Very few metal albums have been hyped as much as Fallujah’s second full length album ‘The Flesh Prevails’ has. Though their first album put them on the map as one of better deathcore bands, blending technical death metal and progressive metal elements together, it was their Nomadic EP in 2013 that really made this a band to watch out for: ambient, heavy, and progressive all at once, the EP significantly raised people’s expectations for his band, though its short tracklist left us wanting more. So the question is: Does The Flesh Prevails live up to that hype?
In one word: yes. It absolutely does. On The Flesh Prevails, Fallujah take that deeply atmospheric and progressive death metal sound they began to really explore on Nomadic and really make it their own. There’s an even greater sense of atmosphere, but where Nomadic was dark and murky, The Flesh Prevails is ethereal and even upbeat. Of course, this is ultimately death metal so when I say upbeat take it in that context! There’s a great sense of contrast created between the ambiance and atmosphere created by the guitars and other instruments and the vocals; low, guttural, death metal roars keep The Flesh Prevails from floating away completely and keep it grounded.
The atmosphere on this album is dense, partially as a result of the production. Bass and blastbeats keeping the song grounded while the guitarists Scott and Brian engage in complex riffwork, with Meshuggah-lite rhythms, tremolo-picking galore, and some of the best guitar solos I’ve had the pleasure of hearing such as in ‘The Night Reveals’. There are many incredibly memorable and enjoyable moments thanks to their guitarwork, from the incredible and heavy riffs in ‘Carved from Stone’ and ‘Levitation,’ to the incredible, almost post-rock-esque moments created in the chorus section of ‘The Night Reveals.’ The drumming is absolutely terrific; the opening of ‘The Flesh Reveals’ has me tapping my foot and air-drumming away immediately.
This is quickly becoming one of my favourite albums of the year, right up there with Behemoth’s ‘The Satanist.’ The blend of awesome technical death metal riffs with such huge amounts of blissful, mystical atmosphere (often complimented by beautiful vocals from Roniit Alkayam), huge post-rock guitar solos, tremolo picking guitar passages are all put together in a way that also produces a really compelling piece of art. The closing track ‘Chemical Cave’ really sums up everything that makes this album so special, so I’ll leave you with that.