Fallujah’s ‘Dreamless’ adds darker elements

Promotional photo for the album from official website.

Promotional photo for the album from official website.

San Francisco’s atmospheric metal band Fallujah just released their third album, “Dreamless,” on April 29.

Their unique blend of extreme and ethereal melodies, progressive song structures and underlying cosmic layers are as present as ever. But the sound overall stands out darker than their last release titled “The Flesh Prevails.”

With the relatively short track “Face of Death” as the opener of the album, I instantly got an electronic and spacey feel right away accompanied with timpani-sounding drums. After about a minute, the guitars and drums kick in to ensure the ultimate metal sound.

The darkest track from the album would have to be “Abandon.” The multi-layered dissonant guitar chords used throughout the chorus almost resemble something like keyboard synths. The drumming from this number is phenomenally fast as well. This song also happens to be Fallujah’s first ever music video.

Complexity is at its highest in the album with the second track “Adrenaline.” The guitar riffs are all over the place making it pretty hard to take in, but the jazz-fusion inspired solos are definitely jaw dropping.

The breathtaking “Wind for Wings” stood out the most in the album with captivating high note harmonies and puzzling layers from the guitars. The structure of this song is very dynamic and shows great variety in musicianship incorporating both male and female clean vocals. The bass guitar boosts in the mix particularly toward the end adding even more low end depth to the song.

Speaking back upon the more destructive or malicious vibes, the track titled “Amber Gaze” definitely has a more evil approach to it. The heaviness of the guitars is relentless at one point, enough to make anyone grind their teeth and frown in reaction.

Comparing the albums in a more conceptual sense, when looking at titles from “The Flesh Prevails” they seem to come off more positive and visually alluring with “Levitation,” “Sapphire” and “Starlit Path.”

“Dreamless” on the other hand has more daunting names such as “Scar Queen” and “The Void Alone.”

Though “Dreamless” can be blissful and awing half the time, it is still a predominately gloomy album compared to “The Flesh Prevails.” The first listen is relatively hard to take in but the more one plays this album, the brighter the textures come into view.

Tom Sundgren can be reached at [email protected] or @tom_sundgren on Twitter.