Fallujah - Undying Light (2019)


Moving away from the lively Progressive/Technical Death Metal from their last release, Fallujah returns with the atmospheric “Undying Light”. Having lost long-time vocalist Alex Hofmann and guitarist Brian James since the last release, has made Fallujah turn into uncharted territories with their sound. Featuring 10 tracks and over 44 minutes of music, this release feels a bit too atmospheric and experimental to be digested easily. The sound is crushing and commanding at times, but at other times it just feels lost and unguided.

Opening with “Glass House”, we get that sweet Melodeath riffing from French bands like Hacride, but with extra kick and aggression thanks to new vocalist: Antonio Palermo. Some Deathcore elements are back and they sound ok when mixed in with semi-proggy passages, as in “Last Light”. For those looking for sheer brutality and catchiness, “Ultraviolet” achieves this with superb drum patterns and solid riffs. On the other hand, we have tracks like “Dopamine”, which feel a bit too convoluted with too many things going on at once and not really engaging the listener. The dreamy guitar leads are great, but the vocals kind of ruin the mood on this track.

The experimental/jazzy passage of “The Ocean Above” is brilliant, but again the harsh screams kind of kill the vibe and discourage the listener. Maybe no vocals or some more restrained vocals would better fit such an interesting sounding song. “Sanctuary” is the track that brings back some of those Deathcore elements, and also features a superb bass guitar line. This last track is probably the most technical piece in this release, thanks to some crafty musicianship and cool subtle atmospheric elements.

Closing the release we have the moody “Distant and Cold”, a piece that is quite mellow and yet features an expansive atmosphere, and the powerful “Departure”. Both of these tracks are quite enjoyable and different from each other, showcasing the band’s versatility and craftiness. Overall, “Undying Light” is an album that we took a while to review because we had no real opinion about it. It is definitely not as good as “Dreamless”, but it is also not bad in its own right. If you like moody Atmospheric Death Metal with some Deathcore elements, check it out. If you are expecting Technical/Progressive Death Metal, be warned that you won’t find much of that here.

Bands: Fallujah Album: Undying Light

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Release: March 15th, 2019

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Genre: Atmospheric Death Metal / Deathcore

Country: USA

Rating: 78/100

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