FALLUJAH ‘Undying Light’

Nothing ever changes the sound of the band quite like when the lead singer has to be released. It is for that reason that fans of Californian prog metal band Fallujah have been eagerly waiting for the release of their brand new album Undying Light.

To be honest the arrival of Antonio Palermo into the band adds something fresh to their sound and it seems to have crept all the way through the band – the result is an album that sees the band go in a new direction but it is a new direction that I found myself embracing very, very quickly.

This fresh Fallujah sees opening track ‘Glass House’ deliver an atmospheric beginning that just builds and builds until Palmero’s vocals explode onto the scene and instantly win you over. His vocals continue to impress on ‘Last Light’ which sees the band embrace their prog side in a way that they have never done before.

As if to counteract the strong prog influence the very next track, ‘Ultraviolet’, sees the band dive right back to their death metal roots – it is truly Fallujah at their brutal best while Palermo gets to show just how versatile his vocals can be.

Then comes ‘Dopamine’ which reveals the maturity that now comes through in the work of Fallujah. The track kicks off with an amazing intro which is then mirrored by a brilliant finale, while throughout the track the piercing yet terrific screams of Palermo show that this new unity is a perfect marriage that is going to produce some magic during the years ahead.

The prog side of Fallujah is certainly the most dominant sound throughout the album though with the highlight definitely being the tracks being ‘The Ocean Above’ and ‘Distant And Cold.’ The latter sees the band develop and deep and ethereal sound while the former is one of the best tracks the band has delivered. The track mixes in your face vocals with some beautiful prog instrumental moments and even at times experiments with whispers which further enhance the track. That willingness to do things differently also see the band hit new heights with ‘Sanctuary’, another track that will be on my ‘Highlights Of 2019’ playlist.

While change may sometimes be a bad word for bands it is something that makes the new sounding Fallujah very special. As an album Undying Light sees a new found confidence in the sounds of Fallujah. This is now a band that seems more likely to embrace their experimental side and that is something the fans should definitely look forward to.

Written by Dave Griffiths

Dave has worked as a music & film journalist for over 20 years now. Aside from Heavy he does radio and various podcasts as well. He is the proud owner of Metal Cat.

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