Fallujah - Empyrean (2022)


After changing vocalists on the last two albums, against all odds, Fallujah has come on top in both occasions. In “Empyrean” the band welcomes Kyle Schaefer, while continuing to dabble even more in Progressive Death Metal territories. The band’s transition over the years has been quite interesting and for over 50 minutes they unleash a very crafty combination of Progressive elements and Technical Death Metal wizardry.

Delivering a blistering and swift opening, “The Bitter Taste of Clarity” hits the listener hard with punishing riffs, inhuman growls, and a crafty tempo changes, reminiscent of a mixture of bands like Persefone, Obscura, and Hour of Penance. The technical wizardry continues with excellent pieces like “Radiant Ascension”, the proggy and moody “Embrace Oblivion” with some dreamy clean female and male vocals thrown into the mix, and one of our favorites with the highly melodic “Into the Eventide”.

The dreamy “Eden's Lament” has a certain Cynic vibe, while single “Soulbreaker” keeps the heavier side of the band front and center. It is quite engaging how the band changes styles and nicely mixes different genres to create uniquely engaging songs that stay away from traditional Deathcore elements as “Duality Of Intent” and “Mindless Omnipotent Master” showcase. Scott Carstairs continues to mature as a guitarist and songwriting, with tracks featuring highly melodic and dreamy guitar leads alongside highly technical elements.

Closing with the expansive “Celestial Resonance” and the moody “Artifacts” and its awesome guitar solos, the band showcases that their gradually evolving style is quite solid and heavy enough for fans of their older stuff. The vocalist and bassist changes from the previous release didn’t really change the band’s DNA, allowing “Empyrean” to be a worthy follow-up to the band’s extremely solid discography. If you like music that nicely blends technicality with progressive elements, and a hefty dose of power and growls, this is the album for you.

Band: Fallujah Album: Empyrean

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Release: September 9th, 2022

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Genre: Progressive/Technical Death Metal

Country: USA

Rating: 95/100

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