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FALLUJAH

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • United States


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Fallujah biography
San Francisco Bay Area act FALLUJAH was founded in January of 2007 and has since gained a sizable following through constant touring and a strong work ethic. Their earliest releases were mainly based around deathcore riffs with some black metal influences, most notably within the ''Leper Colony'' EP, but by the release of their debut full length ''The Harvest Wombs'' they had evolved into a much more technical act with elements of acts such as CYNIC creeping into their sound. Their EP from 2013, ''-Nomadic-'', further explores the more progressive aspects of their developing style, and with their 2014 release, ''The Flesh Prevails'', the band delves deeper into experimentation with technical death metal juxtaposed with layers of ambiance, atmospheric clean guitars, and the occasional inclusion of angelic female vocals. The band has developed in style and virtuosity in a pattern similar to THE FACELESS, yet possesses a sound that's clearly their own.

The current roster includes Alex HOFMANN on vocals, Scott CARSTAIRS and Brian JAMES on guitars, Robert MOREY on bass and Andrew BAIRD on drums.

Biography by Prog Sothoth

Fallujah official website

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DreamlessDreamless
Nuclear Blast America 2016
Audio CD$6.99
$6.26 (used)
The Flesh PrevailsThe Flesh Prevails
UNIQUE LEADER RECORDS 2014
Audio CD$8.62
$7.27 (used)
The Harvest WombsThe Harvest Wombs
Unique Leader 2011
Audio CD$10.66
$8.99 (used)
NomadicNomadic
Unique Leader 2016
Audio CD$6.41
$6.56 (used)
Nomadic by FallujahNomadic by Fallujah
Unique Leader
Audio CD$67.95
Flesh Prevails by FallujahFlesh Prevails by Fallujah
Unique Leader
Audio CD$75.31
Dreamless by FallujahDreamless by Fallujah
Nuclear Blast
Audio CD$63.77
Harvest Wombs by Fallujah (2011-11-21)Harvest Wombs by Fallujah (2011-11-21)
Unique Leader
Audio CD$79.40
Flesh Prevails by UNIQUE LEADER RECORDSFlesh Prevails by UNIQUE LEADER RECORDS
UNIQUE LEADER RECORDS
Audio CD$28.00
Harvest Wombs by Unique Leader (2011-11-21)Harvest Wombs by Unique Leader (2011-11-21)
Unique Leader (2011-11-21)
Audio CD$42.59
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FALLUJAH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FALLUJAH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.16 | 6 ratings
The Harvest Wombs
2011
3.82 | 14 ratings
The Flesh Prevails
2014
3.60 | 15 ratings
Dreamless
2016

FALLUJAH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FALLUJAH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

FALLUJAH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FALLUJAH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Leper Colony
2009
4.09 | 4 ratings
-Nomadic-
2013

FALLUJAH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Dreamless by FALLUJAH album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.60 | 15 ratings

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Dreamless
Fallujah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars There are times when the cover art of an album is enough to convince me that I have to buy it, and even if I don't totally get into the music after a trial listen on YouTube, I feel that artwork must be mine and I will somehow appreciate the album's musical content no matter. I'm pretty open-minded that way. (snicker) So when I saw this album cover here for Fallujah's third album "Dreamless", I felt compulsively that it had to get into my collection.

The music is both simple and difficult to describe. Basically, it is heavy modern metal with aggressive blast beats, heavy guitar played both with speed and slower ponderous chords played at non-standard intervals in a bar. "Ba- downg, downg... downg... downg, downg-ba-downg..." There are more technical parts too which do help to add interest to the performance. The vocals are that bellowing/roaring/growling style more commonly known as death vocals or death growl. It often sounds to me more like Beelzebub is trying to talk through a hurricane. There is, however, another factor to the music and this is what sealed the deal for me, so to speak. There is a lead guitar that either wails hauntingly over the aggressiveness of the rest of the band or it plays lead-like melodies of great dexterity. Okay, the guitar doesn't play it; let's give credit to Scott Carstairs or Brian James, the band's two guitarists, though I'm not certain who takes the lead if not both.

Describing the music further, the rhythm guitar seems to follow one of two approaches: either a thrash-like attack on a chord or variations on a finger configuration based on a chord. My friend and I used to do this on our guitars back in the nineties. We'd play a standard bar chord but remove the finger of the lowest string alternately, occasionally using that finger to bend the string, all the while never changing the position of the other fingers. It sounded really heavy and cool but in those days we didn't think that was a real riff and nobody would ever think to create a song around that playing style anyway. Well, in actuality it might not be as simple as I've described it but it still sounds cool. And these days, lots of people are doing this it seems. So basically we have much of the band going for full-on aggressive metal with those roaring vocals. But this other guitar really adds a layer of beauty that is quite ear-catching. I don't know if this is a new trend among metal bands but it's the first I've heard it. There are also moments where the intensity is dropped and clean, delayed guitar notes and chords add a new dimension. There's also a song or two that feature soaring, aethereal female vocals which really adds a wonderful contrast, and one song that actually includes a more normal-sounding male vocal contribution.

