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A new direction. Not bad. - 77%

Mailman__, March 15th, 2019

Three years after “Dreamless”, the technical/progressive death metal band Fallujah is back again for another atmospheric album. However, this time it isn’t very technical or progressive. It’s actually pretty much just atmospheric.

Think Irreversible Mechanism’s “Immersion” but with shorter song lengths, less progression, and signed onto a significant label such as Nuclear Blast Entertainment. That’s Fallujah’s latest effort, “Undying Light”. This isn’t meant to slander the album in any way. It’s actually quite enjoyable. It’s more enjoyable than Irreversible Mechanism’s latest effort, that is.

Despite the obvious change in sound, “Undying Light” is a good album. I’ve always been a sucker for atmospheric death metal when there’s a clear balance of death metal to atmosphere. This album is like that half the time. It’s one of those albums that is pleasant to listen to and that’s about it. It’s a lullaby for a death metal fan.

The album never really gives the atmospheric thing a rest, and the technicality is pretty neutered. “Hollow” and “Sanctuary” get technical, but it’s not nearly as technical as I know this band can get. “Hollow” also has some heavy riffage as well as a clean bridge all of which is connected nicely.

When “Ultraviolet” was released as a single, I thought it was bad. When I got the promo, I listened to the album and it all sounded fine. Then it hit me: this is one of those albums where the individual songs sound weak and unfulfilling unless they have an entire album backing them up. We all have those albums we listen to all the way through because it’s like one, long emotion; one, long song; one, overall entity. This is just another one of those albums.

I also get a shoegaze vibe at times. Sometimes I feel like I’m listening to Astronoid, especially on “Distant and Cold” and “Dopamine”. The album also starts to get boring in the second half. It starts to pick up with ”Hollow”, but halfway through “Sanctuary” my interest suddenly died. It isn’t until “Departure” when my interest is peaked again. “Departure” is the final track and my favorite on the album because of its heavy, groovy, and interesting riffage.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Fallujah, but I never hate what I hear when I listen to them, and this is no exception. However, when I want to listen to over-produced technical/progressive death metal like Fallujah, this is not what I will turn to. I could say that I would turn to this album if I wanted to hear something soothing, and I do see myself doing so.

Overall Rating: 77%

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