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Fallujah – Dreamless (Nuclear Blast Records)

Fallujah has had an impressive rise to fame in their 9 years of being a band. From starting in 2007 by high school friends in Walnut Creek, California, to playing shows, writing demos, to their debut EP in 2009, to touring, to their debut album The Harvest Wombs in 2011. All the while, their sound has continued to change from traditional technical death metal to containing elements of black metal and atmospheres. Eventually abandoning breakdowns entirely for more melody, ambient moments, and clean guitars, their second albumThe Flesh Prevails from 2014 was extremely praised in the metal community and helped pushed the band to great heights and acclaim. Now, in 2016, we have their third album Dreamless.

            Dreamless seems like a continuation of the sound, feel, and style of The Flesh Prevails. However, without feeling uninspired, it seems like everything about this album was done more carefully than that album. The result is better production, better songwriter, and more advancement in the band’s continued search for atmosphere and elements not typically found in death metal. In fact, the theme of this album seems to be about more, but in a good. Female vocals are scattered throughout the album, rather than just being here or there. Electronic elements find themselves to be more prevalent than they were on the previous release.

Even the album length and track listing are much greater. Whereas how The Flesh Prevails was 9 songs clocking in at 41 minutes, Dreamless is 12 songs clocking in at 55 minutes. It seems that the band has much more comfort in their sound, and are not afraid to show it. They proudly display it in full force to their fan base and to the metal community around the world. Some people may still prefer The Flesh Prevails for being more condensed and straight to the point. However, it seems to me like deciding which album is better will be a heavy topic of debate for metal fans.  Either way, The Flesh Prevails was my favorite death metal album of 2014, and it is looking like Fallujah will once again top that list for me in 2016.

Do yourself a favor and blast this album at full volume!

– Jordan Salfity