There are two things to say in critic of the album. The first is that I find the roaring vocals too prevalent. A little more of non-death vocal style would have given the beautiful and haunting lead guitar parts more purpose. The songs with the female vocals sound the best in this way because they complement the higher guitar part while the gruff death vocals go with the aggressive rhythm guitar. And hey, if you're going to take the time to write lyrics then why not be sure that they are at least to some degree discernable. I mean, near the end of one song, all I can make out is, "STRAAWWW. QUAALM!" Actually, I think this is the song "Scar Queen".

The other point is that all but two tracks follow a similar formula. Yes, checking out any one song or two makes this album seem like a treasure of audio delights. But as I listened to the album the other morning while out walking and my thoughts became distracted, when I returned my attention to the music after a few minutes I felt I hadn't missed anything. But I have to consider that this is the band's third album and in many cases, it is the third album where the band have really found out where they want to be and some of the most highly rated albums in rock history have been the third album.

Two tracks are entirely different and they are "Fidelio" which features some simple but pretty piano with supporting music and a dialogue between a woman and a man about a dream she had (the album is entitled "Dreamless" remember?) and how now that she is awake she is back in reality. The other track is "Les Silences" which is more of an atmospheric electronic piece with drum programming and a man's voice speaking in French. It is a rather intriguing track because it works very well and it delivers a distraction from the formula that comprises the 10 other tracks.

For a listen, you can find some songs on YouTube, and I think I would recommend "The Void Alone" because it includes the lyrics and the female vocals. I think it's a pretty good album for adding some variety to my collection and largely for the combination of that ultra-aggressive style and that sometimes soaring, sometimes technical lead guitar. But in some ways I also find myself thinking that I still love the artwork more than I actually enjoy the music on the whole album. The cover just seems to promise more than what is actually present. Or perhaps just less bellow roaring would have improved my overall impression.

 Dreamless by FALLUJAH album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.60 | 15 ratings

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Dreamless
Fallujah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Dreamless" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US, California based death metal act Fallujah. The album was released through Nuclear Blast America in April 2016. Itīs the successor to "The Flesh Prevails" from 2014 and "Dreamless" features the exact same lineup, who recorded the predecessor. Fallujah was formed in 2005 and have received quite a bit of positive press through the years. They started out as a deathcore act, but have over the years shifted more towards a technical/progressive death metal style.

That trend continues on "Dreamless", which features a core sound that is best described as technical/progressive death metal with great focus on atmosphere. The deathcore influences are not completely forgotten either, and this is contemporary technical/progressive death metal rather than the 90s version of the style. The music on the album alternates between technical death metal parts and atmospheric progressive metal parts. The music is dense and layered and there is no rest throughout the 12 track, 56:14 minutes long album. Even the more mellow atmospheric sections feature many layers of instruments and vocals. When that is said, the music is still very dynamic and the contrast between heavy loud sections and the more low volume atmospheric sections works well. The vocals are predominantly unintelligible growling although there are some tracks which feature female choirs and one track which features male clean vocals. The growling vocals are of the type which get the job done, but not much more. They are to my ears emotionless and one-dimensional and they donīt bring anything extra to the music. They are just there.

The instrumental part of the music is technically well played, and especially drummer Andrew Baird deserves a mention for his adventurous and powerful playing style, but the many well played guitar solos and epic atmospheres that the band build, are also worth mentioning among the albumīs assets. The compositions are well written too, but "Dreamless" is not an album where individual tracks stand out (except for a few ambient styled tracks), and after listening to the album, itīs not many tracks that Iīm able to remember. More spins of course do the trick (at least to a degree), but the tracks are generally not memorable enough and donīt feature enough hooks. The material could have prospered from a bit room to breathe and slightly more variation between tracks, and the multilayered sound production also feels a bit overwhelming at times.

So upon conclusion "Dreamless" is to my ears a bit of a mixed bag (just as the case has been with itīs predecessors). The sound production is powerful, clear, and detailed. Obviously created by professionals (Zach Ohren, Mark Lewis, and Fallujah), and although I think the material lacks hooks, itīs objectively seen/heard also very well composed, and add to that high level musicianship, and you have what I would normally label a high quality release. Personally Iīm just missing a bit of soul/bite. Itīs all so slick, progressive, and polished, that you almost forget that this is actually extreme metal in some form. I miss rawness and aggression. When that is said a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is still deserved.

 -Nomadic- by FALLUJAH album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
4.09 | 4 ratings

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-Nomadic-
Fallujah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Nomadic" is an EP release by US,San Francisco based technical/progressive death metal act Fallujah. The EP was released through Unique Leader Records in April 2013. Itīs the successor to the bandīs debut full-length studio album "The Harvest Wombs (2011)". Fallujah have existed since 2007 and released a couple of demos and the "Leper Colony (2009)" EP before signing to Unique Leader Records for the release of their debut album.

The music on "Nomadic" pretty much continues the sci-fi themed technical/progressive metal style of "The Harvest Wombs (2011)". Fallujah are still pretty unique sounding within the genre because of how they combine technical/progressive death metal parts with atmospheric (at times ambient) synth heavy parts. The technical level of playing is high, the sound production clear and powerful, and the songwriting is strong too.

