Album Review – Fallujah – Dreamless (2016)

Availability: iTunes, YouTube, Amazon, Spotify and Nuclear Blast

*Fallujah are the pioneering force behind the atmospheric death metal genre


The track Face of Death opens up the album with electronic ambience, differencing from their defined genre (progressive death metal), to experiment with exclusively progressive metal with its empowering entry, then exploding into a union  of djent, modern death metal with the usage of death grows, fast paced guitar rigs (also refined in thrash) and progressive.

Adrenaline focuses mainly on the death metal and progressive structure of their sound, and transfigures a more traditional progressive rock influence, plausibly more inspired by the later neo-progressive genre of the 80s to the early 2000s, such as the British progressive band Frost* for their usage of soft ambience within their guitar workings. The Void Alone – the first of the two audio singles of this album – takes on this very shape, with very little death/thrash metal influence but instead focuses on the progressive and ambient metal structure, a sound commonly utilized by the likes of Simon Collins, a prominent figure in modern progressive genres in his solo work and with Sound of Contact, introducing also symphonic rock with the usage of female vocals, provided by Tori Letzler.

Abandon transforms back to having the death metal arrangement being the main direction of the track, with the suggestion of progressive ambience and symphonic metal underneath, complementing Alex Hoffman’s harsh vocalizations. Scar Queen – the second audio single – shows a reawakened acquaintance with djent, with an introduction of what can be compared to death/doom, dark progressive (alternative metal with progressive metal influences) (key pioneers being Anathema, and Katatonia) and strong death growls.

Dreamless yields to an atmospheric sound (thus the atmospheric death metal label), using an undermining drone, whispers and scattered backing vocals, then draws forward the metal instrumentation once more, which continues right up until the abrupt end.  The Prodigal Son is evidently more metal orientated, combining death metal, progressive and plugged acoustics at the very beginning, alluding to alternative rock in assembly.

Amber Gaze’s energy is significantly classic heavy and death metal fusion, with a progressive vibe intermixing, Hoffman’s vocals maintaining to be the dominant connection of the band’s death metal influence.

changes drastically into an ambient feel of the electronic/dance genre, with distant voice samples to give a psychedelic experience, very similar to the works of Anathema in their later discography. They also mix dream pop, and trance qualities. Les Silences is the second number on the tracklisting to follow on with this sound, as well as filter in lo-fi and electronica, deeply contrasting from their metal foundations.

Wind for Wings forms back into the familiar progressive metal sound, the guitar configuration very reminiscent of Piotr Grudzinski of Riverside, before very early on elevating into death metal with great aptitude, and with a new development of introducing clean male vocals, provided by Alex Hoffman also, the first to feature throughout the album.

Lacuna shifts into full on ambient/atmospheric metal with a reintroduction of djent and symphonic, once again combining harsh vocals with a swift change into Metalcore screams near the very end of the track, and soft backing vocals, being the third and final track to feature Letzler, the guitar riffs blending speed and thrash.

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