The Flesh Prevails is the second album of Californian band, Fallujah. Now, for most people when one of their favourite bands put out new material it’s treated as good news. As for me, I tend to freak out and worry that I won’t like it and that the band will be ruined for me forever. If anyone has seen that show ‘My Strange Phobia’, that used to be on the discovery channel – the guy who almost shits himself in the clock shop because of the ticking sounds – that’s the best description I can offer. I think the band’s premier effort of The Harvest Wombs along with the Nomadic E.P, amplified these fears. The incredible musicianship and creativity behind those works would seem impossible to match let alone surpass which is actually what The Flesh Prevails has managed to do. The Flesh Prevails marks the dawn of The Age of Enlightenment for metal music.
Starlit Path, the first track of nine, starts off as a calming prelude to the album. It then gradually builds like a swell which then releases into the crushing wave of Fallujah’s stylistically familiar sound. A complex tide of sound with siren-like guitars permeating the titanic drumming, cocooned by powerful vocals, which all set the high standard that is maintained throughout the album.
Carved from Stone, the second track, is one of the first glimpses into just how intricate this album is. Fallujah have managed to achieve a delicate symbiosis of ferocity and fragility which is pretty incredible. There is nothing blunt or unfledged about The Flesh Prevails – everything appears thought out and constructed precisely, but without a threat of tedium or a risk of taking anything away from the story being told. Throughout the album appears this endearing paradox of darkness and vulnerability which Hoffman delivers to us through resounding, bellowing roars.
The Night Prevails and title track, The Flesh Prevails, illustrate that nothing is a given with this album. There are implied moments of calm but that’s all they are – moments (if even). You’re never far away from experiencing a sucker punch that The Flesh Prevails deals out around every corner. The Night Prevails throws out melodic guitar wails that push the song and is then reinforced by colossal blasts. The Flesh Prevails is the first appearance of guest vocalist Roniit. This adds a kind of ethereal, other worldly dimension to the track giving listeners even more stimuli to react to.
Tracks like Levitation and Alone With You (also featuring Roniit), are the anglerfish of the album. The soothing sound of Roniit is an illicium that lures you into a false sense of serenity and then BAM -you are experiencing an aural decapitation and you’ve been swallowed head first into oblivion…cheers for that, Roniit. Levitation is a great example of the fusion that reoccurs on this album; between the peaceful and the calamitous sound which is totalling captivating. Not to be “that girl”, but this album is emotional and deep. You only have to listen to Alone with You, which serves as a kind of lament (typical Irish talking about laments). It’s ghostly, celestial and just beautiful.
The final tracks of the album are layered with so many different elements and they round the experience of The Flesh Prevails perfectly. Every aspect of this album is perfect. All elements are complimentary to each other – like the perfect, happy, Mormon marriage! There is nothing I can find fault with on this album. It’s an incredible work of art.
The Flesh Prevails is interactive and this is something that isn’t particularly easy to achieve given how saturated the Death Metal scene is – it’s difficult to be innovative. It’s thought provoking and intellectual. Fallujah, although often classed as Death Metal, do not try and safely cramp their way for space under this genre’s umbrella. Instead, they are firmly aside and in a league of their own, leading and not following. If you don’t have this album your life is a shambles.
1. Starlit Path
2. Carved From Stone
3. The Night Reveals
4. The Flesh Prevails
6. Alone With You
9. Chemical Cave
Like Fallujah on Facebook for tour dates and album info: https://www.facebook.com/fallujahofficial?fref=ts
If you’re in dublin on 20th November, come and catch them live: https://www.facebook.com/events/1439655759643839/?fref=ts