"Nomadic" features 3 tracks and a full playing time of 18:11 minutes. "The Dead Sea" and "Venom Upon the Blade", which bookend the EP, are both in the style described above while "Silent" is an atmospheric ambient track. The whole thing reeks of sci-fi atmosphere, which is a type of mood Fallujah are really successful in creating. My issues with the vocals on "The Harvest Wombs (2011)", which I felt were slightly generic, have been solved. This time around the growls are convincing and intelligible. The higher pitched screams also work to great effect.

Overall "Nomadic" shows development of the bandīs sound and the promise I heard on "The Harvest Wombs (2011)", is even more apparent here. A full-length release of this quality and I think the band will have fullfilled that promise. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

 The Harvest Wombs by FALLUJAH album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.16 | 6 ratings

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The Harvest Wombs
Fallujah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "The Harvest Wombs" is the debut full-length studio album by US, San Francisco based technical death metal/deathcore act Fallujah. The album was released through Unique Leader Records in November 2011. Fallujah was formed in 2007 and released a couple of demos and the "Leper Colony (2009)" EP before signing to Unique Leader Records for the release of "The Harvest Wombs".

The band play a sci-fi themed type of technical death metal/deathcore. The deep growling vocals are at times paired with higher pitched raspy ones. The vocals are a bit generic to my ears or if I play nice Iīd say they are pretty standard for the genre. They get the job done but not much more than that. The music alternates between brutal technical death metal parts and blasting (for the most part) atmospheric parts. The musicianship is on a very high level and Iīm especially impressed by the well played semi- jazzy guitar soli, that somewhat remind me of Cynicīs ditto, and also the innovative technical drumming. Fallujah are generally much more brutal then an act like Cynic and itīs more contemporary artists like Vale of Pnath, Obscura, Augury and Beyond Creation that come to mind, while listening to "The Harvest Wombs".

The material on the 10 track, 44:05 minutes long album is of high quality all the way through the playing time. "The Harvest Wombs" is in addition to the "regular" technical death metal/deathcore tracks, spiced up with two rather intriguing instrumentals in "The Flame Surreal" and "The Harvest Wombs", which are both great for the variation of the album.

The sound production is clear and powerful, which suits the material well. The drums might be a bit too high in the mix and thereīs little here that you can call organic, but other than that "The Harvest Wombs" is a very well produced album, and upon conclusion itīs certainly a promising debut album. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

 Dreamless by FALLUJAH album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.60 | 15 ratings

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Dreamless
Fallujah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by javajeff

4 stars This is my first album for from Fallujah, and it does not disappoint. It is brutal, melodic, and sublime all at the same time. There are times when I am listening to unbelievable death metal, and other times I am into some trance beats. They mix it up, but create music that is fresh and original. While they cross genres to a degree, the musicianship in all flavors is top notch. I look forward to future releases, and I expect to check out their previous efforts. Anyone that likes music super frantic at times should pick this up today. Dreamless is an excellent release and highly recommended.
 The Flesh Prevails by FALLUJAH album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.82 | 14 ratings

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The Flesh Prevails
Fallujah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "The Flesh Prevails" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, San Francisco, California based technical/progressive death metal act Fallujah. The album was released through Unique Leader Records in July 2014. "The Harvest Wombs (2011)" debut album was a promising release which was followed up by the even more promising "Nomadic (2013)" EP, so itīs safe to say that Fallujah have started their career in a successful manner.

And that tendency continues on "The Flesh Prevails" which features high class technical/progressive death metal. Fallujah always had a deathcore edge to their music because of the shouting type growling vocals and the start/stop type heavy riffing, but they are predominantly a death metal act. The deathcore elements are also featured on "The Flesh Prevails" though. Other than those elements the music features technical precision drumming and ditto riffing, multible tempo changes, atmospheric sections with clean guitar textures, and semi-jazzy guitar solos, that remind me slighly of "Focus (1993)"-era Cynic.

The band are incredibly well playing and obviously very skilled, which is a great asset when playing this type of music, but on the other hand itīs not like technical playing alone is going to amaze that many listeners in this day and age. Thankfully Fallujah are also pretty skilled composers and the material on "The Flesh Prevails" are well written, brutal, intriguing, and relatively catchy. The whole thing is packed in a clear, detailed, and very powerful sound production, that should please fans of the genre. No old school aestethics here.

Fallujah have taken a step forward with "The Flesh Prevails" and itīs obvious theyīve given the direction of their music a lot of thought. The atmospheric part of their music which is one of the features that makes their music stand out among other artists playing this style of music, is still a major part of their sound, but they balance it off well with brutality and fast technical playing, and end up with a pretty intriguing style. If I have to mention a minor issue it would be that the vocals are pretty generic sounding. They get the job done, but thereīs little here that distinguishes them from the growling vocals by other contemporary death metal acts. A more distint sounding and less monotone/one-dimensional vocal style would really have done the trick and lifted the quality of "The Flesh Prevails" to an even higher level, but as it is a 4 star (80%) rating is still deserved.

Thanks to aapatsos for the artist addition.

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