Album Review – Fallujah “The Flesh Prevails” (Metal)

Fallujah “The Flesh Prevails” (Metal) Review By Alex Slakva – 4.8/5 Dragons
From August Vandala Magazine – READ MORE REVIEWS HERE

Hailing from San Francisco, Fallujah a genre challenger that appeared on the radar of notability in 2011, when they turned heads with The Harvest Womb.  In hindsight, it is arguable that they knew what direction the genre was headed at the time. The 2014 full length follow up, The Flesh Prevails is a maneuver of similar caliber. In statistics, once is considered a chance, but twice is a pattern; on this ground we have concluding proof that the members of Fallujah are clairvoyant. Look, The Flesh Prevails  is excellent; however, the stylistic departure even from the 2013 EP, Nomadic, is far from linear. They aren’t the first band to deem besieging heavy deliveries and feral vocals as gimmicky. Yet groups like Scale The Summit fully commit themselves to that style. Fallujah`s artistic dedication to change and rival the established contemporaries of this niche is why The Flesh Prevails exceptionally outstanding. We already know how chaotically heavy they can be. This time it is the tasteful scarcity of chaos, precision and harmonious major key riffs that awes the mind. The result is something that can only be summarized in abstracts like “celestial”, or “ethereal”

First off, half of the album is completely instrumental. The first 2 initial tracks are especially familiar and ease fans into comfort. After this point, the atmosphere is build through an album long harmony between a post rock sort of way of using utilizing effects to hold and echo notes. This is frequently used with a great variety of (what I think are?) samples. This psychedelic technique creates an album wide sense of humility, as if the effects are as grand, yet indifferent as a skyline. No matter how fast the blast beats or Valkyrie-like the galloping melody may become be on tracks like Sapphire , it will always be dwarfed by the ominous backdrop and it’s scale.

This feeling could not be conveyed without Andrew Braid’s, ability as a drummer, which is the very core of this album. On tracks like Chemical Cave, Allure or The Flesh Prevails it is clearly evident that the drummer is there to map out every beat, while the stringed instruments will unpredictably wander off to create harmonies. Thus, the consistency of the percussion segments is the main attention grabber. This sets a quantity to the listener’s progress and the album’s pace. Particularly on the instrumental tracks, there is a feeling of a story, or recollection being told through a binary sort of measurement that creates meaning by either playing or omitting every 1/16 or 1/32nd note. If the ominous use of delays and samples sets the celestial scales of this album, the percussion’s variety & precision are the contrasting depth and force that sought to reach them.

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