Ever since Opeth decided to fully abandon death metal and dive head first into straight progressive rock, the world has been looking for another band to step up and fill the progressive & atmospheric death metal gap. Well, California band Fallujah have done a damn good job over their last few albums of doing just that, and their latest (and Nuclear Blast debut) Dreamless further cements them as one of the must hear acts going today. Though slightly more polished and perhaps a bit less brutal than 2014's The Flesh Prevails, Dreamless is still a mix of pulverizing death metal blended with plenty of proggy goodness and airy electronica.
The songs are a little shorter this time around, but no less impactful. Alex Hofmann's evil bellows & growls are perfect for this style of extreme metal, and paired up with the gentle female vocals of Tori Letzler on "The Void Alone", the duo make for a mighty fine team over the crushing riffs and cornucopia of keyboards. They continue on together at various points throughout the album, as on the crushing yet musically rich "Abandon", but Hofmann can sure roar solo as on the behemoth death metal juggernaut "Adrenaline". Let's not forget the instrumental abilities of the band, which are quite astounding. Listen to the twin guitar attack of Scott Carstairs & Brian James weaving all sorts of prog/metal/jazz lines around massive riffs and Robert Morey's slippery bass runs & the acrobatic drumming of Andrew Baird on the blistering yet highly melodic "Scar Queen" for just a teaser of what these guys can do. Another premier track on the album is "The Prodigal Son", a complex & crushing example of brutal, progressive death metal that will thrill any fan of vintage Opeth or Between the Buried and Me. Though there are a few ambient instrumental tracks here that some might view as filler, they are kind of cool sounding nonetheless and feature some intoxicating, dreamy synth explorations.
While it will ultimately be up to you to decide whether Dreamless stacks up to The Flesh Prevails, Nomadic, and The Harvest Wombs, it's easy to call this latest another milestone achievement for Fallujah, a band whose musical creativity is certainly peaking and firing on all cylinders.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1) Face of Death
3) The Void Alone
5) Scar Queen
7) The Prodigal Son
8) Amber Gaze
10) Wind for Wings
11) Les Silences