FALLUJAH – Dreamless
Out – 29th April, 2016
|FALLUJAH Line up:|
|Alex Hofmann | vocals
Rob Morey | bass
Andrew Baird | drums
Scott Carstairs | guitars
Brian James | guitars
Coming off the back of their quite brilliant, The Flesh Prevails record from 2014 and having signed to Nuclear Blast Records recently, a lot was expected of San Fran quintet, Fallujah. Containing an eclectic mix of genres as a band but more to the point within a song, Fallujah are ground breaking in that they have developed an intriguing mix of sounds. At one point they sound like one of the heaviest bands in the world, in other parts they slip into dreamy sequences with deft guitar playing and an occasional ambient female guest vocal.
Dreamless is Fallujah’s third full length album and continues seamlessly from The Flesh Prevails but adds a little more aggression and allows for more expanse. Make no mistake, this band is set to conquer heavy metal music if people are willing to open their minds.
The album begins with a subtle haunting introduction to ‘Face of Death’, it’s no surprise as it’s what Fallujah do best before ploughing head first into a dark djenty fist of metal with vocalist, Alex Hofmann exploding through the speakers with his patent death growl. ‘Adrenaline’ hops into a faster riff, a brutal beast with thunderous drumming from Andrew Baird before guitarists, Scott Carstairs and Brian James peel off for their own unique Fallujah styled solos. Drifting off into a dreamy expanse, ‘Adrenaline’ is the kind of track that could lift Fallujah into the upper echelon of the metal world.
‘The Void Alone’ casts off in harsher tone with vicious vocals and a comparable backing soundtrack but again Fallujah surprise as nearing the second minute comes across a transcendent female vocal, almost out of the debris. One YouTube comment stated it was ‘Bruitful’, a contrasting mix between brute force and beauty. They could well be right.
Slowly we creep into ‘Scar Queen’, ambient guitar work before double kick drums enter the fray. Hofmann shines once more with his harsh vocals as the band blast into the guts of the track, one which most resembles feats from The Flesh Prevails record. ‘Dreamless’ is next, the first instrumental and title track that opens up into a dreamy kaleidoscope of sounds, hauntingly beautiful but heavy nonetheless.
‘The Prodigal Son’ and ‘Amber Gate’ continue the bludgeoning, the latter, the most death metal sounding song on the album as marching guitars build a wall of sound and Hofmann again devours the microphone amongst the savagery. Surprisingly, ‘Fidelio’, a synthesised instrumental appears next, as if allowing the audience to capture breathe once more. An ambient female vocal flutters in the background. Weird, but it works.
‘Wind for Wings’ creeps onto the listener, slowly awaiting that time when the band rally like a war cry and combust alongside Hofmann’s dark bellows. Again, the guest female vocal is introduced later into the track despite the carnage emanating around her. The juxtapose is magnificent.
The album concludes with ‘Lacuna’, more whirling guitar effects, ambient noises and that Fallujah bullish sound. All in all, another killer record, the only small negative would be for another synthesised instrumental prior to the ending track, ‘Les Silences’, that probably wasn’t required on the end product. Still, how can you argue with a follow up to The Flesh Prevails that is equally impressive.
9 ½ wall of deaths out of 10
Watch below for the ‘Making of Dreamless’….
Check out our interview with Alex Hofmann here