FALLUJAH — Dreamless (review)

FALLUJAH — Dreamless album cover Album · 2016 · Technical Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
There are a lot of interesting artists out there in today's death metal scene for a number of different reasons, but one group that I have found to really stand out for taking the genre into new places is US group Fallujah. Dreamless (2016) is their third full-length album. These guys started life as more of a blackened deathcore act, but boy have they evolved...

On the surface belonging to the progressive/technical death metal camp, Fallujah's music has an ambience to it to create a more atmospheric kind of death metal. It's territory long explored by black metal acts, but perhaps by its very nature hasn't really found its way into the more direct and aggressive death metal genre. Fallujah already proved to me on their last album The Flesh Prevails (2014) that they can make it work and while Dreamless doesn't break so much new ground for the band, it shows that the previous album wasn't just a fluke and that the band are still developing what is becoming very much a signature sound.

The key that makes Dreamless (and by extension The Flesh Prevails) work is that Fallujah don't continually force ambience on their listeners. It's always there adding a majestic spacey vibe but instead of being the main focus they allow it to flavour their music; music that during which they aren't going to be letting you forget that they're a death metal band at heart. There are of course some more ambient based tracks here that allow the album to have some periods of breathing space which work nicely and there are also some clean vocals, usually female, to provide a nice touch of additional atmosphere, but death metal fans need not worry about not getting their fix of riffs and powerful growls. Though if anything I'd actually have liked to have heard the female vocals used more often. I especially enjoy those by Tori Letzler‎ in The Void Alone.

While it is the more unusual elements that attract me to Fallujah's music they definitely deserve credit as a well playing technical death metal act as well. Dreamless is a great album on all fronts, though it does inevitably lack the same wow factor for me that The Flesh Prevails had due to not being my first experience with their music, so I actually kinda envy anyone hearing Fallujah for the first time with Dreamless though overall I do find both this and the previous release quite close in terms of quality. I do think that Fallujah have honed their song-writing somewhat though so for me Dreamless is the stronger album. Definitely another highly recommended release from these guys!
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Vim Fuego wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I tried this one a couple of weeks ago, and it didn't really click with me. I probably need to give it another listen.
666sharon666 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I'm definitely interested in that Enthean album.
adg211288 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I thought you'd love this one Nicole. I almost gave it a five myself. Still might as a matter of fact, though I'm trying to be more stringent with giving them out.

Some really good death metal releases this year so far. Enthean's debut that I reviewed a while back drops in a couple of weeks and is definitely worth checking out too. I've also got to revisit Chthe'ilist's debut. Gave a strong first impression too.

666sharon666 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Five stars for my money. Takes everything that made The Flesh Prevails great and improves on it.
Nightfly wrote:
more than 2 years ago
You've got me interested - one to check out.
666sharon666 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Just started to listen to this. Got high hopes after their last one.


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