TITLE: UNDYING LIGHT
LABEL: NUCLEAR BLAST
WORDS: ADAM HOPKIN
Since forming in 2007, Californian prog metal outfit Fallujah have carved out their own niche amongst the extreme community, cultivating respect through the release of three prestigious albums, seeing them take the straight forward aggression of experimental metal and transcend it into a ethereal spaces.
‘Undying Light’ sees the debut of new vocalist Antonio Palermo. Whilst swapping out a frontman all too often brings with it a loss of momentum for most bands, the new metalcore styling and subdued abrasion furthers the more emotionally charged direction tracks across the release are intending to be.
“the straight forward aggression of experimental metal and transcend it into a ethereal spaces”
Described as a snapshot of a disillusioned, narcissistic society, each track sees the outfit display a more confident, raw and visceral posture than any of their previous releases, thanks to the incredible instrumental flourishes and an unforgiving vocal delivery.
This technical prowess is most clearly evident across “Dopamine” with punishing percussive pacing and Palmermo’s experimentation with jumping between spoken word and screamed delivery. Tracks Ultraviolet, Hollow and album closer Departure double down on Fallujah’s remorseless aggression, with punishing riffs courtesy of Carstair phenomenal work on guitar.
Penultimate track Distant and Cold is the most instrumental patient across the record. Tumbling drumming patterns paired with Antonio’s reverb heavy whispers create a veil of mystery that makes for a welcome break from the frantic pummeling across the rest of the release.
“‘Undying Light’ is a deliberately dynamic experience, perfectly punctuated with expansive melodies and doom ridden intensity”
What’s perhaps most impressive about Fallujah latest release is the ambitious scope is covers. The release is meticulously crafted without a single bar feeling out of place or intricate instrumental display feeling excessive.
‘Undying Light’ is a deliberately dynamic experience, perfectly punctuated with expansive melodies and doom ridden intensity. With this being said it feels unfair to judge what is clearly created to be an expansive, cohesive listening experience on a track by track basis, and when digested properly in a single sitting ‘Undying Light’ becomes a masterpiece of elaborate sonic developments that shouldn’t be dismissed.