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Using a crunchy sound through out the album - 60%

twan666, March 25th, 2010

The San Francisco Bay Area, USA band, Fallujah, carries on the American tradition of blurring the lines between hardcore and metal. I think we might tag this genre as, “metalcore.” Every time I hear a band that does this well, I think about the one album/one ep band of the East Coast, Prayer for Cleansing and the revolution they caused in the American metal scene by creating that genre. I credit them with the creation of that genre anyway. But, what’s a genre? Anyway, these guys are a little more on the metal side in that their sound is crunchier and louder. But they are not as smooth-heavy as the Swedish metalcore project, The Haunted (somewhere amidst that spectrum). Fallujah has, with LEPER COLONY, formed something else.

I enjoy waiting to hear how metal CDs open themselves. As in, what kind of intro sounds will they use? I think part of it is curiosity about each new innovation possible. But I also think it has become a beautiful simple tradition with metal to properly introduce a CD with some evil warm-up. LEPER COLONY opens with a great track name, “Impending Incarnation,” on a light dark whispery sound followed by crunchy black metal. The band uses this crunchy sound through out the album but it is mixed with a deliberate sense of off-rhythm and rhythm change attitude. For instance, in the third track, “Le Serpent Rouge,” the guitars open the track then the drums dash in after a few measures. Just a few measures earlier, the drums slow down and the guitars go silent for about a full beat. They go back and forth between these motifs for much of this track. This track also features a few single string whines as well.

I do like that the rhythm changes feel deliberate. And I like that the title track, “Leper Colony,” turns the style into something less chunky and more synth-added black metal power. I do wish the band was a little more traditional in its black metal though. I like the metalcore elements for sure. That’s new. But the deliberate tech-metal sound in their particular version of black metal leaves me thinking they should put their sound through the fire a little longer and make it harder. The hate is not distilled enough yet. Overall, the album is not bad though. It starts out well with a good short track, then spends too much time riffing crunchy black metal, hits a high point with the title track, then swings back into chunk-metal land. Fallujah’s LEPER COLONY spends too much time there for my tastes.

Written for www.brutalism.com