custom masters all the time, something like Colored Sands could be ported straight to vinyl but I doubt they'd be silly enough to do it with this.

The Vermis LP had a custom master and sounds significantly better than the CD.

KILL
August 18th 2014


72295 Comments


you could be right but ive been disappointed by so many lately

but hey you never know you might get a hdtracks verison!

SlMBOLlC
August 18th 2014


5296 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

vermis on vinyl would've been awesome. Any ulcerate really.

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2014


15314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

dude i asked them on facebook if they're gonna release EiF on vinyl and they said they were I was like omfg (!!)



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy