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A Perfect Release - 100%

KalmahSlays, July 30th, 2012

Fallujah is one of those bands that may be written off very easily. If you take a listen to their early material it just kinda seems like deathcore fused with some technical metal and black metal. This is not the case with their amazing debut album The Harvest Wombs. After listening to their demo from 2010 I had very high expectations for this album and it did not disappoint whatsoever. In fact it exceeded all my expectations.

The Harvest Wombs is an album that perfectly blends elements of technical death metal, atmospheric elements, and even the occasional jazz fusion (listen to The Flame Surreal). Every track on this album pulls you in and makes you want to listen to every intricacy there is to the music. This is one of those albums where I notice new things with every listen. In fact this is one of the only albums I can listen to straight through with out skipping a track or stopping.

The main feature on this album is the guitar work. The lead work of guitarist Scott Carstairs is completely mind blowing and the crushing rhythm work of Rob Maramonte keeps your head banging. The two guitarists blend perfectly and all the riffs seem to make sense where they are. There are no odd transitions on the album and the composition is great. Every song features some sort of amazing melodic hook that keeps you listening and the heavier parts are very well written too.

Alex Hoffman's vocals are another great thing about this album. He has awesome piercing raspy scream that comes through on various tracks and his low vocals are very well done. He also has some of the most complex vocal patterns I've heard. This makes doing vocals a job of it's own with Fallujah. It's not just some dude screaming. He uses his voice as a percussive instrument to create even more interesting rhythms in this songs. The lyrics are very interesting although I'm not sure what most of them are about. They're very science fiction-like or having something to do with metaphysical subjects, aside from the track Assemblage of Wolves which seems to be about the negative Christian influence on Nordic tradition (I could be wrong about that).

Unfortunately there is only one minor flaw in this album and that's the bass. And it's not even that the bass lines are bad. It's just that it is quite inaudible unless it's only playing by itself. But when you do hear it the bass is carrying the song along as it should and the bass player Rob Morey does have the occasional bass "solo" where he does some pretty technical bass work.

The drums are just fucking sick on this album. Andrew Baird is one of the best up and coming drummers in the metal scene today. His style is very reminiscent of that of Vitek from Decapitated. The drum production is very punchy and clear and very very precise. And when I say precise, I mean fucking on point 100% of the time. All the drum lines fit perfectly with the rest of the music and drive the song along and keep you interested.

Fallujah is a band that seems to get lumped in with the current deathcore scene for some reason (probably because of their early material). But I can confidently say that this album has no -core influence at all. This is a straight up progressive/ technical death metal album. One of the best that I've heard ever and I currently still have it on regular rotation since it's release last November. This is highly recommended to any fan of death metal or any fan of technical music.

Stand out tracks: The Flame Surreal, Cerebral Hybridization, Assemblage of Wolves