Fallujah are a band that builds elaborate cathedrals of progressive, technical death metal that not enough hessians appreciate with drummer Andrew Baird and guitarist Scott Carstairs
being the only constant.
This band’s state of perpetual flux is reflected duly on their latest album Undying Light, which is as turbulent as their lineup, which is hard to keep track of. Despite that, things remain seamlessly tight, these intellectual, emotional songs reaching deep into the psyche with brainiac lyrics and riffery.
Beginning with the one-two punch of the Meshuggah-infected “Glass House” and the Dream Theater/Shadows Fall/Soilwork splicing of the desperate “Last Light,” Fallujah still obviously seem eager to impress, the David fighting against the Goliath of middling critical opinion. Tracks such as the initially brutal, scathing, cybernetic “Ultraviolet” give way to exquisite and tender soloing that conjures Eric Johnson.
To me, Undying Light is a peer into the human heart and soul of a machine.
If the album were argued to possess unnecessary padding, the cynic might find it in “The Ocean Above” but come the next song, roiling rumbler “Hollow,” all extraneousness is forgotten, the razor-sharp deliberate precision of “Sanctuary” further disintegrating whatever doldrums this record might have. As “Departure” finishes the record, I can’t help but feel a little sad that the 45-minute trek through time, space, and mind is over.
Fallujah are an act worth caring about. Lend them your ears.