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Fallujah - Nomadic - 85%

Vishaalmetal666, May 2nd, 2013

Experimentation is the brahmastra (Brahma Weapon) of metal. While it can either do wonders, it can also cause devastation, just like experimenting with your root style of music. Either way, it will cause havoc. I can see a storm coming. A storm that will blast your way through to the epitome of experimentation done right. Fallujah is a multi-genred extreme metal band from San Francisco, U.S.A that has changed its course from deathcore to atmospheric/technical death metal, whilst of course branching out within these courses too. They are well known for their ability to blend polarized styles of metal into one, and most important of all, making it successful. Their latest EP, Nomadic, is yet another remarkable display of atmospheric progressive/technical death metal. And mind you, this, is just a calm before the storm.

The Fallujah fans, as I would assume, are open minded when it comes to their music tastes, considering that the band never ceases to come out with something, well, different. And they continue to do so, by cumulatively challenging the fans as to how much they can take. This bizarre, yet amazingly impressive extended play begins with the track, "The Dead Sea". This song starts off with the signature Fallujah atmospheric sound, just before the death metal kicks in. The riffs chug along for a few seconds, but then switch to some air guitar-worthy technicality displayed by Scott Carstairs. The beastly vocals by Alex Hofmann, gatling gun-like drumming by Andrew Baird, and the hypnotizing technicality in the riffage complements each other perfectly. These hypnotic riffs were proven to make a significant impact with The Harvest Wombs, their previous record, which pretty much shot them to the standard technical death metal fame. The song descends into an atmospheric binge, with spacey synths with the trippy drum patterns, making it a perfect extreme metal acid trip. It proceeds to go lighter into a post rock/metal trance, to sooth you down and prepare yourself to get jolted back to the commendable assault of death metal, thereby ending the song on a high note with the miscibility of melodic and technical riffs.

The second song, "Silent", is a brilliant Ambient track that will remind you of Sigur Ros or Hammock if you are an ambient/post-rock follower. This track pretty much does what every other song of this style does; lulls you into another dimension of serenity and tranquility. Although I believe that this 'break' from their sound could be better utilized if it was excluded from the EP and rather played its genuine role in the full-length, moreover maintaining that level of suspense and surprise element for the fans. The last song of this triadic musical piece is "Venom Upon The Blade". This song begins with a math/death metal intro and strides forward to impress you with some noodled-up technical guitaring. The drums and guitar seem to be dueling as to which instruments sounds heavier and better. Exactly what a technical death metal song needs. Much props to the drumming, but the guitar wins with Scott shredding along to glory. The penultimate track transcends into an atmospheric fill, with a fine clean guitar solo accompanied by an eerie singing voice, matching their lyrical theme of darkness quite brilliantly.

Six years into the scene, and they have shown immense potential to engrave themselves into the metal scene as something different. Although, I hope the full-length does it for them. While an EP always feels too short and incomplete for good music like this, I couldn't help but notice the obvious negligence of including Rob Morey, the bassist in the music. The bass sure is adding to the heaviness of the music, but that doesn't suffice to the root style they hold on to: technical death metal. This style is known to have a spaghetti of bass bridges and tasty bass solos, but I was left disappointed in this one tiny but evident black spot, also considering their consistent urge to try out something different. This I feel, could make their music even more enjoyable, also doing justice to the bassist's presence.

All in all, this EP is a magnificent shot at making the fans more eager to hear the full-length. Hell, so am I. I'm also happy to see that Fallujah continues to be one of the bands that carries the torch of diversity, variety and uniqueness in the vast world of metal.

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