Fallujah – Dreamless Review:

The Band:

  • Alex Hofmann – vocals, programming
  • Scott Carstairs – guitar
  • Brian James – guitar
  • Robert Morey – bass
  • Andrew Baird – drums

Track Listing:

  1. Face of Death
  2. Adrenaline
  3. The Void Alone
  4. Abandon
  5. Scar Queen
  6. Dreamless
  7. The Prodigal Son
  8. Amber Gaze
  9. Fidelio
  10. Wind for Wings
  11. Les Silence
  12. Lacuna

Fallujah’s blend of extreme metal and arty symphonic moments in their latest record, Dreamless, provides for an interesting listen. At times the record can deviate down the road of pretension, but for the most part, you’ll be blown away by the heaviness on show.

Yes, Dreamless is a very heavy record, and would be, without the ‘floaty’ guitar work of Scott Carstairs and Brian James or the electronic moments on show, perhaps a little too extreme for my tastes. Alex Hofmann’s vocals can be found on the deeper end of the death metal spectrum, and the backing music is often intense despite the fidelity on show from Carstairs and James. Take “Amber Gaze” for example. It’s consistently heavy, but it manages to build and build thanks to the great, floaty guitar solo-esque playing of Carstairs and James. It makes for what is a fairly unique sound, but one that works well. Think Gojira, but more deathcore.

Whilst Amber Gaze may represent the best of Dreamless, the next track, “Fidelio” and record’s penultimate “Les Silence”, represent the worst. “Fidelio” is a slow, quieter track, that doesn’t contain any death growls, but instead features two people talking to each other over an overly electronic and uninspired tune. Both “Fidelio” and “Les Silence” (which shares a similar sound) don’t add to the record and distract from the brutality rather than enhance or supplement it. These are tracks that show Fallujah were trying too hard to go out of their way to appear smart, rather than add to the quality that’s already present on the record. Pretentious piddle.

These two tracks notwithstanding, there are moments throughout the record that try to add to the sound scape of Dreamless, but instead of offering progression they feel tacked on in order for the band to appear smart and different. The awesome, ‘floaty’ guitar-work in the otherwise brutal offerings was enough, thanks. All this being said, however, and I find myself coming back to Dreamless time and time again. Whilst the tracks “Fidelio” and “Les Silence” may not add anything of any worth to the record, and get in the way, I can put up with them because Dreamless is so damn heavy elsewhere.


4/5

While I find some of the pretention annoying, Dreamless keeps bringing me back thanks to its brutality and incredible guitar work.

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