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Fallujah - "The Flesh Prevails" (CD)

Fallujah - "The Flesh Prevails" CD cover image

"The Flesh Prevails" track listing:

1. Starlit Path
2. Carved From Stone
3. The Night Reveals
4. The Flesh Prevails
5. Levitation
6. Alone With You
7. Allure
8. Sapphire
9. Chemical Cave

Reviewed by on July 18, 2014

"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."

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.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)