Fallujah - "The Flesh Prevails" (CD)
"The Flesh Prevails" track listing:
1. Starlit Path
2. Carved From Stone
3. The Night Reveals
4. The Flesh Prevails
6. Alone With You
9. Chemical Cave
Reviewed by xFiruath on July 18, 2014
Simultaneously both bruising and ethereal, at times overpowering and others incredibly gentle, Fallujah's “The Flesh Prevails” is about as well-rounded as a brutal death metal release gets without going full-on experimental or avant-garde. The extreme metal segments are intensely concentrated and impenetrable, while the progressive change-ups in each song give the album more breathing room. From guttural screams to female vocals to technical, all-instrumental tracks, “The Flesh Prevails” is a wild and varied ride.
“Starlit Path” opens with a melancholy, atmospheric intro that doesn't skimp on the heaviness. The song explodes into full chaos mode before too long, with a cacophony of deep growls over heavy bass lines and booming drums. A large focus on the bass is standard across the disc, providing allure for fans of melody and prog music. On that same note, there are lots of transitions in the songs with proggy meanderings over here and sudden bouts of post-rock over there, although on the whole the disc is very heavy and focused on the death side.
This ends up being both weal and in some cases woe, however, as the album is less than cohesive, which is perhaps its only real downside. The synths and female singing on “Alone With You” are an interesting combo, but it sounds out of place since it doesn't have much connection to the music around it, and the transition into next song “Allure” is sort of jarring. “Allure” is then an all instrumental tech-death outing quite unlike the tracks before it.
The lack of total cohesion isn't a killing stroke, however, and in some ways it's refreshing to see a more broad-minded death metal release of this nature. Even though “The Flesh Prevails” is primarily technical death metal, there's actually a good balance with an ear for the atmospheric and the melodic side as well. “Carved From Stone,” for instance, slams violently back and forth from brutal onslaught to technical wonder to atmospheric prog passages.
The album really bulldozes over the audience on all fronts – both with the heaviness of the music and the incredibly loud mastering (if you're wearing headphones, seriously turn it down to about 50% of the volume you'd normally use). For a blend of devastating death and sonically entertaining prog, you'd be hard pressed to find something more interesting that's come out in recent memory than this sophomore offering from Fallujah.
Highs: Devastatingly brutal tech-death gets married to melodic prog across a bulldozing full-length experience.
Lows: There's a lack of cohesion in parts with all the different elements present.
Bottom line: Offering both crushingly heavy technical death metal and ethereal prog touches, "The Flesh Prevails" ends up being a very well-rounded release.
Get more info including news, reviews, interviews, links, etc. on our Fallujah band page.