Fallujah - Dreamless
Technical Death / Progressive Metal
Nuclear Blast Records
Somewhere in the annals of the Internet I came across a one-sentence review of Fallujah’s Dreamless which stated, to paraphrase, that this was “metal for metalheads who are into healing crystals.” I think the reviewer meant it to sound negative, but I was instantly intrigued. Plus these guys were opening up for Between the Buried and Me and Devin Townsend on tour this year, so my interest was piqued twofold. After many listens, I can now see where the previous reviewer came from. The integration of ambient electronic elements into brutal technical death metal is a novel idea and lends a kind of new age atmosphere to much of the music, especially in the second half of the record where the band really doubles down on this vibe by introducing drum machines and letting the electronic elements fully take over. It’s some truly riveting stuff. The first half is all bludgeoning technical death metal, with soaring dual lead guitars accompanying punishing double bass runs, while the second half contains some more experimental stuff. It seems that the production on this album has caused some debate. The music sounds positively enormous, with ample amounts of space and reverb, giving the entire set a very clean, full sound that manages to avoid sounding cold and sterile.